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Protests across U.S. call for end to Iraq occupation

By Chapin Gray

People holding SDS banner that reads: US OUT NOW!

Washington, DC – People across the country took to the streets to protest on the sixth anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Demonstrators called for an end to the ongoing wars and occupations in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine. It was the first national day of protest against the war and occupations since Obama was elected president.

Here in Washington D.C., thousands of protesters from across the country converged for a march organized by International ANSWER. Led by a contingent of Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans, the march route took protesters past the Pentagon and from there to the downtown area, where they passed the offices of corporations that make huge profits from military contracts, such as Boeing and Lockheed Martin. Under the gaze of riot cops lining the sidewalks, protesters carried coffins draped with the flags of countries that are suffering from U.S. occupation or intervention.

Across the country, demonstrations were held to commemorate the sixth anniversary of the war. Marches took place in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Saint Paul, Minnesota; Los Angles, Atlanta, Chicago and other cities

In San Francisco, hundreds of marchers proceeded up Market Street to a rally at City Hall. Students from San Francisco State University, City College of San Francisco and UCLA demanded, “Iraq for Iraqis! Troops out now!”

“It is important to keep organizing against the war,” said Alex Perry, from the Tuscaloosa, Alabama chapter of Students for a Democratic Society, who marched with the student contingent in Washington D.C. “Though many people seem to think that the end of the Bush administration means an end or a change in U.S. foreign policy, the recent U.S.-funded Israeli attacks on Gaza and the recent ‘troop surge’ in Afghanistan show that this is simply not that case. We need to demand an end to all U.S. occupations in the Middle East and fight back against the budget cuts here at home.”

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