Rep. Maxine Waters, Rep. John Conyers, Rep. Lynn Woolsey, Navy Seaman Jonathan Hutto, Bob Watada & Others Call for End to Iraq War at Anti-War Rally in Washington
Monday, January 29th, 2007http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=07/01/29/1453230
Anti-war protesters filled the streets of Washington on Saturday in one of the largest protests since the invasion of Iraq. Veterans and military families joined lawmakers, peace groups and celebrities to urge Congress and President Bush to bring the troops home now. Protest organizers United For Peace and Justice estimated 500,000 took part in the demonstration. In California, smaller rallies were held in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Sacramento. In Washington, marchers converged on the National Mall for a two-hour rally. The crowd included people who came on 300 buses from 40 states. [includes rush transcript - partial]
- Voices of protesters from around the country
- Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), co-founder of the Out of Iraq caucus
- Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA), co-founder of the Out of Iraq caucus. In January 2005, she became the first member of Congress to call for a withdrawal from Iraq.
- Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), chair of House Judiciary Committee
- Garrett Reppenhagen, Iraq Veterans Against the War
- Navy Seaman Jonathan Hutto, co-founder of the Appeal for Redress
- Brenda Hervey, Military Families Speak Out
- Bob Watada, father of 1st Lt. Ehren Watada, the first commissioned officer to refuse deployment to Iraq.
- Jesselyn Radack, former Justice Department Official
AMY GOODMAN: In D.C., marchers converged on the National Mall for a two-hour rally.
PROTESTER 1: My name is Sean, and I’m from New York. I represent the Ya-Ya Youth Activist Youth Allies Network. I’m here to support everyone trying to stop the war and to bring the soldiers home.
PROTESTER 2: Hi. My name's Olivia, and I’m from Maryland, and I’m here to support the people in Iraq.
PROTESTER 3: My name’s Matt Carson from Toledo, Ohio, here to protest the war. Bring the troops home now.
PROTESTER 4: I’m Teddy Fishwin [phon.]. I am from South Carolina. And when South Carolina is against the war, you know that it's gone too far.
PROTESTER 5: My name is Ali Sadr [phon.]. I’m from Iran. Tehran, Iran. I was born in US. I was raised in Iran, and I left Iran after revolution. And I’m here to protest.
PROTESTER 6: Amanda. I am a Spanish people. And then, I’m not agree with this war, so I want to say just one thing: Bush, he can send his kids. His two girls, he has, right? I want to see how he will feel when they send over there to Iraq, and then I will see how he feel like a parent.
PROTESTER 7: My name is Pam Canine [phon.]. I’m from Yellow Springs, Ohio, home of Antioch College, and I’m here because I am sick of the lives wasted, the money squandered. It is time to bring our troops home and get down to sensible domestic and foreign policy.
PROTESTER 8: Yes, my name is Kwali Abdul Mohammed [phon.]. I’m here from Philly. I’m here to represent my family. Two of my fathers -- my grandfather and my father both died in a war. I have a nephew that's there now. I’m giving support to let Bush know that it’s no more war, no more war, no more war.
AMY GOODMAN: Among those protesting were a number of lawmakers who opposed President Bush's escalation of the war, calling on the President to bring the troops home. Democratic Congressmember Maxine Waters of California was among them. She had sent a letter to every other member of the House, urging them to participate in the antiwar march. Congressmember Waters is a co-founder of the Out of Iraq Caucus. She addressed the crowd on the National Mall.
REP. MAXINE WATERS: You have come here today to save your country, to change the direction of this country and to tell George Bush, “Hell, no, we won't go!” I stand firmly with you. My name is Maxine Waters, and I’m not afraid of George W. Bush. My name is Maxine Waters, and I’m not intimidated by Dick Cheney. My name is Maxine Waters, and I I helped to get rid of Rumsfeld. My name is Maxine Waters, and Condi Rice is nothing but another neocon, and she doesn't represent me!
George W. Bush led us into this immoral war. He tricked the American people, and he told us there were weapons of mass destruction. He did not tell the truth. He came out on the battleship and said, “Mission accomplished.” He misled us again. He said we were working with the coalition of the willing. It was only a figment of his imagination. He said that we were moving forward with training the Iraqi soldiers who would take over the security. Where are they? They are nowhere. As a matter of fact, they're undermining our soldiers in this civil war. He said we were going to get proceeds from the oil that would be pumped back into Iraq so that it could be reconstructed. As a matter of fact, he told us he made these decisions; he said he is the decider. But you know what? He's not the decider. He is the liar!
Thank you for being here today. I want you to come to Capitol Hill and lobby on Monday and put some starch in the backs of the members of Congress and give them the courage that they need to do the right thing. It is alright to have some resolutions that are not binding, but the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and that will come when it's time to decide whether or not we're going to fund this immoral war. I will not vote one dime for this war! And when you come up here to lobby, you ask these members, “Are you going to support an appropriation to continue this war, to expand this war?” And you can tell the difference between those who are ready to bring our soldiers home and those who are only paying lip service. Don't forget, he is not the decider. He is the --
REP. MAXINE WATERS: He is not the decider, he is the --
REP. MAXINE WATERS: Bring our troops home!
AMY GOODMAN: California Congressmember Maxine Waters was joined by another founder of the Out of Iraq Caucus, Lynn Woolsey. In January 2005, Congressmember Woolsey became the first member of Congress to call for withdrawal from Iraq. She called for an end to the US occupation of Iraq.
REP. LYNN WOOLSEY: Thank all of you. Your very presence, your passion has taken us this far, and we are not going to stop until we end George Bush's immoral Iraq war. Americans don't want to send our young men and women into the middle of a civil war, a war we shouldn't have been in in the first place. We've injured -- over the last four years that we've endured bloodshed and mayhem, more than 3,000 American lives lost, countless physically and mentally wounded, tens of thousands of Iraqi citizens killed, hundreds of billions of dollars wasted, our global credibility shattered, terrorists emboldened rather than defeated.
We all know it’s not about winning or losing. It's about doing the right thing. Everybody knows this. Everybody knows this, except the President. He asks us to sacrifice more of our tax dollars so he can win in Iraq. You know what they say. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results.
Fortunately, we have an antidote to this insanity. It's not another Iraq Study Group. It's not a new committee to debate what to do next. It is what you sent us to do last November. It's called HR 508. It's long title is the Bring Our Troops Home and Iraq Sovereignty Restoration Act, and it would end the US occupation in Iraq within six months, saving lives and limbs and money and America's standing in the world. HR 508 is the only comprehensive legislation that puts us on the fast track to a fully funded military withdrawal from Iraq. Congresswomen Maxine Waters and Barbara Lee and I have introduced HR 508 in the Congress, but you are the true authors of this legislation. It is your will that HR 508 carries out.
So when you go to the Capitol on Monday, when you go to Capitol Hill, and when you contact members of Congress in the coming weeks and months, and they ask you, “Well, what is your plan?” tell them, “Pass HR 508!” When they tell you they are against the war but don't know how to leave, tell them, “Pass HR 508!” When they tell you they would like to help you out, but, you know, the President has all the power, you tell them, “Pass HR 508!” Your voices have not gone unheard. They have life in HR 508, and I pledge all of my heart and all of my soul to this cause. In the name of national security, fiscal sanity and calm and decency, together we will bring our troops home. Thank you.
AMY GOODMAN: Congressmember Lynn Woolsey. Coming up: Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Susan Sarandon, Jane Fonda at the national march on Washington. Stay with us.