"We want to show that there's still massive opposition to this war and occupation ... and that they never found any weapons of mass destruction," says Pete Shell, who is coordinating a March 20 rally against the occupation of Iraq. Local groups met on Jan. 18 to begin organizing what they hope will rival last January's anti-war march, which drew 5,000 people to Oakland in a snowstorm.
The March 20 replay -- on the anniversary of the start of Gulf War II -- will be duplicated in other U.S. cities.
More than 35 political activists and peacemongers -- representing nearly as many local groups -- met at the Thomas Merton Center in Garfield with Shell's Anti-War Committee. It was a rather mild beginning to what will eventually include planned civil disobedience to make their point.
Says participant Nathaniel Glosser, president of North Side's Rosenberg Institute for Peace and Justice, about the need for another rally: "The issue hasn't changed. The situation has, though. More young men and women have been killed since what was called the end of hostilities, so it seems the war is still going on. We can't stop in our quest against the administration in Washington to bring our troops home."