On Saturday, March 14th, approximately 1,000 people gathered in the predominately Mexican immigrant neighborhoods of Pilsen and Little Village in Chicago to protest the continuation of the war
in Iraq, the escalation of the war in Afghanistan, the bombing of Pakistan and the massacre in Gaza. The demonstration also demanded an end to the government's war on immigrants. Called to mark the 6th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, many who came also planned to attend next Saturday's march on the Pentagon in Washington, DC.
Organizers have found a fair amount of confusion about the Obama administration's foreign (and domestic) policy, so it was important that people came into the streets this year to voice our clear demands for a complete end to all the occupations. There was also vigorous debate among activists over whether we can really challenge people to understand what's at stake, or whether the best we can do is to "pressure Obama to live up to his promises." Even people who understand that Obama only promised more of the same US empire have questioned whether we can actually say that.
Veterans, students, immigrants and LGBT folks marched through the neighborhood calling on bystanders to join the march. A new chant was created on the spot: "No more aggression towards Iran! Stop the war in Afghanistan!" as protesters struggled with each other and the people watching from the sidewalks, street corners and front porches to understand that what's needed isn't a "shift in focus back to the good war- Afghanistan," but rather a complete end to the whole so-called "global war on terror."
World Can't Wait brought a triptych of banners reading: "Get Out of Iraq," "Stop Bombing Pakistan," and "Get Out of Afghanistan." A group of students also carried a "We Are Not Your Soldiers" banner. The Evanston and Chicago Chapters will hold a protest in Evanston on March 19th, the actual anniversary at the Evanston military recruitment center, located only a couple blocks away from the only public high school in the town.
This report was written by members of the Chicago chapter of World Can’t Wait.