Dust off your “Bush is a liar” or “Support our troops” sign, it’s time for a protest.
Local protesters are scheduled to reunite Saturday to commemorate one year of marching against the war in Iraq. Led by The People’s Coalition, an anti-war organization, the group has planned a gathering and rally in Vera Cruz Park in downtown Santa Barbara.
The group will meet at 11 a.m. and the rally will take place at 11:30 a.m. The participants will leave the park at noon, march down State Street and end in De La Guerra Plaza around 1:30 p.m. Several speakers and musical groups are scheduled to appear, including 35th District Assemblymember Hannah-Beth Jackson and Glen Phillips, the lead singer of Toad the Wet Sprocket.
“We protested against the war before it began, we protested during the war, and just because Bush says the war is over doesn’t mean it is. Now the U.S. is stuck in Iraq,” People’s Coalition spokeswoman Penny Little said.
Little has led protests in Santa Barbara over the past year.
Since last September, The People’s Coalition has led various organizations in marches down State Street in protest of President Bush’s policies – primarily U.S. involvement in the war with Iraq. Marches took place one or two Saturdays a month until January and February, when they were held almost weekly. The largest march took place on Feb. 15, 2003, when 5,500 protesters filled the street. Since then, anti-war demonstrations have become infrequent.
UCSB environmental studies Professor Marc McGinnes said he plans to attend the march because world issues greatly impact his classroom and because he still believes the administration’s policies can be changed.
“We are there in the hope that the occupation of Iraq will eventually be handed over to the United Nations, who will do more than police Iraq,” McGinnes said.
Also scheduled to speak or perform at the rally include the Duke of D’Uke, a ukulele maestro; Ron Paris of The Platters; David Krieger, president of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation; Coastal Commissioner Pedro Nava; and Santa Barbara City Council member Baba Tunde.
Several other groups are helping to organize the event, including Veterans for Peace, the Santa Barbara Chapter of Not in Our Name and Take Back the Media.