FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 10, 2003
Despite media suggestions that the U.S. military attack on Iraq is over, a peace rally in Portland has continuted to gain momentum and now has over 90 organizations backing it. The march will take place Saturday, April 12 at 3:30 PM with the theme "Stop the Violence Overseas and at Home: Bring them home in one peace." It will begin at Waterfront Park (at SW Front and Yamhill). Demonstrators will march from the park to Pioneer Courthouse Square to conduct a funeral for all the war dead and take part in the main rally program. Along the way, there will be stops at the Federal Building, the KOIN Center, the Oregonian (where a "healing ritual" will take place) and the Willamette Week pointing out the goverment and media's roles in the support of the war.
Organizers include many of the peace, social justice, environmental, faith, student and labor groups responsible for the enormous rallies most recently held January 18 and March 15.
This march will be somber and contemplative but also address the issue of misconceptions about the war. As has been quoted many times, in 1917, American Senator Hiram Johnson said "The first casualty when war comes, is truth."
Peace and Justice Works member and march organizer Desiree Hellegers added that "This global movement organized the largest anti-war protests in the history of the world before a war actually began. We are concerned that the celebratory and sanitized media accounts fail to address the human suffering and environmental impacts of war and fail to question the apparently open-ended U.S. occupation of Iraq."
This permitted, family-friendly march will differ from previous marches in that the beginning gathering will be very brief and spare. After gathering at 3:30 PM in Waterfront Park, the march will begin promptly at 4 PM and at its four stops will also include information on the role of activists in opposing this war. The march will arrive at approximately 5 PM in Pioneer Courthouse Square where a limited number of informational tables will call people to action while dozens of coffins are stacked up for a symbolic funeral to lament the needless death of innocents. A small number of speakers will follow.
Ninety-two organizations have now pledged to support the rally. More than 25 Catholic or Catholic-sponsored organizations have signed on. They have done so at the same time the Archdiocese dismissed Frank Fromherz, director of the Archdiocese's Office of Justice and Peace, a vocal critic of the war.
Please contact any of the numbers listed below for more information.
Co-sponsors include: Peace & Justice Works Iraq Affinity Group (503-236-3065), Portland Peaceful Response Coalition (503-471-1535), Living Earth, Women in Black, Oregon PeaceWorks (503-585-2767-Salem), Portland Buddhist Peace Fellowship, Love Makes a Family, Peace and Social Justice Center of Southwest Washington, Metanoia Peace Community, Black Monday Committee, Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere (COLAGE), Christ the Healer - United Church of Christ, Reach for Peace, East Timor Action Network/Portland (503-235-4986), Americans United for Palestinian Human Rights, Northwest Ethnic Voice/Palestinian Children's Welfare Fund, War Resisters League-Portland (503-238-0605), Portland Alliance (media cosponsor), Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, Alliance for Democracy - Portland Chapter, Multnomah Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), Oregon Peace Institute, American Friends Service Committee, Citizens Commission on Human Rights , Survivors Advocating for an Effective System (SAFES-503-274-2139), Pagans for Peace, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Jews for Global Justice, SisterSpirit, Peace Action Group of the First Unitarian Church, Women for Peace, Catholic Archdiocese of Portland's Office of Justice & Peace (503-233-8361), Victims of Child Abuse by Churches Against the War, WONDERBROADS Touring Theatre, Pride at Work, St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, Bridge City Preparative Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), Lesbian Community Project, St. Andrews Catholic Church, Benedictine Sisters of Mt. Angel, Franciscan Friars, Franciscan Spiritual Center - West, Jesuit Spirituality Center, Mission of the Atonement Justice Team, Servite Friars, Sisters of Charity, BVM, Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, Society of Jesus-Oregon Province (Jesuits) , Society of The Holy Child Jesus, St. Clare Catholic Church, St. Clare Fraternity- Secular Franciscans, St. Mary Catholic Church (Corvallis) , Social Justice Program of University of Portland, Sisters of the Road Cafe, National Lawyers Guild - Portland, Centro Cultural, Peace Justice and Environment Committee of the Portland Mennonite Church, Justice for Mumia Coalition.
Endorsers for this event include Northwest Veterans for Peace, Peace Weavers-a community project for global awareness, Yamhill Valley PeaceMakers, Freedom Socialist Party, Radical Women, PSU Progressive Student Union, PSU Green Party, Lewis and Clark's Organization for Peace and Politics, Oregon Natural Resources Council, Oregon Center for Environmental Health, Community Alliance of Tenants, Adelante Mujeres, Reed Student Peace Action Network, Campaign for Peace with Cuba , Portland Artists Against the War, Portland Insight Meditation Community Peace Action Committee, Northwest Campuses for Peace and Justice (www.nwcampuspeace.org) , Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility, City Repair Project, Rainbow Coalition of Portland-Oregon, Portland Jobs with Justice (503-236-5573, email@example.com), Portland Labor for Peace and Justice, Peace and Justice Commission-St. Philip Neri Catholic Church, Oregon Action, Pax Christi Portland, Southern Oregon Economic Development Coalition, Peace and Justice Committee-Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Wy' East Unitarian Universalists For Peace, Friends of Sabeel - North America, Friends of Peace and Justice in the Holy Land, Oregon Local of the National Writers Union, Portland State University Faculty Association/American Federation of Teachers, Transracial Abductees, Spirit Moves Peace Center and others.
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