Tens of thousands of protesters marched on Washington on Saturday to demand an end to the war. The Rev. Graylan S. Hagler summed up the feeling of the crowd, which included veterans, celebrities, politicians and others: “When we voted it was a directive to bring our troops home now.”
New York Times:
Demonstrators listened to speeches from a roster of politicians and entertainment figures including the Rev. Jesse Jackson; Representative Dennis J. Kucinich, Democrat of Ohio and a candidate for the presidency in 2008; and Representative Maxine Waters, Democrat of California. The actors Jane Fonda, Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins also addressed the crowd.
“We need to be talking not just about defunding the war but also about funding the vets,” Ms. Sarandon said, adding that more than 50,000 had sought treatment through the Department of Veterans Affairs while benefits for them continue to be cut.
With Mr. Bush facing low approval ratings and Congress continuing to debate the terms of a nonbinding resolution opposing the troop increase, elderly people in wheelchairs, housewives pushing strollers, seasoned dissenters in tie-dye and veterans in uniform turned out to protest.
“I grew up during the Vietnam War, but I never protested it and never had my lottery number called to go fight,” said David Quinly, a 54-year-old carpenter from Prairie Village, Kan., who arrived here Friday night with about 50 others after a 23-hour bus ride.
“In my view, this one is a war of choice and a war for profit against a culture and people we don’t understand,” Mr. Quinly said. “I knew I had to speak up this time.”