Texans Rallied for Peace 10/5/02
The Austin marched stretched from 4th Street almost to the Capitol. Around 2,000 people!
Texans United Against War (TUAW) initiated a statewide march and rally against the impending invasion of Iraq on October 5. We began the day with a meeting of activists at Threadgill’s restaurant in Austin. About 50 attended.
Dallas reported success with a billboard that cost about $800. A second one was in the planning stages. The web site gets several hundred hits per day. For links to peace groups click here. A local peace rally was planned for October 7. The reporter opined, "People are really waking up."
Ft Worth reported legislative lobbying meetings vigils, and leafleting. The reporter said that labor organizations oppose the war.
Houston reported success with getting people to say the Pledge of Resistance that begins, “Not in our name…” They had 300 at a Town Hall meeting with Councilwoman Ada Edwards. They held meetings with with anti-war congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee
They use community radio (KPFT) and tabling to reach more people.
Austin had a number of people stand up to speak. They were working with Legislator Lloyd Doggett. Had a "packed" town hall meeting. They urged focus on the statistics of death in the Middle East. They were planning another rally on the 26th 11 AM at the Capitol followed by a conference. The American Friends Service Committee is working on training that prepares people to succeed with civil disobedience. Houston recommended the film, "Hidden Wars of Desert Storm." One man suggested that peace activists should support the Longshoremen on the West Coast (ILWU) who are locked out. A statewide bus tour to outreach smaller areas
Both Dallas and Houston reported success with clerical meetings.
These solutions were listed in a brainstorming session:
No pre emptive strike
Protect civil liberties
Respect int'l law
"End of Militarism"
Several people then took the position that they would rather have fewer slogans for the statewide coalition.
It was recommended that legislative work be a priority because letters & calls to congressmen wererunning 9 to 1 against war!
Most of the coalitions have “standing calls” relating to the escalation of the war in Iraq. Dallas, for example, will rally when Bush signs new empowering resolution and again when bombing of Iraq escalates.
The march began at a park on 4th & San Antonio. Several spoke there while the crowd gathered. We then went over to Congress, where our length reached almost to 1 block from the Capitol. I'm pretty sure we were adding people. I asked a dozen people, and finally decided that we ended the march with about 2,000 people. I was told that the march organizers had predicted 1,000
We turned right one block shy of the Capitol and went a couple blocks to the federal building plaza where a stage was set up. The sound system was really sorry. There seemed to be a moderate amount of press there. One woman risked all of our efforts by running around topless, but I don't think any harm came of it.
There were many peace rallies during weekend 10/5/02. At least two Dallas network-affiliated TV stations covered the Austin events. However, the Dallas Morning News continued to ignore the voices of the people.
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