On Saturday, March 24th, one day after the House voted to give Bush another $100 billion to continue wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, 1,200 took to the streets of Oakland to demand, "Education not Occupation, Healthcare not Warfare, Buses not Bombs," and Bring the Troops Home Now."
Leading the 1.5 mile march organized by the Thomas Merton Center Anti-War Committee were members of Iraq Vets Against the War and Veterans for Peace, followed by high school and college students comprising a "youth against enlistment" contingent. Adding to the festive nature of the march was a marching band and a cluster of anarchists carrying more than a dozen large black flags.
A separate "feeder march" organized by the Anti-War Committee and SEIU 1199P stepped off from the VA Hospital in North Oakland, in which activists sought to draw attention to the inadequate health care and treatment of thousands of wounded Iraq vets. There was also a women's feeder march organized by CodePink and other women's group and a feeder that began at the Friends Meeting House in Oakland.
Saturday's march capped off anniversary actions that started last week. On Saturday, March 18, Pittsburghers boarded a bus to Washington DC for a March on the Pentagon. On Monday night, Pittsburghers Against War Supplementals held a vigil outside Congressmen Mike Doyle's office, and Pittsburgh Organizing Group picketed the Oakland recruiting station before marching to CMU. From Friday night through Saturday morning, as many as 60 activists stopped by an all-night candlelight vigil at the Community of Reconciliation Church in Oakland.
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