On June 20th an anti-war cry in Albuquerque sprung from the lips of poets, veterans, and activists young and old!
More than 60 people came out to oppose the possibility of more death and destruction which would be caused by a new United States war on Iraq. The Albuquerque protest was initiated by the ANSWER Coalition as part of a National Day of Action.
Amongst them were veterans, fueled by the recent media exposure of veteran waiting lists at VA hospitals nationwide causing veterans to wait for care into their deathbed. “It’s ironic after all the news on the scandal with the inability of the VA to keep up with all the damaged people that they want to damage some more.” Said Charles Powell, an activist with Veterans For Peace.
It was proven by the diverse crowd that this issue touches the hearts of folks at any age. Both a local high school student, and WW2 veteran were present, and both were stirred and saddened by the possibility of war. The veteran, Sally-Alice Thompson, shared a tragic story that inspired the writing of a Raging Grannies song that was sung at the rally: “I wrote that song when I read an article in the paper, the (Iraqi) children were so traumatized by the war that they quit talking. Children who had learned to talk when they were two years old are now three or four years old, they quit talking. They forgot how to talk. It’s insane, and it’s to make a profit for a few people.”
Bill Nevin, a poet and activist, was drawn to the demonstration by the recent police brutality struggle in Albuquerque. He recalled the 2003 war protests in that same spot which had triggered much opposition by the police, and pointed out the indisputable history of police violence in Albuquerque: “The issues of anti-war and this police force are linked . . . the guy who was in the street walking up to people and shooting them in the face with mace, he became the police chief.”