Activists for peace with justice rallied and marched all over the Northwest as part of the Global Day of Protest to demand No War on Iran. Liberation News was there in Seattle and Pasco in Washington as well as in Boise, Idaho, providing these eyewitness reports. Demonstrations also took place in Tacoma, Lake Forest Park, Poulsbo and Spokane, Washington.
At least 200 protesters gathered at Westlake Park, a downtown area known as a center for first amendment expression. Co-emcees Erica Roberts-Salazar of the ANSWER Coalition and Jasmine Fernandez of Anakbayan welcomed the crowd. Roberts-Salazar, a proud union member, reminded those present of the history of labor organizing against war, most recently seen on a broad scale in 2008 when longshoremen closed down ports up and down the West Coast in protest of the Iraq War.
After the welcome, the crowd heard from Salome MC, artist, Iranian rapper and member of the Codepink Advisory Board. She talked about the brutal impact of U.S. sanctions on the people of Iran.
Other speakers included Mike Yun from the Seattle Evergreen Coalition, a Korean community group working for peace on the Korean Peninsula, and Phoenix Johnson, the president of Seattle Veterans for Peace. Johnson, an Air Force veteran and member of the Tlingit nation, spoke about the genocidal impact of war and militarism.
At the conclusion of the rally, participants lined up to march through downtown. Despite threats of rain, skies remained clear and chants rang out: “No threats, no bombs, no war on Iran!” and “1,2,3,4, we don’t want your racist war! 5,6,7,8, Iran is a sovereign state!”
Other supporting organizations included Seattle Democratic Socialists of America, Party for Socialism and Liberation, Community and Labor Against Fascism, Refuse Fascism and Radical Women. Earlier in the day, local activists intervened at a Town Hall meeting hosted by local U.S. Rep. Adam Smith who is the chair of the Armed Forces committee.
ANSWER-affiliated activist Mitch Malloy reports that a small group of protesters gathered in Pasco, one of the Tri-Cities. These included people from Yakima as well as from the Tri-Cities area. “While the turnout was lower than it was on Jan. 4, we had a more friendly reception. At least 90 percent of those passing by had a positive reaction to our message and many took a leaflet.”
Activists and community members from around the Treasure Valley, including members of the Party for Socialism and Liberation, ANSWER Coalition, United Vision of Idaho and Idaho Peace Coalition gathered together despite the rain and cold at Boise City Hall to demand U.S troops out of Iraq–No war and no sanctions on Iran! Organizers spoke out against war, capitalism, imperialism and white supremacy, while demanding the U.S. government respect the Iranian and Iraqi people’s rights to self determination.