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Midwest mobilization for April 20 in gear

In Cleveland, Detroit and Chicago, local committees are busy filling buses and spreading the message of peace and justice at home and abroad.
In Cleveland, Detroit and Chicago, local committees are busy filling buses and spreading the message of peace and justice at home and abroad. “People need to be in Washington D.C. on April 20 because the Bush Administration’s rhetoric and tactics demand our presence,” said Don Bryant, Cleveland organizer for April 20 Coaliton and member of Cleveland Nonviolence Network. “People must promote nonviolence in large numbers to win the hearts and minds of North Americans and people around the globe to demand an end to militarism.”

In Cleveland, four buses have been filled through the efforts of Peace Action, Women Speak Out and other groups, as they hold public forums on civil liberties and the USA Patriot Act and other issues set in motion by Sept. 11. Buses are also departing from Akron, Columbus and Youngstown.

Dave Trippel, a member of the interim steering committee of Chicago Peace Response, told the World, “Two buses have already been filled and people will also be driving in vans. A number of groups in the coaliton have been having meetings with Congressional representitives … A very exciting town hall meeting ws held with Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.).” Trippel became active as a result of Sept.11 through organizing Neighbors for Peace, a community group in Evanston.

In Detroit, the organizers have raised money from the Metro Labor Council of the AFL-CIO, Gray Panthers, Democratic Socialists of America, Central United Methodist Church and the U.S. Peace Council to send a bus to Washington. Sigrid Dale, from the Gray Panthers, told the World, “We’ve got to have a major demonstration now, we have to get out into the streets. We’re faced with an administration that proposes a ‘war without end’ and is busy building mini-nuke weapons to use all over the world.”

After April 20, Trippel says, “We want to continue to have educational forums which appeal to those who are doing soul searching and are afraid to speak just yet.”

Four national coalitions of over 100 groups are organizing the April 20 national march on Washington to oppose the Bush administration’s policies of war at home and abroad. The event will start at 10:30 AM at the Slyvan Theater at the Washington Monument with a march up Pennsylvania Ave. to a rally on the steps of the Capitol. For more information on the march, call (202) 265-7997 or visit www.unitedwemarch.org.

The author can be reached at jleblanc (at) pww.org
 
 

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