The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Military families speak out against war and occupation

Mar 29, 2004

Military Families Speak Out, an organization of families who have sons, daughters or other relatives serving in Iraq, have been a vocal component in anti-Iraq war demonstrations. A good number are parents of servicemen who've been killed in this war.

Sunday March 14, they participated in a demonstration of 600 people who marched to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, where servicemen killed in Iraq and Afghanistan return to the States in body-bags. Protesters challenged the Bush administration's restrictions against the public and reporters having access to the base, which is aimed at preventing any coverage of the body bags coming back.

The following day, between 200 and 300 protesters marched to Walter Reed Hospital, where troops wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan are treated. A Pennsylvania mother, holding a framed photo of her son, said that he was lucky that he was only injured. And that he was fighting an unjust war. A Maryland couple with a son and daughter-in-law in Iraq said, "We've got family members in it, but we're not for it. You will not end terrorism by invading a country." One father said, "At first I was for the war. But I see now that Bush has lied to us. I want my son to come home now."

Protesters went on to march several miles to the gate of the White House, hoping to deliver a coffin with 900 cards, each with the name of one of the U.S. troops, coalition soldiers and Iraqis killed in the war. The White House was closed to them. This did not deter them from reading out loud the names of all those killed.

These military families are convinced that the best way to support their loved ones is to demonstrate against this war.