PPRC Friday Rally
and March to Promote April 12th Peace March, "Stop the
Violence Overseas and at Home!"
Event: PPRC Friday Rally and March for Peace
Date: Friday, April 4, 2003
Time: 5:00 p.m.
Place: Pioneer Courthouse Square
"Ideally, we would kill them all, ... But if they
choose to change their mind and flee, there's not much
we can do." -- Col. Joseph Anderson, brigade commander
of the 101st Airborne Division, referring to Iraqi paramilitary
fighters loyal to President Saddam Hussein who "had
dropped their equipment and fled," ("Muslim Cleric Urges
Iraqis Not to Resist", by Reuters, Filed at 2:20p.m.
ET, New York Times, April 3, 2003)
The Portland Peaceful Response Coalition regular Friday,
5:00 p.m. peace rally and march at Pioneer Courthouse
Square will kick-off a week of community outreach to
promote the next coalition peace rally and march, now
set for Saturday, April 12th. "As civilian deaths have
far surpassed five hundred,1 we once again call for
an end to the killing, an end to this criminal war,
and we cry out against the current war plans," said
Mikel Clayhold, "do not turn Baghdad into the next Stalingrad."
Local peace activists expressed concern that US forces
risk heavy casualties when the fighting shifts to an
urban setting, and warned against vastly increased civilian
deaths and injuries with the current and expected increases
in US bombing of the besieged city.
"Does another generation of Americans have to learn
the lessons of Vietnam once again?" asked Clayhold.
"We should recall that US forces controlled Saigon,
the capital of South Vietnam, at the time of the Tet
Offensive." Clayhold referring to an assault on US forces
in South Vietnam that many cite as a turning point in
the war. "Until Tet, US war planners had been telling
the American people that the war was winding down, and
that victory was just around the corner," said Clayhold.
"Tet demonstrated that the US faced significant, determined
opposition, and that the Vietnamese people were able
to carry the war deep into US-occupied regions, including
the capital city of Saigon." Clayhold emphasized that
even if US forces are able to occupy Baghdad with a
minimum of casualties on both sides, the occupation
itself would pose great dangers to US troops and to
US standing in the world. "Thereís no escaping the fact
that we are now seen, quite accurately, as a colonial,
imperial, military occupation in Iraq," said Clayhold.
"We are on a path towards disaster, and we must stop
this war now if we are to have any hope of repairing
the damage thatís already been done."
The Alliance for Peace and Justice has set April 12th
for the next coalition-planned peace rally and march.
The April 12th gathering will begin at Waterfront Park
at 3:30 p.m.. The march will wind its way through downtown
Portland, making stops along the way, ending up at Pioneer
Courthouse Square for a 5:00 p.m. rally.
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