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City of Brotherly Love:
the center city philadelphia peace march

Peace Rally Center City Philadelphia February 15, 2003They were Veterans, Patriots, Grandmothers, Grandfathers, Uncles, Aunts, Mothers, Fathers, Brothers, Sisters, Grad Students, Highschoolers, Preschoolers, Toddlers and Infants.  They were White, Black, Brown, Yellow and Red.  From the City, the Suburbs, the Rural and the County's.  They represented the Artists, Doctors, Teachers, Tradesmen, Unions, Cooks, Nurses, Lawyers, Cab Drivers, Musicians, Students, Retired and the Unemployed.  They were Protestants, Christians, Jews and Muslims. 

It all started for me at the Gwynedd Valley Station and the R5 Train into Center City Philadelphia on February 15, 2003, it ended in astonishment at the diversity of the people you met marching for PEACE.

It is hard to express or describe without being there, taking in the atmosphere, the music, the clamor, the people and the energy you felt.  No one was touched by the cold that wanted to be there, no one felt the distance of the march and no one forget why they were there.

Along the way I met and spoke with many. A Temple University Med Student who was so proud of what he saw and be part of that you could see it in his face.  He thought, "not many people would show up" but he was surprised.  Surprised not only by the number of people but the "absolute diversity" of the marchers.  I met a passionate group from Glenside who boasted organizing 2 busloads of Peace seekers for the January Rally in Washington DC.  I met 2 young highschoolers who felt strongly enough to come on their own, from the distant suburbs, one hour by train, to march for Peace.  Speaking to another, she insisted on being referred to as a Peace Activist rather than an Anti-War demonstrator.

The Marchers gathered on this day, to shout as one loud voice, PEACE IS the answer.  It seems something has stirred the people of the world, they are rising up like David to face down the Goliaths, they have awakened from their slumber, you have disturbed them by your rhetoric, momentum is gaining.

:: Photos - Philadelphia Peace Rally

Here's what they're saying:

A New Power in the Streets
It didn't help Mr. Bush or Mr. Powell that the French said their intelligence agencies found no support for the American claim of a strong connection between Baghdad and Osama bin Laden's terrorism network. It also did not help that Mr. Powell's appearance on Friday came just days after Prime Minister Tony Blair's latest intelligence white paper was found to have been plagiarized from Internet sources.  Source - NYTIMES

Millions Worldwide Protest Iraq War
The demonstrators seemed to represent a cross-section of modern British society. There were entire families -- fathers and mothers with small children in tow -- and elderly people moving slowly but deliberately. Some wore costumes and some were in jeans. There were veteran activists and people who said they had never been on a march before.

"We explained to them what this was about and they wanted to come," said Julie Isherwood, whose 4-year-old twins, Jack and Robert, walked beside her with hand-lettered signs reading, "Boys Against War."  Source - Washington Post

Early Peace Rally Numbers:
Rome - 3,000,000
Barcelona - 1,300,000
London - 1,000,000
Berlin - 500,000
Madrid - 500,000
Damascus - 200,000
New York City - 200,000
Paris - 100,000
Montreal - 20,000
Philadelphia - 18,000

Is History Repeating Itself - What Next Concentration Camps?
"In the spring of 1942, just months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, more than 100,000 residents of Japanese ancestry were forcefully evicted by the army from their homes in Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona and Alaska, and sent to nearby temporary assembly centers. From there they were sent by trains to American-style concentration camps at remote inland sites where many people spent the remainder of the war. This exhibit tells the story of Seattle's Japanese American community in the spring and summer of 1942 and their four month sojourn at the Puyallup Assembly Center known as "Camp Harmony."  Source Japanese Internment

"Up to that moment, we had hoped against hope that something or someone would intervene for us. Now there was no time for moaning. A thousand and one details must be attended to in this one week of grace. Those seven days sputtered out like matches struck in the wind, as we rushed wildly about. Mother distributed sheets, pillowcases and blankets, which we stuffed into seabags. Into the two suitcases, we packed heavy winter overcoats, plenty of sweaters, woolen slacks and skirts, flannel pajamas and scarves. Personal toilet articles, one tin plate, tin cup and silverware completed our luggage. The one seabag and two suitcases apiece were going to be the backbone of our future home, and we planned it carefully."  Source Camp Harmony - An American Concentration Camp

:: Article/Photos - New York City Peace Rally
:: Peace Site - Neighbors4Peace
:: Stop The War - UK
:: Sign the Petition - UK

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