On Saturday, February 24, 2007, Colorado Citizens for Peace observed the 2nd anniversary of the longest on-going peace vigil in the Denver metro area. This special vigil was held -- as always -- at the intersection of W. 52nd Avenue and Wadsworth Boulevard from Noon until 1:00 PM.
The commemoration featured three keynote speakers: Dave Chandler, Green Party candidate for U.S. House of Representatives for Colorado's Seventh Congressional District in 2002 and 2006; Colorado State Representative Sara Gagliardi, HD #27 (D-Arvada); and Ira Chernus, Professor of Religious Science at the University of Colorado at Boulder and author of the just published book 'Monsters to Destroy: The Neoconservative War on Terror and Sin'.
Here is the text of Dave's remarks:
As reported by Reuters, this is what is going on in Iraq today:Sitting amid mounds of rotting garbage in a rubbish dump in Baghdad, 13-year-old Huda Hamdan is the human face of a new U.N. report that says a third of war- torn Iraq's 26 million people live in poverty. [That’s over eight and a half million people] ... She and her six brothers and sisters compete with scores of other diggers, many children and women, made homeless by sectarian violence that has forced them to flee their homes and seek refuge in the sprawling Shi'ite slum of Sadr City.This is George W. Bush’s “freedom on the march” in U.S. occupied Iraq. American troops killed number 3,155 and 23,000 wounded. As many as 650,000 Iraqis killed since the unprovoked attack -- and untold and incalculable destruction of property.
Scores of displaced Shi'ite families have made the rubbish dump their home -- living in unsanitary conditions in tents, crude shacks made from oil cans or squatting in an empty building -- and trying to eke out the barest of livings. ... “[The report] shows the failure of the state authorities to provide adequate services to the population," [The UN report] said in a statement that also blamed Western-backed efforts to transform the economy into a free market for "exacerbating deprivation levels".
Hamdan said she and her siblings fled Falluja, a Sunni insurgent stronghold west of Baghdad, after a U.S. sniper shot dead her mother, leaving them orphaned. Now they live with her grandparents and uncles in Sadr City.”
This wrong. And it has been wrong since Bush and Cheney lied to you and me and the world about the necessity for this war.
Now Bush is ‘surging’ -- escalating -- intensifying the war. He and his neocon cronies argue that we should suspend judgment and give the ‘new plan’ a chance.
But this is my proclaimation to the Bushites, neocons and radical Republicans: you have been WRONG about virtually everything associated with the attack, invasion and occupation of Iraq. WRONG.
Why, oh, why would anyone with even a modicum of intelligence trust the judgment of Bush and his plan?
It is way past time for this illegal and immoral war and occupation to end. It is way past time for there to be no more need for this Saturday afternoon peace vigil.
So, we need to tell our representatives in Washington that ‘non-binding’ resolutions are no good. The funding for troop deployments to Iraq must stop and there must be no permanent U.S. bases in Iraq.
And ... since this war was based on lies, we need to tell our Colorado members of Congress and Senators to repeal the 2002 Iraq War Resolution.
Let’s keep the pressure on the politicians until they get the message that our military role in the Iraq debacle needs to end now ...
... Because none of us wants to be here for another peace vigil anniversary.
PHOTO: Dave Chandler with Colorado Citizens for Peace coordinator, Cindy Lowry. Photo by Scott Zalauf.