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From Al Jazeera English see more in NEWS & ANALYSIS
Protests against Israel’s offensive in Gaza have been taking place around the world, in the Asia-Pacific region, Europe, Africa and the Americas. Counter demonstrations by members of the Jewish diaspora have also been taking place in New York and some European cities.
Are such protests and rallies useful or useless? Will such demonstrations of public feelings and frustrations have any impact on the political and diplomatic stances their countries take in their dealings with Israel and actions and votes in the Arab League, European Union and United Nations?
Can any parallels be drawn between these protests and rallies and the anti-war demonstrations in 2003 relating to Iraq and 2001 relating to Afghanistan? Despite vocal opposition, US-led allied forces went ahead with their offensive regardless. Can taking to the streets make any difference this time round?
PART 1 (part 2 below the break)
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1/1-31 Georgetown: The Peace Mural, the unbelieveable 2,000 paintings exhibition of art on war, peace, and torture that the Vietnamese-American artist Huong has on display in a 10,000 square foot galllery on M Street in Georgetown: http://www.peacemural.org
1/1-31 Busboys and Poets at 14th and V Northwest and 5th and K Northwest: place to hang out and eat and drink and groove.
Here’s Congress’s Schedule: PDF.
1/6-31 Ask Congress members to sign onto Rep. Nadler’s resolution (H Res 9) against Bush pardoning crimes he authorized, and Rep. Lee’s (number coming soon) rejecting the Iraq Withdrawal Agreement as unConstitutionally created without ratification by Congress.
1/2 Peace Mural concert at 7:30 p.m. Details.
1/4 Protest-Vigil to demand President-Elect Obama speak out against the massacre of innocent Palestinians AND call for an immediate cease-fire. At 5:30 p.m. every evening starting Sunday, January 4 until further notice. Meet at 16th and H Streets NW – across from the Hay-Adams Hotel (alternate meeting place 16th and I (eye) NW). CODEPINK activists and anyone protesting the illegal and brutal Israeli assault on Gaza. Stop the Violence! Stop the Killing! Cease-Fire Now! For more info call 202 423 3654, 202 412 6700, 415 235 6517.
1/6 Capitol Hill: March of the Dead on Opening Day of Congress: help us carry the names of those killed in Iraq and Afghanistan and demand that Congress end the occupations. JOIN US!
1/7 POTLUCK and REUNION at the PINK HOUSE, 7 to 9 p.m. Bring your favorite dish to spice up our New Year’s Potluck at the Pink House! 712 5th Street, NE, Washington DC, 20002, 202-290-1301.
1/8 Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee confirmation hearing on former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle as health and human services secretary at 10 a.m.
1/8 Madam’s Organ: Peace Center Happy Hour. Details.
1/9 Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee confirmation hearing on Rep. Hilda L. Solis as labor secretary at 9:30 a.m. [Yes, please.]
1/9 Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee confirmation hearing on Arne Duncan as education secretary at 10 a.m. [No, thank you.]
1/9 GAZA ACTION at noon: Rally at Lafayette Square and march to Upper Senate Park. Contact: National Association of Muslim Women, email@example.com
1/9 At Institute for Policy Studies from 1 to 2 p.m. IPS Book Event: Aaron Glantz’s ‘The War comes Home’, 1112 16th St. NW, Ste. 600, Washington, DC. Aaron Glantz, a Foreign Policy In Focus contributor, is an independent journalist whose work has appeared in The Nation and The Progressive and on Democracy Now!. His new book, The War Comes Home: Washington’s Battle against America’s Veterans is the first to systematically document the U.S. government’s neglect of soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Aaron Glantz, who reported extensively from Iraq during the first three years of this war and has been reporting on the plight of veterans ever since, levels a devastating indictment against the Bush administration for its bald neglect of soldiers and its disingenuous reneging on their benefits. Meet the author at IPS and learn about the U.S. government’s neglect of soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.
by David Swanson
As the 111th Congress was being sworn in on Tuesday, a seemingly endless line of figures dressed all in black with stark white masks slowly marched single-file around Capitol Hill. Each wore a placard bearing the name of someone who had died in the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Palestine, their age, and the date of their death. This March of the Dead video was intended to remind yet another Congress that we elected it to end aggressive wars, and to announce that the peace movement will be a presence on Capitol Hill until the wars are ended.
About an hour after the march ended, a group of the dead in masks and black clothes gathered in the indoor atrium of the Hart Senate Office Building. A few of us began reading aloud lists of those who have died in the wars, including U.S. soldiers. Five floors up, on the east side of the atrium, three large banners were dropped reading “Afghanistan” and “Iraq” and “Palestine.” Then on the west side an enormous banner unfurled reading “The Audacity of War Crimes.” That banner was quickly taken down by police. As we continued reading the names, another huge banner appeared on the south side of the atrium reading “We Will Not Be Silent.”
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William Hughes: On Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2009, Antiwar activists dressed all in black, with white death masks, paraded in a steady rain and in single file, past the U.S. Supreme Court, and around the U.S. Capitol, in Washington, D.C., as the new 111th Congress convened inside. The “March of the Dead” participants wore around their necks the names of those killed in conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and Israeli Occupied Gaza. The U.S. Congress has repeatedly voted hundreds of billions of dollars to support those two wars.
For background and updates on this protest action, please go to: http://www.afterdowningstreet.org.