Thousands Rally in US Capital to Protest Sanctions Against Iraq
The spirit of the anti-Vietnam War movement revisited the US capital Sunday as thousands of Americans, singing old anti-war songs, gathered in front of the White House to protest sanctions against Iraq.
"Stop the sanctions now!" chanted the crowd in Lafayette Square as folk song legend and long-time peace activist Pete Seeger played the banjo and sang "Down by the Riverside," a time-honored hymn of the Vietnam War generation.
An estimated 3,000 people braved driving rain to vent their frustration with the United States, Britain and other western powers, which led international efforts 10 years ago this Sunday to impose sweeping UN sanctions against Iraq following its invasion of Kuwait.
"What is the purpose of this policy?" asked Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader, one of about a dozen speakers at the rally.
"Is it to destabilize the dictator of Iraq?" he continued. "The policy increases the repression and the power of the dictator of Iraq. Is it to demonstrate that the United States of America is the most powerful country in the world? I don't think that needs to be demonstrated on the graves on one million innocent Iraqi civilians."
Nader said 5,000 thousand Iraqi children were dying each month from diseases and malnutrition resulting from the sanctions.
Democratic Congressman Dennis Kucinich of Ohio echoed his view by saying the sanctions a "wrong" and did nothing but continue to "weaken and kill innocent children."
"I am here to let our current and future leaders know that there are many of us in Congress who oppose this sanctions policy," declared the lawmaker -- WASHINGTON (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)