Today, March 8, 2003, an estimated two thousand people marched and rallied at the federal building in Westwood. They were protesting the anticipated war with Iraq on International Women's Day. Featured speakers included Ed Asner, Danny Glover, Ron Kovic, Wendy Malick of 'Just Shoot Me' and David Clennon
who has recently withstood attempts to have him fired for his outspoken views on George Bush.
The march rallied in front of the corporate offices of Occidental Petrolium shouting such slogans as "NO BLOOD FOR OIL". The group then proceeded to the local starbucks and condemned their business practices.
Speaker, Ed Asner inspired the crowd when he stated that, "President Bush is their CEO(war bucks corporate interests), not our president!" The rally also applauded when he said "This crusade against Iraq will make us more vulnerable to violence, not less so." He admonished to the present admintistration to "Destroy the weapons of mass destruction right here in the United States!"
In keeping with the theme of the rally, there was a general outcry from speakers and protesters alike that we need to invest in caring and not killing. Check out these facts regarding the inhuman waste that war creates here at home aside from the killing abroad:
- $100 buys either 11 hand genades for killing, or 11 blankets for caring
- $40,000 buys 1 hellfire missile for killing, or 2 home health aides for caring of the elderly and disabled.
- $145,000 buys 1 bunker buster bomb for killing, or Associate degrees for fifteen nurses for caring.
- $586,000 buys 1000 M-16 rifles for killing, or rent subsidies to care for 1000 families.
- $46,000,000 is the estimated cost of 1hour of war on Iraq, while that sum can also completely renovate 20 schools
- $494,000,000 is the annual military aid to the extremely repressive regime of Columbia, while that same amount can provide 7000 units of affordable housing
- One single stealth bomer with a devastating cost of $2.1 billion can provide the annual salary and benefits for 38,000 teachers.
Women and children make up the majority of the casualties of war as well as 80% of the refugees from armed conflict. As the march ended and gave way to the second portion of the rally, it was devulged to the audience that 75,000 body bags were recently sent to Persian Gulf region. I have no figures to estimate that cost.