25,000 protest war in Boston Nov. 3

Fred Feldman ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Mon Nov 4 13:12:56 MST 2002

The Harvard Crimson
November 4, 2002

Rally at Common Protests War in Iraq

Zinn addresses crowd of 25,000, including scores from Harvard

by Justin D. Getz

Just days before pivotal midterm elections, about 25,000 protesters huddled
around Parkman Bandstand at Boston Common yesterday afternoon to voice their
opposition to military action against Iraq.

Organized by United for Justice with Peace, a local anti-war coalition, the
event was large enough to close down adjacent Tremont Street.

Enduring frigid conditions, supporters heard from Green Party gubernatorial
candidate Jill E. Stein '73, Boston University Professor Howard Zinn and
actor Tim Robbins, as the smell of burning sage permeated the park's frozen
fields and folk songs echoed off the facades of neighboring buildings.

"War breeds terrorism, war is terrorism," Zinn said, addressing the crowd.
"We need a regime change right here."

Robbins said he was awed by the sheer number of people. He said that it took
years to assemble a crowd that size in the '60s. Many of the protestors
hoisted signs, while some flew kites and others played bongo drums and

"Go out and vote your conscience," Means said. "We have no reason to be

About 50 Harvard undergraduates attended the rally with the Harvard
Initiative for Peace and Justice (HIPJ), a campus group formed in the wake
of Sept. 11.

"The proliferation of rallies over the past few weeks have to be sending a
message to the Bush administration," said HIPJ member Jessica E. Gould '04.

Many other unaffiliated Harvard students were also in attendance.

"It's unbelievable just to see this many people mobilized," said Chanda R.S.
Prescod-Weinstein '03, who came to the event with a friend from MIT. "I feel
really heartened."

Joining the considerable student turnout, local protestors brought their

Children could be seen holding hand-made signs, and veterans likened the
potential war in Iraq to Vietnam.

"It's shameful to drop bombs on people who need food and medicine," said
Zinn, who is known for his book, A People's History of the United States.
"You can't bomb a country into democracy."

Boston Police and Park Rangers maintained a strong presence on horses and in
squad cars.

-Staff writer Justin D. Gest can be reached at gest at fas.harvard.edu.

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