[Marxism] March 20 protest accounts

James Zarichny zarichny at yahoo.com
Sun Mar 21 11:38:51 MST 2004


<Can comrades send some brief accounts, and estimates
of numbers participating, of the March 20 protests in
their areas?

Norm.>

Reply
   I was in Springfield, Massachusetts.  The protest
there was in three segments.  The first segment was in
Court House Park. about 8 0r 10 speakers.  To me, the
most impressive was the nun from the order of St.
Joseph.  She spoke about her convent being located in
the poorest area in Massachusetts, and how the war was
diverting resources from where they were needed.  The
rally seemed to be dominated by a local organization
which works among the unemployed and homeless.  About
3 or 4 homeless were among the speakers.
   I did not realize that I would be writing a report,
so I did not circulate among the crowd.  Where I
stood, most banners and placards did not have
identifying organizations.  The only one I saw was
from the International Socialist Organization.  SWP
did not seem to have any banners or placards, but they
had the only literature table I could see from where I
stood.
   The second segment was a march from the park to
Christ Church (about 6 to 8 blocks.)  The motorists
driving by were very frindly, with many tooting their
horns in obvious support.  The march had the highest
participation, prhaps 200 to 300 people.  The great
majority of the people left when they got to the
church door.  Only about 50 to 75 people went into the
church basement, where buffet lunch was served,
followed by a few more speakers.  There were four
literature tables in the church, 3 local groups and
International Answer. (SWP did not have a table in the
church).
   Since I was from out of town. I did not approach
anyone.  Only two people spoke to me, to welcome me. 
One was from the Catholic Worker, and the other from
the American Frinds Service Committee.  (incidentally,
these two organizations were at the top of the list of
endorsers of the demo.  The list of endorsers that I
saw included ISO and International ANSWER and several
groups that appeared to be purely local, but I noticed
it did not include SWP).
              Jim Zarichny


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