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Report from San Francisco

By unnamed Email correspondent:

Over the weekend, Diana and I were proud to march with ~50,000 of our fellow citizens in San Francisco to protest our War in Iraq.

Our first impression as we gathered Saturday morning in Dolores Park was the older age of the "protesters" - there was a lot of blue hair in the crowd. At one point I found myself surrounded by nuns from a local church, people in wheelchairs struggling to hold up home-made signs and others who had a difficult time simply walking the two miles of the protest route.

Unlike the demonstrations of late 60s and early 70s, this protest was not against anyone in uniform, there was no civil disturbance of any kind and we were not led by a band of radical "students". This was a distinctly family oriented protest - parents and grandparents - many of whom have relatives fighting in the Middle East, who are proudly wearing our uniform.

Unlike the Vietnam era, when I was young and worried about my own skin, I found myself thinking about my good friend Vinny, a 23 year-old man who I shared some time with as he grew up. Vinny is in the Special Forces somewhere in the Middle East. He cannot tell me where he is but he did e-mail last week to say that he's trying "not to get his ass shot off". I found myself worrying about him most of the day.

This protest movement is not about us - it's about them. We protest because we love our troops and we want them back home, with us. I went to San Francisco for Vinny and others like him, not for me.

So...when people tell you they will not protest because they want to support our troops, it must be said that, quite to the contrary, that is exactly why we need to protest - because we love our troops. Our young people in the Middle East did not start this war - we did. We voted for and supported politicians who brought our children into this war. We made a mistake. We need to correct this error in judgment to stop the killing of our sons and daughters. We need our children home and let these people in the Middle East figure it out from here. I think most of us would support sending money, tools, food, medicine or other resources. We can send anything - but not our children.

I urge my friends and other parents to write to your political leaders and representatives and ask them -

When are we bringing our children home? Please demand a Withdrawl Plan!

If we do nothing, if we take no action, voice no dissent, our apathy allows this injustice to continue in the Middle East - it is worth it?



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