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Peaceable Kingdom In Fayetteville - Sat. March 20 -Join us!

At the Market House Downtown -- Rain or Shine
Weather Forecast: Fabulous!
Park by the courthouse two blocks east - Google Map Link Here.

7th Anniversary of the Iraq Invasion -- 7 Years Too Many!

March 20: A Tragic Anniversary

Remember This?

It was before dawn on March 20, 2003 when the US invasion of Iraq began.

Seven years ago.

We will mark this tragic anniversary with a vigil & rally at the Fayetteville Market House onSaturday March 20, 2010, 1-4 PM, rain or shine (but the weather forecast is for sunny & warm).

Since then, more than 4400 US troops have been killed. Estimates of Iraqi civilian deaths due to the war vary widely; but none is small. Here are some of them:

Iraqi casualties March 2003 to...

Iraq Family Health Survey: 151,000 violent deaths. June 2006

Lancet survey: 601,027 violent deaths out of 654,965 excess deaths. June 2006

Opinion Research Business survey: 1,033,000 violent deaths as a result of the conflict.
August 2007

Associated Press: 110,600 violent deaths. April 2009

Iraq Body Count: 94,902 – 103,549 violent civilian deaths as a result of the conflict.
December 2009

(Source: wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casualties_of_the_Iraq_War )

Plus: Approximately 4 million Iraqis have been made refugees, about half inside and half outside Iraq.

The cost of the war to the US Treasury is estimated to be at least $1.9 trillion. That does not include costs of long-term care for the seriously wounded.

Our position has been that this war is illegal and immoral. The best support for US troops is to bring them all home.

Great Weather for a Peace Vigil/Rally!

Yes! The forecast for Fayetteville March 20 is for mostly sunny with a high of 69 degrees. Perfect conditions for a peace rally.**

Come join us!

**Besides, even if it did rain, the Market House has a covered atrium where we could carry on, snug and dry. So we're on, rain or shine.

Fayetteville's Market House: A Place of Witness

Join us on Saturday March 20, 2010, for a commemorative peace vigil & rally on the seventh anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq.

We started protesting the Iraq war there even before it started. Then, as "Shock & Awe" blasted Baghdad, we faced down persistent taunts and jeers from those who gloried in the destruction.

The catcalls soon diminished. The promised quick "victory" was neither. Two years of searching found no WMDs. The blood and fatigue of deployment after deadly deployment damaged even many who managed to survive. There was the shame of torture. And no "light at the end of the twin tunnels of Iraq and Afghanistan. Those voices are now very rare, even here in this army town. Our last vigil, protesting the buildup in Afghanistan, was met by many, many more favorable calls and thumbs-up gestures than pro-war ones.

And why not? The toll paid by the troops and families here has been huge, and continues. And throughout these years, we have repeated our motto: YES to the troops -- NO to the Wars.

In the years since, we have gathered many more times there: when the US death toll passed 1,000, then 2,000, past 4,000. In 2005, when public support for the war was sinking,the president who launched it came to nearby Ft. Bragg, in 2005 for a much-ballyhooed speech that was supposed to reverse the slide.

But we were waiting for him, with a large, dignified counter-gathering at the Market House: defying a downpour, lighting candles and reading the names of the dead all through his repetition of empty rationalizations and lies.

Our protest was covered by international news media, and the Ft. Bragg speech did nothing to regain support for the war.

Coincidence? We don't think so.

At the suggestion of an Army wife here, we began writing he names of the US dead on foldout display boards. We started with about a dozen: the first two boards were red, and listed the names of those killed up until the time the nation heard the same president declare "Mission Accomplished."

The ones since were written on green boards. These boards eventually increased in number to more than forty, and when fully mounted, they completely encircled the Market House plaza. In fact, as the toll approached 4,000 the boards became more of a burden, emotional as well as logistical, than our small numbers here could handle. (Is that a metaphor for the burden of the war on the American spirit?)`
Seven years. Long years. And on march 20, 2010, we will gather again.

Join us. And spread the word.

A Blast From the Past -- The 2007 Fayetteville Peace March & Rally

Below this post are a set of photos and notes from the 2007 Fayetteville peace march and rally. That gathering was a memorable one.

Much has happened since then. Yet tragically, three years later, there's still a need to make a public statement calling for an end to these occupations and the associated combat.