Anti-War Fair Draws 1,000 in Oklahoma City
The “Anti-War Fair” held at Memorial Park in Oklahoma City Saturday drew 1,000 supporters in a well-organized and powerful event that shows just how much Americans have turned against President George Bush’s immoral and senseless war in recent months.
Hundreds more honked their car horns in support as they drove past a long line of war protesters on Classen Avenue near NW 36th Street holding signs. Some of the signs read “Honk For Peace,” “Impeach W,” and “Bush Lied, Thousands Died.” The protesters represented a broad swath of society, from mothers and fathers with their children to grandfathers and grandmothers to young college students from the University of Oklahoma and the University of Central Oklahoma.
(See more Anti-War Fair photographs here.)
As children played in the Memorial Park fountain, speakers such Elizabeth Walters, the daughter of former Governor David Walter, urged the crowd to continue their efforts to pressure the Bush regime to bring the troops home. Walters, an OU student, read a statement written by her father and then received a thunderous ovation.
Booths lined the park with political activism information. Several bands provided music that lasted until 10 p.m. People roamed through the crowd with peace flags and signs that urged “Just Say No To Torture.” People could also visit Camp Casey, in honor of the son of the country’s most visible war protester, Cindy Sheehan, or walk past a line of soldier’s boots representing the human costs of Bush’s war.
One sign showed the names of all the some 1,900 American soldiers who have died so far in the war. (New reports over the weekend, however, told of several more American soldier and Iraqi civilian deaths.)
The local war protest was held in conjunction with a massive anti-war protest march in Washington, D.C. Saturday that organizers said attracted at least 100,000 people. Other protest marches and events were held throughout the county and world.
Polls show that a majority of Americans no longer support the war or approve of Bush’s handling of it. Most now accept the war has made the country less safe from terrorism. Writer Joe Conason recently pointed out how a new conservative-backed study shows “the precipitous, unjustified and destructive invasion of Iraq has further alienated the Muslim world and promoted Islamist fascism.” Past polls have also shown the American public believes Bush lied or misled the American public about the reasons for the war.
The Oklahoma City event shows how much the war protest movement continues to gain momentum and determination even in red states such as Oklahoma. It shows the government is now fighting a costly, immoral war that lacks support from citizens throughout the heartland.
Many of those American soldiers who have died for Bush come from lower-income groups in our culture who have been summarily dismissed from equal opportunity in the country by the Republicans’ continued war against the poor.