"Me and my family watched the movie 'An Inconvenient Truth,' and it just made us realize that you can't just sit around, you have to actually get up and do something about the war and the environment," Moriah Arnold, who collected over 100 signatures at her Harvard, Mass. school earlier this month for a petition to end the war, told the crowd.
"I'm here because I have something to say about the war in Iraq," Telegram & Gazette quoted the girl as saying in her speech. "We got into this war because our leaders told us Iraq was dangerous. We know now that that wasn't true, and they hid the truth."
"The rest of the world sees us as a bully and a liar," she said. "Enough is enough. We want to end the war now. It's not too late to rise up and be heard."
Also Norm Mazer, an associate professor at Boston University Medical School, one of many Massachusetts residents who decided to go to Washington to join the anti-war gathering said in his speech:
"Our presence here today is intended to stop the funding for the war,"
"I felt it was time to exercise my right as a citizen to say no more to this war," Telegram & Gazette quoted Mazer as saying.
Thousands of demonstrators, who flocked the National Mall on Saturday, demanded the Democrat-led U.S. Congress to do its part to bring an end to the war.
Among other stars who delivered speeches at the historic demonstrations, were Susan Sarandon and Jesse Jackson.
Also Rachel A. McCook, a Clark University student said she thinks that the gathering would lead to positive results.
- "Making a difference"
"I think, collectively, we're making a difference. Everyone comes down with different messages, and I think it's important that we say something. They'll listen when they want to listen, but I think it's important that we say it," Ms. McCook said.
Courtney J. Croteau was among the demonstrators who said that they've been joining anti- Iraq war protests since the conflict broke out nearly four years ago.
"With the timely escalation, it was really important to come down now," she said.
Kristen L. Ethier, another anti-war activist, who's been protesting the war since before it began, said: "We sort of already made a mess there, and we should clean it up,"
"But the way that Bush's administration is cleaning it up is to implement capitalism masquerading as democracy."
- "Staying the course"
Criticizing Bush's tired rhetoric of "staying the course", Etheir said:
"The intentions aren't for their best interest,"
"The intentions are to benefit our economy, and I think that is a terrible reason to destroy an infrastructure of a country."
For some it was the first time to join anti-war demonstrations. John G. Pastor, minister of the First Congregational Parish, Unitarian, in Petersham, was among those.
John G. Pastor, who traveled to Washington with a few members of his church, said:
"Our congregation hasn't really made a strong stance against the war. That's unfortunate,"
"I think at the beginning there was reluctance to come out against the war for fear of being called unpatriotic. I hope that our denomination will continue to support anti-war rallies like this."
- "War can hurt families"
"I think Cindy Sheehan really kind of set the pace for protests again. She certainly showed us from a mother's perspective how war can hurt families," he added.
Bob Hall, a member of Rev. Pastor's congregation, renewed calls for impeaching President Bush:
"It's about time to start this movement of peace, not war".
"Impeach Bush. End the war," he said. "I think it will be heard."
The massive demonstrations came at a critical timing for the embattled American President, whose recently announced plan to send 21,000 additional troops to Iraq put him under increasing pressure from the public, critics and powerful Democratic Party.
The demonstrations came a few days after the Senate Foreign Relations committee passed a resolution opposing the plan to send more troops to Iraq.
Protesters hope that their gathering will deliver its intended message, that Americans did not support the war, to President Bush and Congress.
"I'm convinced this is Bush's war. He has his own agenda there," said Anne Chay, one of the protesters, as she holds a sign with a picture of her 19-year-old son, John, who serves in the war-torn country.
"We're serving no purpose there."
Whether the President will listen to their calls, is highly doubtful.Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16