April 29: March for Peace, Justice & Democracy

4-28-06, 9:13 am

March for Peace, Justice & Democracy Saturday, April 29 - New York City March steps off at noon Assemble beginning at 10:30AM – click here for details

Grassroots Action Festival in Foley Square, 1:00PM-6:00PM Maps: Assembly Area and March Route | Festival

It should be magnificent: sunny skies, pleasant temperatures (low 60s), and a massive crowd this Saturday at the March for Peace, Justice and Democracy in New York City.

(Can't make the march? Be there in spirit by making a donation of $10 or more to help cover the costs of this important mobilization!)

April 29 will be a powerful opportunity to raise our voices in favor of immediate withdrawal from Iraq -- and the first real opportunity to come together in large numbers to say no to war on Iran. Read on for new details of the day's events:

Joining us on the march down Broadway through the heart of Manhattan will be prominent supporters of peace including Susan Sarandon, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Gold Star mother Cindy Sheehan, and Daniel Ellsberg; Faiza Al-Araji, a peace and women's rights advocate from Iraq; a large contingent of veterans from this and previous wars, family members of active-duty soldiers, and friends and family of those tragically killed in Iraq.

There will be religious leaders from all the major faith traditions; women's groups; LGBTQ activists; immigrants and advocates for immigrant rights; environmentalists; and what's expected to be the largest anti-war labor contingent ever. All these diverse groups will be joining together in a unified call to bring the troops home from Iraq now, reverse our government's priorities, and turn our country around.

As we march, we will remember and mourn all who have died in this war and shine a spotlight on the horrors being committed in our name. Many marchers will carry photographs or remembrances of U.S. soldiers, Iraqis, and others whose lives were sacrificed to the Bush Administration's arrogant folly. Witness Against Torture, the nonviolent direct action group that marched to Guantánamo last December, will drag a human-occupied 'cage' down Broadway to represent the continuing abuse of detainees in Guantánamo, Iraq and elsewhere. The cage will then be on display in the Nonviolent Direct Action tent at the Grassroots Action Festival.

Even as we stand up against never-ending war and the disastrous policies of the Bush Administration, we will be putting forward our visions of a better world and our hopes for the future. The march will be filled with music and art -- drummers, marching bands, dancers, vibrant banners and puppets -- and will lead into a dynamic grassroots action festival offering resources, inspiration, entertainment, and community.

An array of food vendors will nourish our bodies, while poets, musicians, spoken word performers, hip hop artists, jugglers, and street theater performers will nourish our spirits.

Nineteen themed tents will offer information and opportunities for action from more than 100 different groups, plus activities, workshop, entertainment, and more. You'll be able to sign the Peace Voter pledge, vowing not to support any candidate in 2006 who does not publicly call for a speedy end to the war; learn how to resist military recruitment in our schools; plug into the Peace Zone NYC campaign; and purchase peace-related merchandise, including t-shirts, buttons, and posters.

Some other festival highlights:

* A childrens' peace tent featuring art activities ('Hands Off the War' signs, puppet-making, spin art, peace cranes); games ('Putt for Peace' mini golf, 'Dunk the War' basketball, Jumping for Peace); face-painting, musicians, and jugglers; and educational Q&A sessions with key organizers from each of the April 29 initiating groups. * Tents offering opportunities to take action to prevent war on Iran, and providing detailed information on the truth about U.S. nuclear policy and Weapons of Mass Destruction. * Nonviolent direct action training at the Clergy and Laity Concerned About Iraq tent, in preparation for a May 1 action at the United Nations calling for the closing of the prison camp at Guantánamo. * Performances by the Raging Grannies (Health Care tent); the New York City Labor Chorus (Labor tent); hip-hop artist Spirit Child, from the group Mental Notes (Youth and Student tent). * Documentary film showings, including 'Runway Peace Project' (Equality for Women tent), a film from the Women of Color Resource Center exploring how military symbols filter into fashion and everyday life, and 'Before You Enlist! The Real Deal on Joining the Military' (Counter-Recruitment tent). * A Palestine tent featuring Q&A sessions on Israel and Palestine, an Arabic-style 'cafe' with big rugs and comfy pillows, Arabic music, a folkloric dance performance, and fair trade olive oil from the West Bank.

There's still time to make April 29 an even bigger, more vibrant, more powerful event, amplifying our call for change. Forward this email to all your friends and associates; post it widely on email lists, blogs, and bulletin boards. Dig out your address book and call everyone you know who should be with us on April 29 but may not have made firm plans yet to participate.

If you can't join us on April 29, you can still contribute to the day and the important work for peace in the months ahead by making a financial contribution. You can donate by credit card online or call 212-868-5545 to donate by credit card over the phone. Donations by check can also be made payable to United for Peace and Justice, with 'April 29' in the memo line, and mailed to April 29 Protest, c/o UFPJ, P.O. Box 607, Times Square Station, New York, NY 10108.

See you in the streets on Saturday!

April 29 Initiating Organizations:

United for Peace and Justice Rainbow/PUSH Coalition Friends of the Earth U.S. Labor Against the War Climate Crisis Coalition People's Hurricane Relief Fund National Youth and Student Peace Coalition Veterans For Peace