Local activists to march in S.F. war protest | TheUnion.com

Local activists to march in S.F. war protest

Nevada County peace activists – enough to fill more than four chartered buses – will travel to San Francisco today to join a nationwide protest against American foreign policies.

The activists will travel to Dolores Park in San Francisco’s Mission District then march to the Civic Center. A similar rally is planned for today in front of the White House in Washington, D.C.

Organizers said this week that one goal is to show to the world there are Americans who oppose the Bush administration’s policies in the Middle East and Afghanistan.

Another is to have enough people alert the rest of the country that many Americans are changing their minds when they receive information from other sources other than the mainstream media, said raconteur Utah Phillips, one of the rally organizers in Nevada County.

People should solve problems peacefully, instead of hammering on each other, he said.

“This is my 18th war,” said Phillips, who was born in 1935. “It seems the older I get, the more unpopular peace becomes.”

“I think that the statistics of the popularity of these wars and the idea of permanent war are a lie,” he said.

The event is sponsored by International Act Now to Stop War & End Racism, a New York City-based coalition of dozens of nonprofit organizations, including Free Palestine – U.S., the Korea Truth Commission, the Nicaragua Network, the California Prison Focus and the Muslim Students Association of the U.S. and Canada.

Nevada City’s community radio KVMR will broadcast live in San Francisco. The station will also air the event in Washington via Pacifica News. Phillips has been ordered by his doctor to stay home so he will broadcast from Nevada City.

Each bus carries 47 people. Others will travel to San Francisco in car pools, organizers said.

“We have people from all walks of life,” said artist Loraine Webb, who helped organize the trip with Phillips and Deborah Cohen. “The one, common unifying theme: we cannot support the expansion of the war effort that this administration is pushing,” Webb said.

Cohen said donations are helping to defray the cost of the event.

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