Hall-of-Shame: USA arrests and harasses those who march for peace

USA arrests and harasses those who march for peace

Sirish Agarwal, a dedicated peace activist, a member of Asha Parivar (www.ashaparivar.org), who has been living in USA for some time now, and proactively participating in development activism on issues of human rights violations around the world, participated along with 100,000 other people who marched for peace in Washington DC on 15 September 2007.

This march for peace was from the White House [house of USA President] to the Capitol Hill [USA Parliament house] in Washington DC, to demand an immediate end to the occupation of Iraq. The march concluded in a dramatic “die-in” of 5000 people surrounding the Capitol Hill to symbolize death of Iraqi people and US troops. USA police labels this as “one of the largest acts of civil disobedience in recent years.”

Almost 200 people were arrested, including peace activist Sirish Agarwal.

This mass action came on the heels of the pro-war Petraeus report to US Congress and George Bush's wholehearted endorsement of the report. Meanwhile, the war is raging on, destroying Iraqi society.

Nearly 4,000 U.S. solidiers and up to 1 million [1,000,000 people] Iraqis have died since the U.S. invasion in March 2003.

“We are proud of Sirish and each one of the 100,000 people who demonstrated commitment to establishing a just social order in the world, and came out to march for peace” said senior social activist and Magsaysay Awardee Dr Sandeep Pandey.

US Congress as custodian of public aspirations has failed to end Iraq war. It should either resign or exercise its powers under War Powers Resolution 1973 withdraw authorization of Iraq war and cut funding for Iraq war.

The US Supreme Court as custodian of US constitution should play its role under the system of checks and balances to protect the democratic and constitutional rights of American public to end Iraq war at its earliest to save further loss of life, end of misery of Iraqi refugees and help restore peace in the world.

Noted Narmada Bachao Andolan activist and leader of National Alliance of People’s Movements Arundhati Dhuru said thatPeace and mutual co-existence has helped humanity and our history proves that dialogue, not war, has brought results. It is shameful for US government to arrest and penalize people who have done nothing wrong rather come out on their own inner calling to save needless deaths and misery in Iraq. Sirish has made us proud, and so has every person who walked in the march of peace.”