Actions : Get Involved : Legal : Analysis : Calendar : Press : Action Handbook : Flyers & Art : Resources : Contact

In This Section
More March 19th and 20th Events
Our Goals
PLUGGING INTO DASW'S ACTION CAMPAIGN:
DEMOCRACY VS EMPIRE 2004 Campaign Of Action
Reclaim the Commons!
REAL DEMOCRACY NOT EMPIRE!
Education, Living Wages, and Healthcare -- Not Warfare!

News
Dissent Must Come Alive in New York
New York Lockdown
Bay Area Activism to Infuse N.Y.
Group Plans Illegal Protests on 2nd Day of Convention
More »

NEW!
North Bay "Code Red" Actions
National Day of Action November 3
Bay Area Residents Join New York City For A Day Of Non-Violent Direct Action To Confront Bush
Dissent Must Come Alive in New York
New York Lockdown
Bay Area Activism to Infuse N.Y.
More »

Donate
Help us stop the war by donating to the mobilization

Calendar
Add Event
All Current Events
Event Archives


Features
E-Mail This Page
Printer Safe Version
Site Map
Site Map
Home  » Actions   »  Education, Living Wages, and ...

Education, Living Wages, and Healthcare --
Not Warfare!

San Francisco, CA Over 500 Bay Area residents marked the anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq by taking direct action at the headquarters of the
Bechtel corporation to protest their exploitation of the Iraqi people and
misuse of U.S. tax dollars.  Two marches converged on Bechtel's offices, one
led by teachers holding a banner reading "Education Not Occupation," and one
led by healthcare workers marching with banners reading "Healthcare not
Warfare" and "Democracy Not Empire". The march was flanked by a marching
band, yogis for peace, colorful puppets, cyclists, and banners protesting
the US occupation of Iraq. While the crowd occupied the street, several
dozen people engaged in civil disobedience by blocking the entrances to the
building.  By noon over twenty-five people had been arrested.  The actions
were organized by local grassroots mobilization Direct Action to Stop the
War (DASW) and will be among the first of hundreds of anti-war actions
happening this weekend in 250 U.S. cities and over 50 countries.

Kate Raphael, a Bay area resident who recently returned from Iraq, explained
why people were confronting Bechtel.  "Bechtel has used its close ties to
the Bush administration to get $3 billion worth of contracts to repair water
systems and schools but I was recently in Iraq and I saw children playing in
sewage and schools with crumbling walls.  Bechtel executives are getting
rich while people in Iraq continue to suffer and die.  What Bush calls
reconstruction is really a corporate invasion that's auctioning off Iraq's
resources to the highest bidder."

Affinity groups involved with DASW also occupied an abandoned building to
highlight the impacts of the escalating military budgets on Bay Area
communities.  "Why are we spending billions to illegally occupy Iraq when
there isn't even enough affordable housing in our communities?  Teachers are
getting pink slips and our hospitals are under funded while more and more
money is directed to Bush's policies of permanent war and empire-building,"
said Victoria Welle a San Francisco hospital worker.

Last year, DASW coordinated the largest and most consistently visible direct
actions against the war inside the U.S.  On March 20th, 2003 an estimated
20,000 people engaged in civil disobedience which shut down the San
Francisco Financial District.  In the following three days over 2,300 Bay
area residents from all walks of life were arrested for protesting the
invasion.  Throughout the spring, DASW's direct action campaign continued
with mass actions at the offices of war profiteering corporations like SSA,
APL, Chevron-Texaco, Lockheed Martin and Bechtel.

The anniversary of the invasion comes as the Bush administration struggles
to answer difficult questions about their motivations for a costly and
unjust foreign policy. The fact that no evidence of weapons of mass
destruction, or links between Saddam Hussein's government and 9-11, has been
found has led to a sharp drop in Bush's public approval.  "The Bush
Administration lied to the American public and took our country to war under
false pretenses.  A government that lies is not a democracy.  We need
grassroots action to show the world Americans stand with them in opposing
Bush's lawless warmongering," said Raeanne Young, a student at Mills College
in Oakland.

Direct Action to Stop the War is a community-based mobilization organized
through decentralized affinity groups and a directly democratic
spokescouncil.  The actions on March 19th will be the West coast kick-off of
a "Beyond Voting: Democracy versus Empire" campaign to challenge the Bush
administration's policies of empire-building, permanent war and domestic cut
backs with grassroots mobilization for a real democracy.