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Witness for peace in Iraq sidewalk swan song

The May 2009 dates for our sidewalk peace witness wrapped up six years and eight months of public protest of the Iraq war.

This was a consensus decision reached in discussion among the officers of World Citizens for Peace and a group of sidewalk regulars.

Our public “NO WAR IN IRAQ” campaign began at the end of September 2002 as a daily protest with the hopeful purpose of helping prevent a U.S. invasion of Iraq. That hope of many was dashed on March 19, 2003 by Executive order. We continued our daily sidewalk presence until the “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED” charade, when we changed to a once-a-week schedule. Last year we shifted to twice a month.

Now, with the departure of the administration that launched the war and a new President and Congress struggling with the daunting task of how to end it and patch up the pieces, our country is on a different course and our perspective has changed.

The sidewalk has been a useful tool for citizen involvement and a satisfying outlet for expressing our principles. At this point, however, becoming a constant fixture would result in loss of impact.

Many thanks to all of you who participated over the years on the sidewalk, at our rallies on the anniversaries of the invasion, and at our candlelight vigils commemorating the thousands of U.S. troop deaths and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi deaths.

The sidewalk itself will still be there, and we will hold it in reserve for future crises.