Coutesy DC Trainspotters
The M18 antiwar rally took place on the 20th anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq, today in DC. Supported by almost 200 leftist organizations, and a few center-right groups like the Libertarian Party, it was the counterpoint to the reviled Rage Against the War Machine, which the left characterizes as racist, Nazi and all that. Rage Against the War Machine on February 19, had 1000-3000 participants, and was the largest peace rally since the 2002 rallies. Those rallies were dominated by Trotskyists even if most participants were the White middle class, the core of every peace movement. In 2002, the Trotskyists denounced and insulted the White middle class as mass murderers, Nazis, etc.; there was even physical intimidation by proto-ANTIFA. They did not come back. Later c. 2004, the left in Washington and Oregon combined, 250 organizations strong, to try to restart the peace movement: they drew about 400 people to downtown Seattle. That was the end. So today, M18.
M18: NThe number at the rally ebbed and flowed, usually about 250-300, maybe 400 for the final march. (Remember this was the best effort of almost all major left groups in the country: there were about 200 sponsoring organizations.)
Flags and banners: (1) American flags, (2) several Palestinian flags; (3) peace sign on purple background (with tallest staff); (4) red communist flag with hammer & sickel and large CPUSA-LVA lettering; (5) three PSL flags, also a small PSL banner, many PSL signs; (6) Vietnam Veterans Against the War flag (?); (7) 2 banners-International Action Center (one with small Palestinian flag); (8) small banner: Pan-African Community Action; (9) Black Alliance for Peace; (10) “Stop Cop City” [pro-Atlanta Antifa, possibly DC Antifa]; (11) banner: Uhurusolidarity.org: White People say no FBI war on… African Socialist Peoples Party; (12) Russian flag; (13) Veterans for Peace flag; (14) one Syrian flag; (15) two different gay liberation flags; (16) Banner: Young Communist League-CPUSA (“Tax the rich”, etc.); (17) small banner: ANSWER Coalition; (17) invest in planet not war; (18) no war with china; (19) Capitalism is addicted to war; (20) second kind of communist flag (hammer and sickle in red with star). There were also unidentifiable flags.
Many illegible signs. Legible signs: (1) invest in planet not war; (2) No war with china; (3) US Capitalism addicted to war; (4) sign with black continent of Africa flaked by red stripes; (5) [Disband?] NATO; (6) NATO = White Supremacy (Black Alliance for Peace); (7) two red Code Pink balloons; (8) many ollegible PSL signs; (9) War is not Green (Code Pink); (10) End the Blockade of Cuba; (11) For Peace Disband NATO; (12) many ANSWER sign against Israeli Apartheid and some other signs with an illegible message; (13) Reparations sign shaped like a Black fist
Poor quality sound system. Unintelligible speakers: audible fragments include: (1) mentions Okinawa and Ukraine; (2) another speaker mentions Israel, and says “Palestine must be free”, denounces racism, “war crimes”; (3) Ukraine war is unwinnable, there must be a negotiated peace, pro-Lula statement, leads peace chant; (4) Medea Benjamin US created Al-Qaeda, mass killing of Iraqis by the US military, Assange told us the truth and was persecuted; Free Assange; (5) journalists must be courageous like Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange; (6) Black preacher woman from Baltimore denounces United Snakes of America, screams “Revolution”, no war in Syria, Palestine or Ukraine; (7) the US could not defeat the Taliban in 20 years of war, so the US wants to go to war against Russia and China — they will demonize them: demonize the Russians, demonize the Chinese, the Syrians, the Palestinians, the Cubans — stand with the embattled LGBTQIA community; (8) Black Power Now; (9) Free Palestine speaker leads Free Palestine chant
Spotted: Man with Rage Against the War Machine sweatshirt. Also a couple of Muslim women with headsarves.
Spotted: Indian with feather headdress, sometimes playing drum
Ends with march down the street chanting “Workers of the world unite” with apparent PSL leadership; group of marching PSL drummers; several flag draped coffins carried in the march (cannot see the flags, maybe one is Palestine); chant “Hey hey, ho ho, the war machine has got to go”.
The largest contingent at the rally appears to be the PSL (Party for Socialism & Liberation) although I suspect they cleverly handed a lot of their signs out to unaffiliated people. Anyway there were plenty of people whose dress indicated they were PSL. The second largest group was ANSWER Coalition, who are always active in DC (and who have sometimes taken funding from Soros for selected protests). I counted at least 12 groups with some presence, even if marked by only one sign: there were surely a few more.
Note: The Source Global video was very good, starting out in a fixed location, then moving through the crowd, and finally walking along the final march.
[This report is based on the livestream by Source Global — [LIVE: ‘Say NO to Endless Wars’ demonstration in Washington DC. Youtube, March 18, 2023. https://youtube.com/watch?v=vqq7QoDS4u8]. They observed: (NOTICE: Speakers at this rally can and may give out misinformation that is not true. The viewers of the people at this rally do not reflect the views of SGN and SGN is covering it as an unbiased news source but we will however try and fact check as much as we can in our chat room. SGN is live from Washington DC on Saturday, March 18, as a national coalition of anti-war organizations and Iraq war veterans hold a rally under the slogan ‘Say NO to Endless Wars’. Participants are demanding peace in Ukraine and an end to the funding of what they call the ‘war machine’. The event takes place one day before the 20th anniversary of the 2003 Iraq War. >NOTICE: Speakers at this event can and may give out misinformation that is not true. The people at this event do not reflect the views of SGN and SGN is covering it as an unbiased news source but we will however try and fact check as much as we can in our chat room.)]