Over 1,000 people came out today to demonstrate against a war in Iraq, in a series of events organized by the Pittsburgh Organizing Group
. The picnic for peace
was followed by a rally on Flagstaff Hill, where speakers emphasized the need for an escalation of non-violent resistance.
"It is time to step up and say, 'Peace movement, we are not going to engage in a policy of appeasement!'" said Thomas Merton Center Director Tim Vining. "We are not going to appease Tony Blair and George Bush!"
An unpermitted march followed that lasted three hours, across Carnegie Mellon's campus and through Oakland, Shadyside, looping back through Oakland and up towards Squirrel Hill, where the march dispersed.
In Shadyside, a small group of protestors took a brief detour
into Banana Republic, The Gap, and Starbucks, making the connection between corporate greed, sweatshops, and war.
At the Exxon station on Forbes Avenue between Craig Street and Morewood Avenue, a display of motor oil cans was overturned and the crowd chanted for several minutes "no blood for oil."
A brief confrontation
took place at the fraternity quad on the Carnegie Mellon campus, when pro-war fraternity members shouted at protestors, and protestors shouted back [
| 1 2
]. Police presence was light throughout, although one group of protestors marched cheerily with a banner that read "Police for Peace".
Later during the march, some of the protestors turned over a cardboard dumpster in attempt to block traffic for a little longer than the marchers could on their own. Other demonstrators moved the dumpster back onto the hill and cleaned up the cardboard. [ 1
] [ 1
Many also participated today in vigils for peace
that took place in several Pittsburgh neighborhoods as well as across the world.
The Pittsburgh Organizing Group is planning another anti-war march for March 30th, and the Thomas Merton Center has announced plans to build a second regional convergence for peace to take place in April.
[ Photos | 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
[ Video | 1 2 3 4 5
[ Personal Accounts | 1 2 3 Your Story Here
] [ Pittsburgh Organizing Group