Although the throng appeared to fall short of the overwhelming turnout sought by rally organizers, it did draw out actress Jane Fonda, who said she hadn't attended an anti-war rally in 34 years. Fonda said she had worried that her words would hurt the effort to end the war.
"But silence is no longer an option," said Fonda, who waged a highly controversial campaign against the Vietnam War.
The rally was organized by United for Peace and Justice, which aimed to bring protesters from 30 states across the country. Simultaneously, anti-war rallies were staged at scores of other
High-profile speakers such as Fonda, the Rev. Jesse Jackson and actors Sean Penn, Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon called for an end to the war. Also taking the stage were war veterans and members of Congress, including Democratic Reps. Maxine Waters and Lynn Woolsey of
On Monday, hundreds are expected to remain in
Washingtonto blitz Capitol Hill, lobbying their representatives in Congress during a week in which the Senate is scheduled to take up a resolution rejecting President Bush's decision to send 21,500 more troops to . Iraq
Many of the speakers Saturday wanted Congress to do far more than pass a resolution of displeasure.
Kucinich, who plans to run for president again in 2008, said it's time for Congress not only to cut off funding for the war and bring the troops home, but to close all bases in
Moriah Arnold, a 12-year-old sixth grader from
"We want to end the war now," said Arnold, who started a petition drive at her school.
"We want this occupation to end now," said Jarrar, an Iraqi. "We know how to run our country by ourselves."
In the crowd, a protester dressed as the grim reaper held a sign: "Death thanks George Bush for all the overtime."
David Bednarczuk, 56, said he traveled for 24 hours from
"We put them in office to deal with the war," he said. "If this Bush isn't going to listen to the people, then this Congress is going to have to make him listen."
Eighteen-year-old Megan Lytle of
"If the people rise up, the government can't stand up against us," she said. Mercury News