Gearing up for this weekend's protest commemoration of the 4th anniversary of the start of the US led war on and occupation of Iraq, 50 year old Alan Pollock, of Michigan Emergency Committee Against War and Injustice, arrived in Washington DC on Monday, 12 March 2007, to launch the then planned week long Encampment to Stop the War on the National Mall.
Called to action by the Troops Out Now! Coalition the encampment, situated on the very east side of the National Mall at the east Reflecting Pool and across from the US Capitol's West Lawn, coincides with Congress' week long debates over President Bush's request for an additional $100 billion for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Throughout the week, and usually in collaboration with other anti-war activists who will converge onto Washington DC to commemorate the 4th anniversary of the war in Iraq as well as the 40th anniversary of the historic 1967 March on the Pentagon, against the Vietnam War, participates of the encampment have staged and organized several direct actions, most, in close proximity to the US Capitol complex.
Though officials have agreed to permit the encampment from 12 - 19 March 2007, Alan Pollock says that he and several encampment participates may not leave until their demands have been met. It was a little more than 2 years ago and after Katrina that Alan began to get involved in the movement against social and economic injustice.
Moments before reaching the Encampment to Stop the War I happened upon a lone demonstrator on 3rd at Jefferson Street, from Sacramento California, who referred to herself as Grandmother "Dee" holding a counter protest against the encampment. She said that she, too, is against war but now that we are there it would be wrong to cut off the funds. According to Grandmother Dee, one of her grandsons recently was deployed in Iraq. So, while on vacation for almost a week in WDC she and her husband visited the Arlington National Cemetery.
Saying "I had no idea that people were holding protests to cut off the funding ...!" Grandmother "Dee" explained further that '... I, simply, had to do something ...' before she and her husband departed from the city, at around 2:30 pm, for the airport and an afternoon flight back to the west coast. It was then almost 1:30 pm.
I suggested to Grandmother Dee that she should check out Code Pink for Women to learn more about the real issues and, the reasons why "some people are holding protests to cut off funding and to bring the troops home."
Click above image to view Alan Pollock at the Encampment photos and March 2007 Encampment to Stop the War photosets.
Visit Encampment sites at their blog or My Space.