This is the Union Square scene and the people who heard Vinie Burroughs’ speech. (Click on the photos for larger images.)
My companions, shown here with Lillian, were parents of a soldier who tried to get work when he returned from his first tour in Iraq. He failed to find a job; the army refused to give him the Spanish language training he wanted so that he could be in the Border Patrol, which was the work he wanted to do. His Mom said he felt he had no choice but to go back for a second, and now a third, tour. “He has a wife and kids to support, “ she said.
Marching down Broadway was the moment I felt how many we were. You could see us going on forever, in front and behind. We were diverse; we were young and old; it felt like we have all the challenges and thrills of Tahrir Square ahead of us if we can stay committed to staying together and making a better nation.
There were more speeches in Foley Square. The drone in the foreground was the work of a peace activist from Westchester. Meeting people was energizing. Cindy Sheehan, Bill Perkins, religious leaders from the Muslim communities, and many others gave 90 second speeches. Steve took his turn, urging people to stay aware they are making a difference by being out and being seen. We were startled to find that there was virtually no news coverage of the demonstration and march. New York 1 covered a labor rally in Times’ Square which was going on at the same time as the Peace demonstration. CBS radio on the evening news mentioned that “thousands gathered in lower Manhattan” but there wasn’t one word in the New York Times. It leaves me thinking we’ve got to be our own messengers.
– Caroline Chinlund
for the Granny Peace Brigade