Tens of thousands of peacemakers converged on Washington DC yesterday from all over the country. The Peace March and Rally was sponsored by an organization called United for Peace and Justice, which is a coalition of 1,400 local and national organizations. There were speeches by Jesse Jackson, Jane Fonda, and other luminaries. The most moving speeches were by families of people in the armed forces, as well as enlisted people who were brave enough to speak out. We were quite close to the stage but, being height-challenged, we heard the speakers but didn't see them. The crowd was energetic, colorful, and diverse, and in addition to the usual exhortations and chants there were drummers, percussionists and bands. It was fun seeing the creative signs that people had brought, many of them indicating which states folks had come from by bus, train and car. We came with enough food and warm clothes for up to a week in sub-zero temperatures (it was 15 degrees in DC the previous day), but we were lucky: the weather was in the 50's, with no wind and plenty of sun.
What is the Iceland connection, you ask? I was only able to wear my Iceland wood hat for 15 minutes before it got too warm.
The highlight? It was really heartening to see the faces of so many individuals who are against the war. While it is clear that increasing numbers of people don't support Bush or his policies, it's one thing to read statistics. It is something else to see the faces, hear the voices, feel the presence of people who are demanding change.