Hoosiers march for peace in D.C 

In our media age, pea

In our media age, peace rallies are a unique form of American theater. The Jan. 18 rally against the war in Iraq in Washington, D.C., and the concurrent rallies in cities around the country provided a long overdue and much-needed catharsis for the body politic. The sheer size of the rally clearly shattered the administration"s carefully-cultivated myth that a national consensus exists for America to go to war with Iraq. Over 150 Hoosiers participated in the D.C. rally while several hundred others participated in local rallies in Indianapolis and elsewhere around the state. While crowds are difficult to estimate, it is safe to say that there were well over 100,000 people marching in D.C. This rally was very multigenerational, with all age groups represented, from World War II veterans, Grandmothers for Peace, Gray Panthers and aging Baby Boomers, down to the student age Generation Y, the Millennials. The threat of a Middle East war has created a new bond of equity across the generations that was clearly visible. This was also a rally of ordinary people who seemed well-informed and understood the gravity of the current crisis. Many of the rally speakers made the connection that a war in Iraq will decimate many domestic social programs, and that the threat does not justify either the sacrifice or the violence. They managed to cut through much of the propaganda and outright deception to isolate the core issues of this crisis: oil and militarism. The assemblage was, for the most part, non-violent, peaceful and even polite. There were very few police visible. Everyone knew that they were under some form of surveillance and that somewhere battalions of police were standing by ready to meet any emergency. The signs and placards, the youthful drumming and even the anti-Bush chants were creative and served to generate a greater cohesiveness throughout the march. One of the funniest signs read: "There"s oil in Texas ... let"s bomb it!"

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