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Landmark Represents at DC Iraq Protest!

Written by Eugene Debs on 11-20-2002

"HEY HEY! HO HO! WE WON'T DIE FOR TEXACO!" This was one of the rousing cheers roared by a group of Landmark students and teachers along with 200,000 other people from around the country.

The teeming crowd (click here for short film clip) had come to Washington DC October 26th to tell George W. Bush that they were going to fight his efforts to drag the United States into a bloody and costly war with Iraq.

The Landmark group bravely stood on a rainy NYC corner for three hours waiting for the bus to Washington. After a five hour bus ride filled with games, fun and good talk they arrived to find themselves at the front of a massive march. With the Washington Monument and the Capitol in the background, the protesters completely surrounded the White House, encircling a two mile area. There were so many people that the front of the march actually bumped into the back of the march.

Landmark soon got into the swing of things, raising their homemade posters high. "WAR = BLOOD" said one of them. With voices in unison, Landmark started a chant that soon spread to the rest of the crowd: "BUSH! PULL OUT! JUST LIKE YOUR FATHER SHOULD HAVE!"

At one point, things seemed touch and go: the crowd wanted to march ahead, but the police were barring the way. The crowd, however, insisted on their rights. They chanted, "WHOSE STREETS?...OUR STREETS!!" and soon the police had no choice but to let the high spirited crowd forge on ahead. It was truly an illustration of the power of the people.

After the march, the Landmark group headed over to the Vietnam War Memorial. Mark explained how this memorial contained wall after wall of the names of the 58,000 Americans who died in Vietnam. "Over 2 million Vietnamese died in that war. If we were to put all their names on this wall the wall would extend to the Washington Monument!" The group then ran up the many steps of the Lincoln Memorial. They stood on the very spot that Martin Luther King Jr. stood on when he gave his famous "I Have A Dream" speech 37 years ago. It was truly an inspiring moment.

As the day came to an end, and Landmark returned to the bus to go home, the students turned to talking about what they had learned at Landmark. One student had the following to say: "You know, before my head was empty. There was nothing in it. But now my Social Science teacher has filled it up with so many things. Now, I'm thinking all the time!"

Landmark is proud to have participated in this wonderful exercise of American democracy at work.

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