March Against War
women! We're angry!
And we're not going shopping!"
two weeks after the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon,
350 women and a few good men took to the streets of Santa Rosa
in a march against military intervention and in solidarity with
the people of Afghanistan.
number of community groups had brought people together to express
their grief and shock in the aftermath of the attacks. Instead,
the Purple Berets sponsored the "Women's March Against War"
to provide a place where women could raise their voices in opposition
to the ever-increasing drumbeat to war, to the numerous revenge
attacks on people of color, and to the rapid erosion of civil
liberties in the wake of the attacks.
raise our voices we did! After a short rally at the Santa Rosa
federal building filled with speeches and song, the march filled
the streets with banners and signs, images of Afghan women and
children, and the
awesome sound of hundreds of women singing.
the press would not cover women's demand for peace, our intent
was to march to a place where lots of people gather so we could
hand out our fact sheet and talk with people one-on-one. And
since George Bush had urged women to do their patriotic duty
by shopping, we took our march to the downtown mall.
women just wouldn't stay in your place."
– complaint by Santa Rosa mall security guard
we got to the mall, we were all so exuberant with the sheer
joy of so many women united we didn't want to stop. So we swept
past security guards and poured into America's shrine to the
god of shopping, filling its cathedral-like structure with the
sound of "Give Peace a Chance" in four-part harmony. It was
amazing best acoustics in town!
and by the way, we were right about the media. Despite the fact
that all the local press, radio and TV outlets were notified
of the march and the Press Democrat interviewed us for half
an hour, not a word was mentioned in any of the local press.
In fact, in the sneering article on the local peace movement
in the next day's PD, the Purple Berets weren't mentioned, the
march wasn't mentioned, the word "women" wasn't mentioned. A
number of letters to the editor protesting that fact have not
been printed either.
even though the local media didn't consider us news, the New
York Times included the women's march in their national story
on the peace movement's response to the crisis. Press Democrat,
shame on you – again!