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Bus Loads of New Yorkers Join War Protest in DC


Friday, January 26, 2007   

Bus loads of New Yorkers are headed to Washington DC today (Friday) to join tens of thousands (Saturday) to protest against President Bush's plan to "surge" more US troops into Iraq. Comments from Bert Napear (NAY-pee-er) with the Long Island Alliance for Peaceful Alternatives, and Martin Melkonian, Hofstra Economics professor and member of Pax Christi Long Island.

Organizers say it could be the largest anti-war demonstration since the start of the Iraq war. Ever since the President announced his plan to "surge" 21 thousand more troops into Iraq, Bert Napier with the Long Island Alliance for Peaceful Alternatives says his phone has been ringing off the hook from New Yorkers who want to join this weekend's protest (Saturday) on the national mall.

"What we want to see happen is that the people that have been elected to office follow through on what they've heard from the public and that's they want to end this war, and they want the troops home now."

Seven busloads of anti-war activists will depart this morning (Friday) from New York to join the tens of thousands who are expected to converge in Washington for the protest.

Hofstra Economics Professor Martin Melkonian is among those headed to the nation's capitol. He says ending the war will not only save lives, it will also help the nation recover from its 8 point 6 trillion dollar national debt.

"This war has done almost irreparable damage to our economy, and I think we've already spent something like 400 billion on it. That money certainly could have been spent for better purposes, we could have eradicated world hunger with even a fraction of that money."

Melkonian says it's the members of the new Congress who most need to hear this protest.

"The most important message should go to the Democratic majority as well as other Republicans; if they can begin to cut off the funding, that will send a powerful message to the President and force his hand."

Organizers says it could be the largest anti-war demonstration since the start of the Iraq war. Mike Clifford reports.

Napear is at 516-965-5553 and Melkonian at 516-538-0299.

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