From Gloria Mattera, Co-Chair, GP in NY
Green Party members from all over New York State participated in the Anti-war march and rally in Syracuse on September 29. The event, initiated by Iraq Veterans Against the War, drew an estimated 2500 people. Jessica Maxwell, from the Syracuse Peace Council and a local Green Party member, was one of the main organizers of the event.
The collective message sent by the veterans, students, peace groups and individuals was “immediate, unconditional withdrawal from Iraq.
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The Green Party of New York State, led by Howie Hawkins, veteran and Green Party candidate for Syracuse Councilor at Large, organized a rally and feeder march before joining the main event. Bob Gumbs, Green Party candidate for Congress in Harlem Gary Bonaparte, local Green and labor activist were among the speakers.
In Walnut Park, the end point of the march, The Cortland Community for Peace displayed quilts made by Cortland Green Party member Betty Wood. The quilts was comprised of pictures and identification information about NYS military personnel who were killed in Iraq.
In the evening, there was panel discussion featuring Scott Ritter, former U.N. chief weapons inspector, Dr. Dahlia Wasfi, who grew up in Iraq and Jimmy Massey, former marine and founding member of Iraq Veterans Against the War. This panel was organized by Joe Lombardo, a Green Party member .