Friday, September 28, 2007
Anti-war protestors bring music to Capitol
from The Daily Colonial:

Music with a message hit Washington this week as anti-war activists hosted a concert series to raise awareness for their cause.

"Rock the Rulers" is part of a week-long encampment next to the Capitol's West Side reflecting pool hosted by the Troops Out Now Coalition, a New York City-based grassroots movement, along with Artists and Activists United for Peace.

The movement will hit its peak Saturday, with a march beginning at noon at the Capitol. This is the second encampment this year for Troops Out Now, who teamed up with other organizations to reach a broader range of supporters through music and entertainment.

"We want to make the connection between the war abroad and the war at home," said Troops Out Now Media Liaison LeilLani Dowell. "We realize that culture is a very important part of this too."

Dowell and other organizers and volunteers spent the week putting up tents, booths, and a small stage to vie for attention while debates for war funding rage in Capitol Hill.

"They could force the issue," said Dowell, referring to the Democrats elected to Congress last November. "We are trying to hold them accountable."

The event attracted a wide variety of visitors. Topics of interest brought up at tables and during the entertainment include support for Katrina survivors, Code Pink (a movement of women against war in Iraq), immigrant workers' rights, money for health care, and education.

Each night, from 8 p.m. until midnight, musicians from around the country performed on stage, expressing frustrations and hopes for peace. Though many performers are scheduled for specific slots throughout the week, organizers encourage anyone to come and share their art and passions on stage.

Carol Ann Moccio ’10 is one of the people attracted to the encampment by the prospect of joining music with the anti-war movement. A self-proclaimed Beatles fan and peace activist, Moccio said she found out about "Rock the Rulers" after seeing the movie "Across the Universe" with friends. The Beatles-inspired musical featured the struggle of young Americans during the Vietnam War as they attempted to give peace a chance.

"I was like 'Wow, I want to continue that'," said Moccio. "Hopefully our generation can be as motivated as theirs."

Moccio said looking up "D.C. peace marches" on the Internet led her to the "Rock the Rulers" Web site.

Dowell said she thinks the currently college-aged generation and older ones are fed up with war and are responding to the music.

"We've seen a lot more people come through than the last time," she said. "It's time to heighten the struggle as much as possible."

Moccio said that she thinks that the appeal of music is going to help more students identify with the cause.

"Music is something that is special for everyone," she said, noting that many students may not be incredibly passionate about the anti-war movement, but will find the music a great incentive to become involved.

Michelle Dar of Portland, Ore., biked across the country with her partner and three daughters to participate in the protests. They were part of the "bike for peace" that ended in Washington with participants getting involved in actions for peace.

"We refuse to be silent," Dar said. "We'll put our bodies and our families out there."

Dar says that she and her family have been enjoying the nightly music outside the Capitol. Her daughter Tala danced and sang along to the Black Eyed Pea's "Where is the Love?" on stage Tuesday night. Dar finds the enthusiasm of those at the encampment empowering.

"It's tremendously inspiring, and reminds us why we are here," Dar said. "It gives us the courage to do more. The people have had enough. The people are rising up."

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posted by Stop War @ 11:20 AM  
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If you can't join us at the Encampment - you can still be a part of this mobilzation to Stop the War at Home and Abroad. Please consider making a generous donation to help cover the costs of transportation, food, tents, sound equipment, and much more. You can donate online donate online at http://troopsoutnow.org/donate.shtml.

Troops Out Now Website

Encampment to Stop the War blog

Youth and Students

The Troops Out Now Coalition


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SEPT 22 - 29

It's time to move from Protest to Resistance:

SEPT 22- 29: Encampment in Washington DC & March on the White House

SEPT 29: National March on from the Capitol to the White House

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