Once More to the Pentagon
Demonstrators evoke historic confrontation in planning march, rally opposing Iraq War.
At home, the war had reached a turning point. For the first time, a majority of Americans believed the conflict was a mistake. U.S. involvement was nonetheless escalating. Many previous demonstrations had been held, but growing frustration with the political system prompted antiwar leaders to select a new target: the Pentagon.
The 1967 march on the Pentagon to protest the Vietnam War became a touchstone event in American history, one that pitted U.S. citizens against “the true and high church of the military-industrial complex,” as marcher and author Norman Mailer put it.
Tomorrow, according to organizers, tens of thousands of demonstrators protesting the war in Iraq will march on the Pentagon in what they are billing as “the 40th anniversary of the historic 1967 march to the Pentagon.”
Tomorrow’s march, which was scheduled to take place around the fourth anniversary of the start of the Iraq war – March 20 – comes as the Bush administration sends 26,000 additional troops to deal with the violence there. Buses, vans and caravans from across the United States are coming, organizers say, with veterans, soldiers and military family members marching in the first rank of the demonstration. Heading across the Arlington Memorial Bridge to the Pentagon north parking lot, the demonstrators will follow literally in the steps of the earlier protesters.