An estimated 1,500 people from across the state turned out for the Connecticut Opposes the War rally Saturday at the Old State House in Hartford.
They came with mega phones and hand painted signs to hear from a number of elected-officials, military personnel, and clergy about what it will take to put an end to the war. And more importantly, what they can do to help.
CT COW organizer Greg Spear said two members of the Connecticut Congressional delegation have yet to oppose the war: Republican Congressman Chris Shays and Senator Joseph Lieberman, who calls himself an Independent-Democrat.
As soon as Spear announced their names the crowd “booed.”
Spear said “COW is suggesting we go after these guys until they change their minds.” He said the organization is also suggesting the General Assembly pass a resolution condemning the war. Already 117 state legislators have sent a letter to Congress to ask them to end the war, Majority Leader Chris Donovan, D-Meriden, said.
Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro said this week the House Appropriations Committee took the first step toward ending the war in Iraq by exercising the Congressional power of the purse. DeLauro was talking about the withdrawal plan attached to the spending legislation that the Bush administration needs to pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
She said if the House passes this bill, regardless of the Senate’s inability to take action or threats of a presidential veto, “it will be the first demonstration of the popular will on this war and it won’t stop there.”
Congressman John Larson said next week as well the House Foreign Relations Committee is expected to vote on a resolution that says “we will not invade Iran without Congressional approval.”
By doing this Congress is able to take away the “President’s irresponsible policy of preemption and unilateralism that has failed and has cost our nation’s standing in the world,” Larson said.
Secretary of State Susan Byseiwicz said the hardest thing she’s had to do as Secretary of State is attend 37 funerals for Connecticut soldiers who died in the conflict. “Enough is enough,” she said.
Captain Jorge Rodriguez, who went to Iraq in October of 2004 said he still doesn’t know what his mission was. Major John Kelly, a recent veteran who also was in Iraq said he too wonders why and what America is fighting for.
What he does know is that he does “not recognize or support a patriotism that demands our silence,” he said. “Your presence here today is a statement of support for our troops.”
“Today is an act of faith that we can make a difference,” he concluded.