February 15, 2013 marked the 10th anniversary of what may have been the biggest protest against war in human history. Hundreds of events involving tens of millions of people coordinated actions under the banner "No War On Iraq" took place across the planet. These included rallies and marches in Cleveland and Akron, among many other locations around Ohio.

Here an article with photos, written by AFSC supporter and former Veterans for Peace national Director Mike Ferner, and a youtube video

Where were you on 2.15.03?

By Mike Ferner: http://warisacrime.org/content/where-were-you-21503

15 February 2003: The day the world said no to war: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ysva-csAg8A

As Ferner reminds us, even the New York Times admitted, “there may still be two superpowers on the planet: the United States and world public opinion.”

This look back 10 years ago is not simply a stale reminder of the past. It's a lesson to be learned. In fact, at least 5 lessons or observations:

  1. The vast majority of political, economic, military and media elites of all political parties lied or believed hook, line and sinker what they were told. The official narrative that there were weapons of mass destruction, connections between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden and imminent threats of US attack were complete fabrications. No or few apologies were ever made and no one was ever held accountable for decisions that resulted in thousands of US deaths, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi deaths, and incredible sums of money wasted…among many other catastrophes. 
  2. Some, if not many, of these same political, economic, military and media elites are still around — telling us today that Pentagon programs and budgets must be preserved (if not expanded) and earned benefit and social program programs must be slashed to balance the federal budget. 
  3. It was the peace and justice movements across the planet who questioned authority, challenged the onslaught of propaganda, demanded definitive proof, and organized resistance.
  4. It must be the peace and justice movements today across the planet that must resist militarization, empire and austerity. We must again ask for evidence how privatizing/corporatizing public services, slashing social safety net programs and reducing Social Security and Medicare in an environment when the private sector isn't investing will help the economy. There isn't much proof to be found from the ongoing European recession following austerity measures there. 
  5. It must be the peace and justice movement across the planet today who must call on our delegated representatives, those we elect to serve us, to implement  alternatives to war and injustice: self determination for people and nations, commitment to supporting international peace keeping vs wars and occupations, shifting spending from war to economic and social programs, and monetary reforms that end the ability of private banks to create our nations money which we then borrow from them…at interest.

World public opinion in support of all these is great. But it must be coupled will world public action and mobilization coming together in social movements. 

So, on this 10th anniversary of this historic occasion (which you won't hear or read about in the corporate media), please consider committing yourself to:

  • Calling those who are supposed to represent you to share your views on budget priorities
  • Seek sources of non-corporate information from places like AFSC and other groups and independent news sources, and
  • Work in coalition with others to build the multi-issue, multi-racial, and democratic social movements that seek real nonviolent and just change.