This month marks the fifth anniversary of the U.S.-led war in Iraq, and activists in Asheville have a list of protests and events scheduled to take note. Lew Patrie of WNC Physicians for Social Responsibility believes that as the war grinds on, such events remain worthwhile.
“I think it’s worth reminding people of the very unfortunate unintended consequences of war,” he says. “So many people have comments for all the ages that war does not solve problems.”
Here’s a look at some of the upcoming events:
• March 11, noon: Die-in on the quad at UNCA. Sponsored by Students for a Democratic Society at UNCA.
• March 12, 6:30 p.m.: Veterans for Peace meeting at Atlanta Bread Company.
• March 14, 7 p.m.: A showing of Caught in the Crossfire at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Asheville. The short film is about Fallujah. Two other short films will be shown. A speaker from No More Victims will talk about projects to help Iraqi children. A group will also be setting up flags on the grounds of the church to memorialize Iraqi civilian casualties of the war.
• March 15, 3 to 5 p.m.: A gathering hosted by Jeanne and Lew Patrie at their home. Ann Cothran of No More Victims will talk about efforts to get medical treatment for an Iraqi child.
• March 17, 12:35 p.m.: Operation First Casualty, a piece of anti-war guerilla theater, will be held on the quad at UNCA. Sponsored by Students for a Democratic Society at UNCA.
• March 18, sunrise: Veterans for Peace will read the names of U.S. military personnel killed in Iraq. The reading will start at sunrise and be held at the group’s billboard at the corner of Lexington Avenue and Hilliard avenues. If you want to volunteer to read, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org . The group is also looking for volunteers for a blood drive.
• March 19, 5 p.m.: The WNC Peace Coalition will hold a short rally at First Congregational Church in downtown Asheville. Jason Hurd of Iraq Veterans Against the War will speak, and there will be a performance by the Raging Grannies. The group plans to go into the streets of Asheville to protest.
• March 20, 3:30 p.m.: Students at UNCA will gather to march downtown for a 5 p.m. rally at Pack Square. There will be speakers from No More Victims, the WNC Peace Coalition, Iraq Veterans Against the War, Veterans for Peace and Students for a Democratic Society, which is organizing the event.
• March 21, 5 p.m.: Activists are invited to join the Women in Black during their vigil, from 5 to 6 p.m., at Pack Square.