Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Bay Area Activists Mourn Iraqi Civilian Deaths

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Bay Area Activists Mourn Iraqi Civilian Deaths

Article excerpt

CONCERNED WITH the growing number of Iraqi civilians killed during the U.S.-led invasion and occupation of Iraq, Bay Area activists staged several nonviolent actions throughout San Francisco on the war's fourth anniversary. Tourists waiting to ride the cable cars in Haliday Plaza saw some 25 people enact a "die-in" to mourn the more than 600,000 Iraqis killed to date.

In the shadow of four individuals dressed as enormous human images of Iraqi mothers holding dead children, activists sprawled on the sidewalk to portray war casualties. Some wore black, while others shrouded themselves under fake bloodstained sheets or red scarves. Bay Area United for Peace and Justice, Act Against Torture, Women in Black, Food Not Bombs and Code Pink organized the event.

Marin County Rally Against Iraq War

While thousands demonstrated against the Iraq war in major metropolises March 17, hundreds of Marin County residents gathered in San Rafael for an event dubbed "The Big Peace March" by organizers Next Generation and Marin Peace Action Team. In keeping with the liberal county's history of supporting peace and justice, a cross-section of the county's residents-parents with toddlers, teenagers, affluent alternative lifestylers, and seniors sporting hats bearing peace emblems-flocked to the small town's central plaza to call for President George W. Bush to end the Iraq war and bring the troops home now.

Anti-Vietnam war movement leader David Harris, one of several speakers at the afternoon rally, delivered well-received remarks to the attentive crowd. "This policy has been a failure because the Iraqis do not want us to pick their government for them," the journalist and author of The Crisis said. "Democracy is not something that can be installed at the point of a gun. This failure has been accomplished by wasting billions of dollars-money that we don't have and money that we need to spend elsewhere. And we have nothing to show for that incredible expenditure except massive corruption and almost universal enmity for the United States of America around the world."

Global Forum TV Panels Discuss Muslim Media

Newark, CA-based Global Forum TV (GFTV) taped two panel discussions before a live audience March 17. The program later aired on RAVI and Bridges TV.

The first panel discussed recent changes in the Muslim media and featured Kieran Baker of Al-Jazeera's English-language station based in Washington, DC, Jamal Dajani of San Francisco-based Link TV, Muzamil Hassan of Bridges TV and writer and media consultant Lisette Poole.

"There are currently 300 satellite stations in the Middle East," Dajani told the audience, "and now people have options and can keep an eye on developing stories as they unfold." During the Israeli war on Lebanon last year, the producer of the Peabody Award winner MOSAIC noted, "Arab and Muslim reporters brought the news to the rest of the world."

After three months of reporting in English from regional centers around the world, Al-Jazeera, which offers "a different perspective from a variety of voices," is reaching a larger audience, Baker said.

With the advent of new Muslim stations, news needn't go through London or New York, Poole observed, "so there is a self-identity involved that brings the structure of the news closer to the international observer. …

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