Seen, Heard at LB Rally Opposing U.S. Military Action Concerning Iraq
LB Area CA Assemblymember Alan Lowenthal (54th district)
Includes transcripts and audio clips of remarks by CA Assemblyman Alan Lowenthal, Councilmembers Tonia Reyes-Uranga and Bonnie Lowenthal
(February 15, 2003, updated Feb. 16) -- As part of actions in a number of U.S. cities and in parts of the world where such activities are allowed, demonstrators estimated to number 1,250 by LBPD (source: PIO Sgt. Paul LeBaron), and up to 1,500 by some participants, marched from the Promenade to Pacific Ave. at Broadway at midday Feb. 15 to oppose U.S. military action concerning Iraq.
We report what we saw (photos) and heard (transcripts and audio) below.
Speakers addressed the crowd using a solar powered sound system by SolarSound. Those speaking included LB area CA Assemblyman Alan Lowenthal and LB Councilmembers Tonia Reyes-Uranga and Bonnie Lowenthal.
You know, it's time to look back and see what former national leaders have said, reminded of General Dwight Eisenhower. You know you usually don't quote General Dwight Eisenhower, but General Dwight Eisenhower said that 'Every gun that's made, every warship that's launched, every rocket that's fired, signifies in the final sense that we are engaging in theft against those who are hungry and not fed, and a theft against those who are cold and not clothed,' and that's what this is all about. [applause, cheers]
You know, we must, the leadership in this country must hear that the United States must make a commitment to the process that the world is asking it to do, a fair process in which the international weapons inspectors can make their final report to the Security Council of the United Nations and not let a unilateralist position by one nation, the United States, overrule what the community of nations must look at and look at alternatives to peace.
I think there's a growing number of members, of elected figures that say: President Bush you have not made your case. You cannot engage in a unilateralist approach towards war. We must engage in a fair process before the United Nations. That's why we're here. And that's why I'm, what I'm [trails off, sounds like 'here for.'] [applause, cheers]
LB City Councilwoman Tonia Reyes-Uranga
Thank you so much for being here and for sending a message to Washington that they need to stop the madness. They need to stop it now. [cheers]
The City of Long Beach is in a budget crisis. There are people who can't put bread on their tables. And yet we're asking and sending millions and millions of dollars in our defense budget when we can't put food on the table. Bread, not bombs.
What we need to do, what kind of society is this when we're asking our young people to stop gang violence, to stop shootings, and then turn around and send our 18, 19, 21 year old boys out there for the sole purpose of destroying our so-called enemies. [cheers, applause]
What kind of culture do we have, that tells women that domestic violence is wrong, and that families need to be loving and stay together, and then we tear families apart and send them off for nine to twelve months at a time to fight a war that is not right? [cheers, applause]...
LB City Councilwoman Bonnie Lowenthal
...It's really wonderful to be here with you because I really salute you. You are the conscience of this community.
It is you who got me here, and I'm really touched by the support, by the concern and by the passion that you have for our universe, and for the people [shout from crowd "we love you"] I love you, that's why I'm here, that's why I'm here.
I so strongly believe that there are more opportunities to negotiate, many more opportunities to negotiate before we put anyone in harm's way. And when I say anyone, I mean the people from my district, from my community, from all communities and the people who live in Iraq and the middle east.
Somebody said that the children of the world, and I think that's really why I'm here, because there are no lives that are more important than any other lives, and we are here to let the world community know that we support them, that we don't want war, that we don't believe what is happening, that we believe that the conversation about not ever having used nuclear missiles in the past by our Secretary of Defense is the most frightening statement that I've ever heard, and I personally do not want to participate in that.
I think that we can support our men and women who are over there in the name of democracy and we believe in them, and we want them to be safe. We are not trying to hurt them in any way, but we're here because we don't want war, we don't believe it's necessary, we do believe that we can negotiate and I think that's why you're here, and I thank you so much for being the conscience of this community. We will stand together.
For access to audio clips, click here.