M17: Nashville "Walk in Their Shoes"
Musica Peace Rally to Mark Fourth Anniversary of the War in Iraq
Nashville, TN: Concerned citizens from the Middle Tennessee region plan to gather on Saturday, March 17th at Owen Bradley Park, on the Music Row Roundabout to mark the anniversary of the fourth year of war with a call for peace. "We are gathering on March 17th because we want peace. The war in Iraq has dragged on for four years at a cost of hundreds of thousands of lives lost and an entire generation devastated by warfare and violence," said Elizabeth Barger, founding member of Peace Roots Alliance.
The peace rally, which is set to kick off at 2pm at 16th and Division will feature a broad range of music, speakers and poets speaking out for peace. "We are really excited this year because Linda Englund of Military Families Speak Out will be in Nashville to talk about the impact this war is having on vets and their families in the Southeast," said Nini Thomas of the Nashville Peace Coalition, "and we are also here to remind people that over one hundred Tennesseans have died while serving in Iraq."
Other featured performers and speakers include hippie elder activist Stephen Gaskin, founder of the Farm in Summertown Tennessee as well as Randall Venson and Keith Caldwell of the Nashville Peace and Justice Center. A collection of musicians is also set to perform including folk musicians, protest singers, performance poets and the "Raging Grannies."
After the speakers and music, the assembled crowd will go on a peace march to the Federal Building at 8th and Broadway. The peace marchers will carry with them shoes representing those killed in Iraq. Each shoe will have a name tag attached to it of an Iraqi or an American killed in Iraq. When the peace marchers arrive at the Federal Building the shoes will be lined up along the length of the sidewalk to provide a visual illustration of those who have died. The theme of this year's rally is "Walk in Their Shoes."
March 17th marks the fourth anniversary of the war in Iraq. Over 3300 Americans have died in the ongoing occupation and an estimated 650,000 Iraqis have died in this war. Americans around the nation are gathering to mark the anniversary and in Washington DC an expected 100,000 people are planning to gather to march on the Pentagon and demand an ending to the war. The event in Nashville is being organized by the Nashville Peace Coalition and the Nashville Peace and Justice Center.