By Michael Martinez, Miami FIST
A record crowd for the city of Melbourne of about 500 people rallied on Aug. 30 in what was called Florida’s first mass march to stop war on Iran. Floridians of all walks of life converged to demonstrate their repudiation of Washington’s lust for war. Protesters gathered in Front Street Park and later marched to Melbourne’s City Hall chanting, “If they don’t make peace, we’ll bring it to the streets.”
The rally and march were led by a broad coalition of anti-war organizations calling themselves Patriots for Peace. Upon arriving at City Hall, the marchers were greeted by one single counterdemonstrator with a sign saying, “Give war a chance.” He took off before the rally officially started.
Rain began to pour down as soon as the first few speakers got on the microphone, but that wasn’t enough to dampen the spirit of the marchers. A representative of Stop War on Iran warned the crowd that although some may feel that U.S. intentions to attack Iran have faded and died out, the threat of a war is as strong as ever and people must stay vigilant in continuing public and visible opposition to any ideas of war with Iran.
Many of the anti-war groups that met in Melbourne welcomed the call by Stop War on Iran and pledged to join it by building local actions on Sept. 27 and continuing the fight to prevent another military adventure by Bush and Co. in the Middle East.
The show put on at the Democratic National Convention and the focus on the presidential elections may distract the public eye, but no matter who wins in November, only pressure and mobilizations from the working masses like this one can force the imperialists to back down.
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