Local groups to rally against Surge


Activists across the country are poised to protest tomorrow against the President’s expected announcement tonight of an increase in troop levels in Iraq. The first demonstration will take place early tomorrow morning – between 7 and 9AM along Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa.  Some of those same groups will resume their protest along the Bayshore at Bay to Bay at 4PM. Joan Cichone  (See-Sean) is leading the coalition of groups – including MoveOn.org, Code Pink, 9-11 Truth Members and Tampa World Can’t Wait. She says she’s always been against the war, but her feelings have intensified over the nearly 4 year occupation (roll tape#1 o.q.”somewhere”) Demonstrations will also be held tomorrow afternoon in front of Pinellas County Congressmembers Mike Bilirakis and Bill Young local District offices. Michael Fox is a Tampa Bay activist coordinating the protest in front of Young’s  St. Petersburg office.  He says that these rallies are being promoted in part by MoveOn.org, in part on those who supported the original 2003 invasion (roll tape#2 o.q.” get out as opposed to escalate”) The Los Angeles Times reported on Wednesday that MoveOn.org is planning a series of radio and television ads attacking lawmakers who support the Iraq war and its expansion. Their first target will be Arizona Senator John McCain, who has been calling for an increase in troops for years.  But MoveOn also says they will also air ads criticizing Democrats who don’t fall into the anti-war camp. Local activist Michael Fox says this is what the voters had in mind when they turned out Republicans last November (roll tape#3 o.q.”has to pull back”) Anti-war activist Joan Cichone  (See-Sean) says she had a chance to speak with Speaker of The House Nancy Pelosi when she visited Tampa before the election at a fundraising event.  She said she got the feeling that because of her elevated standing, Pelosi was not going to be in support of impeaching President Bush, as some on the left are hoping for.   Cichone says she understands that, but is confused that after the Democratic victory many of its members aren’t willing to go further in showing their opposition to this escalation of troops (roll tape#4 o.q.”the occupation of Iraq”)  And you can get more information about the anti-surge rallies to be held in the Tampa Bay Area tomorrow by visiting our WebSite.     

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