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Mass Peace Gathering Marks Third Anniversary of Invasion of Iraq

Kansas City will be hosting a coordinated event similar to those to be held around the country, and will be expecting several thousand participants in a Mass Peace Gathering to be held on March 19, 2006 at 3:00 p.m. at Mill Creek Park (47th & Main) on the Country Club Plaza. The vigil, memorial ceremony, and peace rally is being endorsed by over fifty local faith-based, community, and social justice organizations, all of which are active in all areas of the bi-state area.
Kansas City will be hosting a coordinated event similar to those to be held around the country, and will be expecting several thousand participants in a Mass Peace Gathering to be held on March 19, 2006 at 3:00 p.m. at Mill Creek Park (47th & Main) on the Country Club Plaza. The vigil, memorial ceremony, and peace rally is being endorsed by over fifty local faith-based, community, and social justice organizations, all of which are active in all areas of the bi-state area.

Sunday, March 19, 2006 marks the third anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. Heated up by growing disenchantment of Americans with the war, and increasing sacrifices in domestic programs due to hundreds of billions of dollars being spent on a war that was promised to be over in less than six months, plans are being laid for mass peace demonstrations across the United States, and around the world.

The aim of the Mass Peace Gathering is to bring together thousands of community members in an effort to represent each of the U.S. service persons who have died in Iraq (now projected to be over 2,400 by the beginning of Spring). Also being honored, remembered and mourned will be the forgotten victims, the tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians and the many others from both sides who have been physically and psychologically wounded. The supporters and sponsors proclaim that it is time to Face the Truth; To Stop the Killing and End the War.

The program will include speakers who will offer comments on the war from faith, youth, economic and military perspectives. Speakers include Bill Williams (Marine Corps veteran; Rev. Saundra McFadden-Weaver (Councilwoman); Rev. Jay McKnell (Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church); Terry Bunker (KC Greens); and Beth Low (MO Rep). Music will be provided by In Transit. Individuals from the KC Interfaith Council will offer prayers as a part of the memorial ceremony.

The Wheels of Justice Spring Tour has modified its planned itinerary so they can be present and participate in the Kansas City Mass Peace Gathering. Traveling in brightly painted bio-diesel buses, nationally recognized speakers share their first-hand experiences of living with terror in occupied lands. Since 2003, Wheels of Justice has rolled across all 48 states with education, outreach training, active non-violent resistance, and network/community building. (www.justicewheels.org). This will be one of their few stops close to our community on their present fifteen state tour.

Coinciding Events: Already, over 200 national events are being planned for the anniversary weekend under the umbrella of United for Peace and Justice alone. (www.unitedforpeace.org) In the bi-state area there will be organized actions in Lawrence, Wichita, Kansas and Columbia, Springfield and St. Louis, Missouri. On Saturday, March 18, 2006 as part of the weekend events marking the third anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Kansas City Labor Against the War is hosting a "Labor/Community Speak Out Against the War" at St. Luke Presbyterian Church, 4301 NE Vivion Road, Kansas City, Missouri. (www.kclabor.org) That event begins at 1:30 P.M.

Endorsing Organizations: A partial listing of Mass Peace Gathering endorsers includes: Abiding Peace Lutheran Church; All Souls Universalist Church, Social Justice Committee; Benedictine Sisters (Atchison, KS); Catholics for Justice; Chiapas Justice Project; Christian Peacemaker Teams-KC; Church World Service--Great Plains Region; Columbia Support Network; Cross Border Network for Justice & Solidarity; Diocese of KC-St. Joseph Peace & Justice Office, eKC electronic magazine; Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church Justice-Peace and Environment Small Group; Disciples Peace Fellowship-KC Chapter; The Human Agenda; Kansas NOW; Kansas City Greens, KC National Lawyers Guild, Keeler Women’s Center, Loretto Network for Nonviolence; Military Families Speak Out; Missouri NOW; Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation – KC; PeaceWorks – KC; Saint Andrew Church Mission and Outreach Committee; St. James Catholic Church; Shalom Catholic Worker House; Trinity United Methodist Church; 21st Century Democrats; Unity Temple Peacemakers.
 
 

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