Protesters speak out against possible war

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 21, 2003

With the possibility of war looming in Iraq, a march commemorating the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. held added significance this year.

An estimated 50 marchers held signs with messages such as &uot;Who Will Die in the War? The Poor Not the Rich&uot; as they began their trek from First Baptist Church to the Federal Courthouse before stopping at the Song of Selma Park.

Jackson said that parents will be left without children and children bereft of their parents if a war with Iraq should occur.

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Bernice Coleman of Selma agreed. &uot;He (King) practiced peace. We need to practice peace, that’s why I’m against war,&uot; Coleman said.

Coleman said that King’s dream of peace is still alive, but that it needs to be revived.

Allie Huff of Selma said that at her church some people were in tears because relatives were being sent over to the gulf region today.

Johnnie M. Harris of Selma said that she was picking up where she left off in 1963 by taking part in Monday’s march. &uot;It’s a job every year this time for me,&uot; Harris said.

Though there were a number of Selmians at Monday’s march, they were by no means the only ones involved.

Katie Durick, a Minnesota native and member of Volunteers in Service Internationally or Nationally, said that she is part of a group of 12 people who traveled here from Minnesota to help build houses. She added that they’ll be here for a week working at a construction site.

Chuck Dabritz, an Edmundite Mission Corps volunteer, said that the Minnesota group arrived in Selma Monday, and he felt the march would be a good way to immerse the group into the culture immediately.

As the marchers made their way down Broad Street towards the Federal Courthouse, they sang songs and shouted anti-war slogans. A few shopkeepers stood at the windows of their stores as the marchers shouted &uot;No Blood for Oil&uot; and &uot;No More War.&uot;

At the Song of Selma Park, Ashley Hamblin, a Concordia College student, stood before the crowd and shared some words before the marchers moved on.

Hamblin said that some people in Selma wouldn’t even step outside their front doors to take part in the march, but the volunteers from Minnesota came thousands of miles to be here.

As for the possibility of war, Hamblin insisted that a war with Iraq was unnecessary. President Bush, she said, was merely trying to continue what his father didn’t finish.