Protesters in several US cities held anti-war rallies Saturday to mark the fifth anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, March 20th. More rallies are planned in coming days in other U.S. cities. Mike O'Sullivan reports, several thousand joined an anti-war protest in Los Angeles.
Marchers chanted and some carried flag-draped coffins as speakers demanded that U.S. troops come home.
Sharaf Mowjood of the Council on American-Islamic Relations says the continued presence of American troops is worsening conditions in Iraq, and diverting attention from domestic U.S. problems, including rebuilding New Orleans. The city was devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
“We need to pull out immediately. That's the main thing right now we need to do. It's a conundrum as it is," he said. "So it's in a situation where the best viable option is to pull out because you have a lot of these internal problems you have to deal with, health care, sub-prime mortgage crisis, Katrina, all that. We need to work on those issues first."
Members of religious, labor and community groups joined the Los Angeles demonstration. Madelyn MacKay, a Quaker, says the protests are sending a message to the candidates in the November 4 presidential election.