COLUMBIA — The Columbia Peace Coalition will host a statewide rally and march on Saturday in downtown Columbia.
The “YES WE CAN! Begin the Peace Economy! YES WE CAN! END THE WARS!” rally will highlight the economic and human costs of war amidst the current global economic crisis. The Columbia Peace Coalition will also recognize the sixth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq this March.
“Our hope is to relay the strong message of the presence of peace,” said Lily Tinker Fortel, the community outreach coordinator for Mid-Missouri Peaceworks. “We recognize the connection between the amount of money we’re spending on this war and its economic and human costs.”
The rally will begin at 1:30 p.m. at Courthouse Square, or at Stotler Lounge at MU's Memorial Union if it rains. Participants can listen to live music such as Divine Rhythm, a percussion ensemble, and vocal musician Violet Vonder Haar.
At 2 p.m. four speakers will address the crowd: Tomas Young, an Iraq War Veteran; Zaid Maher, an Iraqi citizen; Almeta Crayton, a former Columbia councilwoman and social justice advocate; and Andy Heaslet of the Peace Economy Project of St. Louis.
At 2:45 p.m. participants will march through downtown Columbia. The demonstration is expected to end around 3:30 p.m. at Courthouse Square.