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Peace groups stand up against Afghan war on 10th anniversary

Sunday, October 9, 2011 | 6:15 p.m. CDT; updated 7:31 p.m. CDT, Sunday, October 9, 2011
People at the Afghan Anniversary gathering hold hands while listening to Jamie Meadows sing at the Courthouse Square Sunday. The goal of Peaceworks was to have 120 people attend the event, one for each month of the 10 year war.

COLUMBIA — Member groups of the Columbia Peace Coalition gathered in the Courthouse Square on Sunday to protest against the war in Afghanistan.

Friday marked the 10th year of the conflict. The theme for Sunday's rally was "Enough! Stand for Peace and Justice." The event was near the intersection of Walnut and Eighth streets.

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Their aim was to have at least 120 people attend the event — one for each month of the war — and they reached it.

"Unacceptable!" people shouted after Mark Haim, director of Mid-Missouri Peaceworks, said "Afghan war."

People attending the event were holding banners with different slogans such as "Real support: bring them home" or "Peace is patriotic, no war!"

This war is the longest that the U.S. has been involved in. Around 2,700 troops have died, 1,800 of which were Americans.

Mariana Morales Quinones, a community member of Peaceworks, said: “We want to bring our soldiers home. We want them to come back and help us to build a sustainable peace economy."

She does not think that this war is making the people safer.

"We want to be a safe world by being a peaceful world," she said.

Mandy Manderino, a member of Veterans for Peace, said the war should have never began and believes Americans will join her and say enough is enough. One of the goals of Veterans for Peace is to abolish war as a national policy.

“Veterans know too well the human cost of war," she said.

Several member groups of the Columbia Peace Coalition, which is made up of 18 organizations, said a few words about their perspective of the Afghan war.

Scott Denson is a member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Columbia, one of these groups. “We just wanted to come out and support peace," he said.

The band Romani Blue played a few songs at the event, and Jamie Meadows played a song she called "Stand Together."

Her brother was in one of the World Trade Center towers 10 years ago and survived. Last month she attended a 9/11 anniversary gathering, where participants were asked to finish this statement: "To help create a peaceful future, I will ...," which is when she decided to write a song against war. 

Lily Tinker Fortel, a member of Peaceworks who also works for Grass Roots Organizing, talked about the concept of "peace economy" also known as the "new economy." This concept acknowledges the world is in a war economy now.

"We can move forward to a vision of a peaceful and just world, one that puts people before profits," she said as people cheered.


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