Peace rally to be held downtown
Individuals in more than 280 cities worldwide will participate in the protest of military action against Iraq.
YOUNGSTOWN -- More than a dozen concerned citizens turned out Wednesday to announce plans for a peace rally slated for this weekend.
Valley Rally Against the War in Iraq will take place at 11 a.m. Saturday in front of the Mahoning County Courthouse. About 500 people are expected, said Jim Hagan, one of the rally organizers.
Hagan said the rally is sponsored by a coalition of individuals who represent all walks of life -- educators, professionals, students, politicians, laborers and homemakers. Some are against the war for religious or moral reasons, others for economic or political reasons.
"We are black, brown, white, rich and poor, and we are all here for one reason," Hagan said. "We're against the war."
Although the group supports the men and women in America's armed forces, it said war should be a last resort, and the Bush administration has not considered all the avenues to peacefully negotiate the conflict.
A press release distributed by members of the group says individuals in more than 280 cities worldwide will participate in an international day of protest of military action against Iraq, the largest single antiwar protest in history.
Among those expected to speak during the rally are the Rev. Lonnie A. Simon, former pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church, Youngstown; state Sens. Marc Dann of Liberty and Bob Hagan of Youngstown; Elsie Dursi, director of Mahoning Valley Association of Churches; Atty. Staughton Lynd, a lifelong activist; and Jim Murphy Jr., a Vietnam veteran and Purple Heart recipient. Jim Hagan is a first cousin of Bob Hagan.