Over one-hundred eastern Iowans boarded buses this morning, bound for an antiwar rally in Washington, D.C. while other Iowans will head to antiwar rallies planned in Des Moines and Davenport. Mona Shaw of Iowa City has been organizing weekly antiwar protests in downtown Iowa City.
"Historically, in all civil rights movements, the thing that has swayed public opinion has been the public at large watching other people have the nerve to say something is wrong," Shaw says."This war has been wrong from the very beginning. What we were told about it was wrong in the first place in terms of weapons of mass destruction."
Shaw says the way the war has been managed is another contributing factor to polls which show the public’s patience with the war wearing thin. Shaw began organizing weekly vigils in downtown Iowa City in 2003 as a means of speaking out against the war.
"The reaction you see as people pass by is increasingly positive is what we’ve noticed over the past couple of years," Shaw says. The midday antiwar rallies in Des Moines and Davenport on Saturday will feature speakers from Catholic and Quaker groups as well as STAR-PAC — the Stop the Arms Race political action committee. On Sunday night, STAR-PAC will host an event in Des Moines featuring former six-term Iowa Congressman Berkeley Bedell reminiscing about his views on peace issues.