POSTED: 6:51 pm CDT September 13, 2005
UPDATED: 7:05 pm CDT September 13, 2005
CHICAGO -- An alderman was among the speakers addressing more than 100 people who rallied in Daley Central Plaza late Tuesday afternoon to condemn the war in Iraq and urge that the City Council take a stand against its continuation.
The demonstrators, holding signs and chanting in front of the Daley Center and across from the City Hall/County Building, said they planned to march around City Hall at the conclusion of the protest.
Alderman Joe Moore, 49th Ward, charged that funds needed for citizens affected by Hurricane Katrina and others were "divided into tax cuts for the rich and military actions abroad."
Moore's resolution against military action in Iraq was passed by the City Council just before the war began in 2003, according to a news report.
Bob Clarke, president of the South East Lake View Neighbors Association, said he believed "the City Council (should) take a stand, because some other levels of the government appear to be too spineless, including the U.S. Congress."
Clarke also said he believed the damage and loss of life from Hurricane Katrina would have been less severe if more National Guard troops were available instead of being overseas.
Andy Thayer, representing the Gay Liberation Network, said he also believed the City Council should pass a resolution against the war. "I think that people have died in vain; they have died for nothing, as did some 500,000***-plus servicemen in Vietnam, not to mention 3 million-plus Vietnamese," he said.
One by one speakers stood on one of the stone benches around the plaza and spoke through a microphone attached to a bullhorn. One of them was Juan Torres, who said his son died while serving in the military in Afghanistan.
Police surrounded the protesters, but the demonstration was peaceful and no counter-protesters were seen.
City News Service contributed to this story.
***NOTE FROM GLN: Andy Thayer was misquoted by NBC5 on the number of dead in Vietnam. The number should be 50,000, not 500,000 as reported.