New Yorkers Stand for
by Zeyneb DEVRES
Photographs by Seze
over the world, on February 15, 2003, a commitment was
made to show world support for the inspections and disarming
of Iraq and its dictating threats of terror. It was a historic day for the union of
the entire world to stand for peace.
A record number 500,000 people gathered around
the United Nations and created one of the most vocal and
largest protests in new York City since the 1970s.
was lucky to have a good start of the day when I went
to hear Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s emotional sermon
for those who were present at the 9 o'clock mass of the
Holy Family Church before the protests had begun.
Later, once the
area around the U.N. was filled with protesters, many started
to walk further uptown and west creating many mini protest
sites, reclaiming the streets in clusters all around Manhattan
from Times Square to the Upper East Side.
we were walking towards midtown, moving in a sea of people
in unison, there seemed to be one common vision embodied
to the minds of all, the compassion to speak out against
the horrors of war.
The crowds were beginning to swell in areas so the police
were blocking off streets to divert the crowds further
uptown and cordoned off areas. While fencing people into
the street blocks and away from the main meeting venue
of First Avenue block by block, we were observing the
crowd from age to 7 to 77.
for many who had come to the protest early, rather than
peacefully flow and walk, they were being lured into barricaded
street blocks to stand imprisoned but quietly to make
a stand for peace.
trapped in, as if in cages in the street blocks, thousands
were trying to keep warm under each other. Many of the police were thinking and sharing
their opinion some whispering "hang in there.”
hundreds of thousands standing entrapped like sardines,
there could have been devastating occurrences, if it weren't
for the composure and poise that emanated through the
crowd, who were all there for peace.
The calmness of the protesters could be attributed
to their unified call for peace as they huddled together
listening to the many moving speeches on portable radios.
message was quiet yet clear, that most Americans don't
want war. Even though the media, police and the Bush administration want
to marginalize the protestors who came to the peace meeting.
It was obvious
that this day was one of the greatest world peace marches,
portrayed with highest numbers of participants that the
world Globalization is happening in hearts and mind of many
from diverse cultures. We are not alone, the Europeans, the Asians, the Israelis,
and Iraq's neighbors do not want war.
Many soon realized
that it didn't matter to be in First Avenue where we could
perhaps see and hear the speakers, it was all right to be
in the one of the many enclaves of people that reached farther
uptown to the seventies and beyond Third Avenue,
as we were united with that one element of peace.
We were sharing the notion through smiles and glances
that in our heart we all want peace and the path to it is
not through war like the Bush administration is trying to
will appear of its own nature. The solution must be reached
through dialogue. We could talk eternally with the other
nations like all politicians do.
This would be diplomacy.
it is not late.
Peace can be claimed by all, if it is supported
and sustained by everyone, and it can all happen through
your own daily actions and decisions.
More photographs of the protest may
be seen at: