NEW YORK ( – Marking a grim milestone in the Iraq war, the 2,000th U.S. fatality was reported on Octotober 25; and the toll continues to mount. The financial costs continue to escalate and are well over $200 billion, according to peace activists.

“Congress gave Pres. George Bush the authority and money to wage this war,” said Leslie Cagan, a coordinator of United For Peace And Justice (UFPJ), one of the groups that sponsored a demonstration Oct. 26 in front of the military recruiting complex in Times Square.

More than 550 events were scheduled for communities in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. According to a UFPJ spokesperson, military family members and veterans would be at the forefront of many of the planned events.


Hugh Bruce, a veteran of the Vietnam War and a member of Veterans For Peace, stood proudly with other vets at the Times Square protest and chanted: “End the war, bring the troops home now!”

“The last thing that people who have been in combat want to see is other people dying in combat,” Mr. Bruce asserted. “The fact of the matter is, this is an illegal war. [Pres.] Bush abused the war powers act; we had no right to go to war against a nation that did nothing to us,” he added. “Now we are remembering 2,000 dead. What do they want–58,000 dead?” he asked angrily.

Brooklyn resident Loretta Johnson and her 5-year-old daughter Carla joined the evening protest. “We are out here because we are against the war; and we really feel that the troops need to be brought home immediately,” Ms. Johnson commented. America is supposed to be a democratic nation, so protesters want their voices heard, she stressed.

“I think the troops should come home, and the President is a liar,” offered little Carla, who asked if she could say something.

Newsday newspaper published the photos of 40 people killed in Iraq from the New York metropolitan area; fathers, daughters, sons and, of course, grandchildren.

One of the largest contingents joining the Times Square protest was Grandmothers Against The War. Ella Matthews from Brooklyn shared that she finds losing the peace a hurting thing, and that is what the grandmothers want restored. She said their group holds a weekly vigil at Rockefeller Center.

“Basically, what this president has said is ‘I got the power to go to war, and you can’t stop me.’ And that is a scary thing,” Ms. Matthews said.

Lisa Shields, an organizer for the Philadelphia-based American Friends Service Committee, a sponsor of national protests, believes the tide is turning. “Our phones stayed busy after the 2,000th death was announced. People wanted to know what they could do,” she informed. “We want people to contact their Congressional Representatives and tell them to bring the troops home. We are hoping that Congress will hear our demand and end this illegal war.”