On Wednesday, December 2nd, approximately 200 people demonstrated on the Boston Common in response to Obama's speech of the previous nite at West Point announcing an escalation of the war in Afghanistan to the tune of 30,000 more troops.
The crowd was a good mixture of old and young. Groups which were prominent were Veterans for Peace (Smedley Butler Brigade), Stop the Wars Coalition, some pacifist groups, a smattering of Code Pink activists, Military Families for Peace, and numerous non-affiliated individuals.
There were a variety of speakers and musical offerings at the microphone. A very compeling speech was given by an Afghan woman named Miriam. She related in particular her experience growing up during the Russian occupation, and how the same rationale for occupation proffered by the Russians was doled out in the Bush/Obama reasoning: that 'liberation is being brought to a backward people unable to free themselves.' The flags may change, but the imperialist logic just keeps recycling, whether it's British, Russian, or American.
The spirit of the rally was good and very postively-oriented toward building a broad antiwar movement to which all parties would be welcome. There were, in fact, quite a number of persons for whom this was their first demonstration, suggesting that the current situation has struck a new vein of dissent with the American people.