Opponents of the U.S. military buildup in the Middle East are resurrecting 1960s-style peace activism for nationwide protests Saturday. Among the demonstrators will be labor unions and veterans' groups.
Rallies scheduled for at least 15 major U.S. cities will cap a week of smaller protests and the debut of a televised peace message starring Ron Kovic, the hero crippled in the Vietnam War who became a staunch anti-war activist and wrote his story in "Born on the Fourth of July."A wide-ranging coalition of groups is sponsoring the weekend protests. Demonstrators staged a '60s-style teach-in rally at Harvard University on Thursday and other protests elsewhere earlier in the week.
Organizers hope the mass protests will sap support for the Persian Gulf military buildup arising after Iraq's conquest of Kuwait in early August.
"Once people see thousands out in the street, we can build on that," said Charles Twist, spokesman for the New York Coalition to Stop U.S. Intervention in the Middle East.
The 30-second TV spot starring Kovic debuted Thursday and was set for broadcast in 50 U.S. cities. In it, Kovic says American troops are risking their lives "not to defend democracy, but to protect the big oil companies."