FIST youth join protest

Published Feb 1, 2007 12:31 AM

Scores of youth and student activists from around the country joined the FIST (Fight Imperialism Stand Together) contingent at the Jan. 27 mass anti-war convergence on Washington, D.C.

WW photo: G. Dunkel

FIST protested alongside thousands of other young people in a youth feeder march that began with a rally at the Smithsonian and ended in a united march around the Capitol.

Activists from over half a dozen cities, including Cleveland, Philadelphia, New York, New Brunswick, N.J., Raleigh, N.C., and Washington, joined the FIST contingent.

FIST activist Namibia Donadio organized about a dozen students from Rutgers University to attend the march, including several members of the Central and South American Alliance on campus.

Raleigh FIST organizers Peter Gilbert, Dante Strobino and Ben Carroll brought more than 80 students and working young people from the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill triangle in North Carolina. Local activists from the newly refounded Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) also participated in the youth feeder march.

The youth distributed FIST leaflets, flyers for the Feb. 17 national day of actions called by the Troops Out Now Coalition and the March 17 united march on the Pentagon, and copies of Workers World newspaper to thousands of young people from around the country.

Many FIST members participated in a youth breakaway march. This bloc, made up mostly of anarchists and FIST cadre, engaged in a non-permitted march to a military recruiting center in the heart of D.C. to protest the lies that military recruiters tell young people and students, especially the working poor and people of color, in order to enlist them in imperialist wars such as those now raging in Iraq and Afghanistan.

After being violently dispersed from the recruiting center by police, the protesters continued to march through the streets, eventually meeting up with more FIST cadre who joined them on their march back to the Capitol.

The non-permitted march blocked traffic as police issued warnings over loudspeakers for demonstrators to return to the sidewalks. Car drivers and their passengers, however, honked and cheered the protesters on, often raising a clenched fist in the air to demonstrate support for ending the war.

Observers on the sidewalk clapped and shouted words of encouragement and several took time out to resist the police orders and march in the street themselves.

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