Groups of protesters around the U.S. held demonstrations today to mark the anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan. A large percentage of citizens around the country do not look upon this operation favorably.
A group known as the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) scheduled protests in various cities around the country. According to their website, they also wanted to stage "die-ins", a kind of protest where participants act as corpses to represent the casualties of war. The group was founded 10 years ago shortly after the war in Afghanistan began. They have been prevalent throughout the years in their efforts to bring attention to the atrocities of war.
The Granny Peace Brigade, an anti-war group made up primarily of senior citizens, marched through New York's Time Square earlier in the day, according to CBS New York. They were joined by protesters from the Occupy Wall Street movement in an effort to spread the message that the war in Afghanistan needs to cease immediately, and that the troops should be able to return home.
A Princeton, New Jersey-based organization known as the Coalition for Peace Action staged a peaceful protest, as reported by the Asbury Park Press. The executive director of the Coalition for Peace Action, Rev. Robert Moore, emphasized that a quicker withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan is necessary in order to save money and lives as opposed to a slower exit that is specified in the 2014 drawdown plans.
CBS Los Angeles reports that 14 people were arrested after a group of protesters blocked an intersection in Los Angeles in an act of civil disobedience. The individuals were later cited and released on their own recognizance.
Countless numbers of other cities and communities around the country have held similar protests to show their defiance of the war. Civilians and veterans alike have joined in solidarity to express their disapproval of the operation in Afghanistan.
The war in Afghanistan began shortly after the September 11th attacks in an effort to rid the world of terrorism. Billions of dollars and thousands of lives have been lost during the operation. Many in society feel that the funding going into the war would be put to better use in financing important causes such as education, healthcare, and the creation of more jobs. This is now the longest war in the history of the United States.
President Obama has stated intentions of withdrawing troops by the end of 2014, but there is still no certainty if this in fact will be done. Until then, more money and more lives will be sacrificed as the war in Afghanistan continues.