, Newburyport, MA

September 12, 2013

Anti-war protesters making themselves heard

Newburyport Daily News

---- — To the editor:

Jack Baumman’s Sept. 10 “Anti-war protesters silent” letter to the editor raised many hackles because he is so wrong. This past Monday we had a candlelight vigil with at least 70 people attending, at Market Square to express our displeasure and anxiety with the way the Obama administration was perilously leading the United States into another conflict.

Our vigil was part of nationwide push to send a message that war is not the answer, no matter how minuscule the so-called strike on Syria might be. Instead of killing innocent civilians, we are urging negotiations through the United Nations. Our Congress, as well as President Obama, has received countless letters asking asking for a “no” vote, and it seems that our efforts are paying off, with the Russians now offering help with negotiations.

Our Monday night vigil comprised the usual suspect peace thinkers but more interestingly, at least one Tea Party member spoke, condemning any U.S. attack on Syria; there are aspects in today’s political life where the right and the left are in agreement.

Perhaps Mr. Baumman doesn’t visit Newburyport’s Market Square on Sundays at noon, for ever since we attacked Iraq 10 years ago there has been a weekly vigil. That war may be over but our politicians are still muddying the waters in Afghanistan and we are creating trouble in other parts of the world. It doesn’t matter whether the administration is Republican or Democratic.

Inevitably, there will be future crises necessitating more large vigils like Monday’s. If Mr. Baumman is interested in attending these (or the smaller, weekly vigils), I invite him to contact me. And by the way, we do care a lot about our soldiers and wish them out of harm’s way when we are enmeshed in unnecessary battles.

Barbara Haack, vigil organizer

West Newbury