Nashville coalition demonstrates against Iraq war

September 17, 2002

A Nashville coalition against war with Iraq, organized by a retired Episcopal priest, demonstrated September 17 at the Nashville Convention Center at an appearance by President George W. Bush.

About 200 antiwar protestors marched with umbrellas and signs as Bush's motorcade pulled into the service entrance across from the Grand Ole Opry.

The Rev. Ed Landers, a retired Episcopal priest who formerly headed the 60-congregation Covenant Association for Metropolitan Community Relations in Nashville, said the group 'is a broad representation of citizens, from all faith groups' and many local campuses.

'We put this together with e-mail and one-to-one communications,' he said.

Landers said the purpose of the group is to remind the Bush administration that 'war-making is not unilateral but the concern of the Congress and our allies...We need to sustain communications with the Islamic world.'

Naomi Tutu of Fisk University's Race Relations Institute, daughter of South African archbishop emeritus Desmond Tutu, addressed the crowd. 'I am a citizen of this country and also a citizen of the world,' she said. 'It is our responsibility to pass on a better world to those who come after us.'

A group who identified themselves as refugee Iraqis showed up with large signs reading 'Iraqis Support President Bush To Extract Saddam' and 'Saddam is a Virus, Bush is the Cure.'

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