Dr. Matthew Margulies (left) and Lois Hamilton with signs at the corner of Chapla and Carrillo Streets
Paul Wellman

The Santa Barbara Peoples’ Coalition, a group of social justice activist organizations, rallied at the corner of Carrillo and Chapala streets to mark the sixth anniversary of the Iraq War. “We’re beginning our seventh year in Iraq. With the crumbling economy, we don’t want people to forget that,” said Lois Hamilton, the Coalition’s MoveOn.org coordinator, standing at the intersection at rush hour with about a dozen other demonstrators. Hamilton said the group is calling for President Barack Obama to live up to his campaign promise to remove all U.S. troops from Iraq by 2010, and that they oppose a surge in Afghanistan. Calling the Central Asian Islamist hotbed the “graveyard of empires,” she said that Soviet involvement in Afghanistan led to the destruction of their political structure, and is likely to do the same to the U.S. “We can’t wipe out the Taliban and terrorists,” she said. “Most of these people want to live in peace and need a chance to do it on their own. We can’t force this upon them. We have to have a UN force and redevelopment programs to help them.”


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