Susan Sarandon, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, singer Patti Smith, the Rev. Al Sharpton and Ben Cohen of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream were among an estimated 100,000 people who marched in Washington, D.C., on Saturday in a peaceful protest against military strikes in Iraq, PEOPLE reports.
The three-hour rally began — symbolically — near the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, then circled the White House before returning to its starting point.
“We here can imagine what war will do to human beings whose faces we will never see, whose names we will never know, whose numbers we will never know, all killed preemptively in our name,” said Sarandon, 56, who was one of more than 30 people who addressed the crowd. “This is a crime against the peace according to Aschen international law, and after this war there will be no longer any international law, only the rule of the stronger.”
Organized by ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism), similar rallies were arranged this weekend to coincide in other cities, including San Francisco, Mexico City, London and Tokyo.
“I am here as a mother because I am afraid for my children,” shouted Sarandon, who only last June was honored with the 2002 Freedom in Film Award for her commitment to free expression and civic activism. “I’m afraid for our children. I’m afraid for the Iraqi children.”
The “Dead Man Walking” Oscar winner and her partner Tim Robbins have been vocal in their criticism of possible military action. The couple also recently joined celebs such as as Martin Sheen and Jane Fonda in signing an anti-war statement published in the Los Angeles Times and New York Times.
Added Sarandon: “In the name of fear and fighting terror, we are giving the reins of power to oil men looking for distraction from their disastrous economic performance, oil men more interested in the financial bottom line than a moral bottom line.”