Wednesday, March 19, marks the fifth anniversary of the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq. Five years ago, hundreds of us gathered around the Bloomington Courthouse Square, incredulous and devastated, when the bombs started falling on Baghdad.

Now hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and nearly 4,000 U.S. soldiers have been killed. Untold numbers of Iraqis and nearly 30,000 U.S soldiers have been wounded. Two million Iraqis are living as refugees in other countries, and another 2.5 million are displaced within Iraq. More than 500 billion dollars have been spent on the U.S. occupation of Iraq, so far.

The great majority of the people of this country want the U.S. occupation of Iraq to end. Yet, policymakers in Washington, D.C, including 9th District Representative Baron Hill and Indiana Senators Evan Bayh and Richard Lugar, to this day have not used their power to end funding for the war and to begin bringing the troops home.

On the fifth anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, residents of south-central Indiana will come together in Bloomington, Indiana, to:

  • Mourn all those who have been killed, maimed, orphaned, widowed, brutalized, tortured, displaced and impoverished as a result of the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq.
  • Make a powerful statement to Congress that the U.S. occupation of Iraq must end, and that all U.S. troops and military contractors must be withdrawn immediately.
  • Demand that Congress seek peace with Iran.

We encourage you to join the peace demonstrations/action planned for March 19 in Bloomington and to visit the "Eyes Wide Open" Exhibit on the Bloomington Courthouse Square.



March 19

4 p.m.: IU CAMPUS.

  • Indiana University students will gather on Campus between Ballantine Hall and Woodburn Hall for a peace march to Sample Gates.
  • Bloomington South High School "Panthers Against War" will join the IU student march.


    Hilary Scarsella, a member of Christian Peacemaker Teams, will speak about the power of nonviolence.


    This includes a "5 Minutes for 5 Years - Freeze Action" at the National Guard Recruiting Office.


  • Greeting and Passing of the Peace with Sura Gail Tala.
  • Speakers Scott Russell Sanders and David Keppel address nonviolence and U.S. policy on Iraq.
  • Participants are encouraged to write messages to Congressman Baron Hill about ending the U.S. occupation of Iraq.
  • Reading of the names of Indiana soldiers and Iraqi civilians killed in Iraq as a result of the war and occupation.


    6:00 - 6:30 pm: SHOWERS PLAZA.

  • Delivery of postcard messages to Congressman Hill's office.
  • Invited members of the U.S. Congress and 9th District Congressional candidates will speak about ending the war and about U.S. troop withdrawal. Congressional candidates Democrat John Bottorff, Democrat Gretchen Clearwater, and Libertarian Eric Schansberg have confirmed their participation.


    Eyes Wide Open

    On March 19, 2008, between 4 and 6 p.m., Bloomington Friends will host an "Eyes Wide Open" exhibit, a project of the American Friends Service Committee. Residents of south-central Indiana are invited to see this powerful and moving display of 85 boots representing Indiana soldiers killed in Iraq.

    The exhibit on the Courthouse Square in Bloomington also includes shoes representing Iraqi men, women and children who have been killed as a result of the U.S. invasion and occupation. ... for more information.

    Bloomington's "5 Years Too Many - PEACE NOW" Demonstration and Action on March 19 is one of many demonstrations and actions planned in Washington D.C. and around the country for that day. See ... for more information.


    For more information

    Christine Glaser, Bloomington Peace Action Coalition, 812.336.0360,

    Hilary Scarsella, Indiana Students Against War, 574.276.3821,

    Erin Polley, Eyes Wide Open, American Friends Service Committee, Chicago, 312.427.2533, ext. 25