End the Wars

6th Avenue Overpass Bannering in San Diego
6th Avenue Overpass Bannering in San Diego

Since the beginning of the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars, our chapter of Veterans for Peace have utilized a number of methods to remind and educate the public here in San Diego about the overall costs of the wars: both human lives and money.

Our latest recurring (bi-monthly) public outreach activity is “bannering” against the wars which we originally conducted along I-5 at the Del Mar Heights overpass and which we now display at the 6th Street overpass on I-5 near downtown. Anywhere from 10-25 veterans and supporters bring signs, banners and flags to the overpass at 4 PM and attach them to the chain link fencing with plastic twist-ties.

In the interests of maintaining a peaceful and law abiding demonstration, we notify the San Diego city police prior to the event. While the city police often stop by and observe, they have never challenged our right to free speech and assembly, so long as we stay below the top of the chain link fencing and carefully remove the banners when we depart, as we always do. Usually, we notify the local TV, radio and news press in advance and have been on TV and radio with our story.

Once banners are in place, we stand at the fencing and wave at passing cars. Drivers often return our waves or honk in support. Generally the event lasts for 2 hours.

We will do this again and again to remind the commuters in San Diego that the wars continue and that even though only 1% of American families are directly involved by sending someone to these wars, the costs of these wars are borne by all of us, especially when the city is laying off teachers, firemen, and failing to provide normal levels of city services. Volunteers are always welcome.