Protesters March Through Gulf Coast To New Orleans - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Protesters March Through Gulf Coast To New Orleans

About 200 people marched on Highway 90 in Gulfport - protesting one war in the hopes of trying to avoid another. A war of what they call the neglect of the people in America.

"I am shocked that something like this is happening on American soil and there's still this much destruction here six months later. I'm shocked that so much of this landscape looks exactly like what I saw in Iraq," said Iraq war veteran Michael Blake.

A coalition of people from across the country is participating in "Operation New Orleans."

They're walking 137 miles from Mobile, hoping to shine a spotlight on the continuing needs of the Gulf Coast.

"As veterans, we believe that if we, the military, if we can go around the world building homes and making peace, we surely can do it here at home. First and foremost, we support our troops, but we support our troops when its necessary to support our troops. We feel that the war that we're fighting, the dollars that's being spent on a senseless war, a war that we were lied to about, can truly be spent here at home," said Savin' Our Self director Vivian Felts from Mobile.

Their message has found an international voice as well. A television crew from the BBC London is making a documentary on the march.

Crew members say though their country is also a major player in the war, they see the importance of airing all sides of the story.

"There's a very big problem, I think, in the United States to reflect a broad opinion. These people's opinions are valid. People down here in this part of America may not agree with them, but they are still valid opinions," said BBC member Inigo Gilmore.

Opinions shared by those involved - military veterans, parents who have lost children in the war, and perhaps even your next door neighbor.

"Back in 1967, when Martin Luther King spoke out against the war, he said every bomb that is dropped on Vietnam explodes in Harlem. And today, every bomb that drops in Iraq explodes on the Gulf Coast," said Veterans For Peace national president David Cline.

The group plans to make it into New Orleans by Sunday, which will be the third anniversary of the invasion of Iraq.

By Karla Redditte

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