Occupy, anti-war activists band together

Oct. 7, 2011 at 4:00 AM
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WASHINGTON, Oct. 7 (UPI) -- The Occupy movement would band together with Washington activists protesting the Afghan war Friday on the U.S. invasion's 10th anniversary, organizers said.

The movement, which began Sept. 17 as Occupy Wall Street with a small group of young people protesting near the New York Stock Exchange, has expanded to scores of cities across the country and drawn high-profile activists, along with union members and laid-off workers.

One sign in Washington Thursday read, "Lost my job, found an occupation."

Friday's Washington protests will call for "Human Needs, Not Corporate Greed," which organizers say include ending "corporate welfare," offering "healthcare for all," getting "money out of politics" and putting "workers before profits," a Washington movement aligned with the Occupy Wall Street movement said on its Web site.

The protests will unite with a previously planned protest against the war in Afghanistan, organizers said.

The war began Oct. 7, 2001, when U.S., British and allied forces launched Operation Enduring Freedom.

The invasion followed the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, and the Bush administration said the invasion's goal was to dismantle the al-Qaida terrorist organization and end its use of Afghanistan as a base. The Bush White House said the invasion would remove the Taliban regime from power and create a viable democratic state.

The anti-war and Occupy protests make sense supporting each other, Judith Simmons of Olney, Md., told CBS News.

"Our infrastructure's following apart" and one-fifth of the U.S. budget goes to the Defense Department, she said.

Simmons, 88, and her friend Clare Sinclair, 91, have been protesting the Afghanistan war every weekend for the past 10 years, they said.

"And we're getting rather tired of it," Simmons said.

President Barack Obama Thursday acknowledged "broad-based frustration" that the Occupy protests represent.

"Americans understand that not everybody has been following the rules," he said. "These days a lot of folks that are doing the right thing aren't rewarded, and a lot of folks who aren't doing the right thing are rewarded."

"That's nice," Simmons told CBS. "I'll wait until I see some action.

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