The last of the Iraq Moratorium events before the 5th anniversary of the Iraq War occurred Friday, February 15, 2008. According to the Iraq Moratorium website, 95 events were held today, in places ranging from Berkeley, CA to Auburn, Alabama to Colorado Springs, CO.

The event in New York City was held outside a military recruitment center in East Harlem on 103rd Street and Lexington Ave. A coalition of anti-war groups, including Code Pink NYC, World Can’t Wait and the Harlem Revolution Club, participated in the action that drew between 30-40 people.

A World Can’t Wait flyer passed out at the event mentioned the ongoing counter-recruiting actions in Berkeley, CA as a model for the rest of the anti-war movement to follow. The Berkeley actions have, in recent days, been getting nationwide attention due to the strong wording of a Berkeley City Council resolution that denounced the US Marine Corps and said that they were an unwelcome visitor in their community. This sparked outrage and indignation among supporters of the war, and members of Congress threatened to strip the city of it’s federal funding. The City Council bowed in the face of the mounting pressure, opting for a less harshly worded resolution against the war.

The flyer stated that “this new recruitment center in East Harlem/”El Barrio” is an example of how the recruiters particularly target Black and Latino youth and immigrants with their lies and to steal more lives for the U.S. war machine.

Chanting “What are they recruiting for? Murder, rape torture war” and holding signs that said “Say No To Military Recruiting Centers,” the protestors stood outside the recruitment center for about an hour and a half. The action then moved on to another recruitment center in Harlem, on 125th Street and Lenox Avenue. The demonstrators marched from 103rd Street to 125th Street.

Will Reese, from the Harlem Revolution Club, said that people needed to “unite with what people are doing in Berkeley…We need to get rid of this empire…This system is criminal.” Reese also professed anger at the Democrats’ enabling of this war, saying “Obama and Hillary are not going to stop this.”

Police presence was low, with three NYPD officers observing the demonstration across the street from behind a police barricade.

Barbara Harris, who is a member of Code Pink and the Granny Peace Brigade and who chairs a committee on Counter-Recruiting, said that it was important to protest these military centers because the war machine “targets these communities.” She said the organizations that she was a part of are “focused on helping students find alternatives” to the military.

Dennis O’Neil, who has been working on Iraq Moratorium events for 9 months, says that it is important “to do stuff on the local level,” which is a principle of the Iraq Moratorium project. He talked of appealing to the discontent about the war that the public is feeling, saying that he wanted to “break through the order of magnitude gap,” meaning getting people who are opposed to the war in Iraq on board the anti-war movement.