A message read by Peter Pelland at the rally in Rome on September 24

My name is Peter Pelland and I am from the very blue state of Massachusetts.

My wife, Barbara, and I are celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary vacationing in Italy. We are here today because there is no vacation from the Bush Administration’s relentless assault upon the civil liberties of Americans at home and the sovereignty of nations abroad.

I am proud to say that I did not vote for George Bush – either time and either Senior or Junior – particularly in the election of 2000, where the Supreme Court determined the outcome by calling a halt to the counting of votes, or the election of 2004, which George Bush interpreted as a public endorsement of his misadventures in Iraq.

Americans live in a country which has earned respect around the world thanks to the principles of truth, justice and freedom upon which it was founded … the same principles which have been intentionally dismantled by George W. Bush and his accomplices. Democracy cannot be imposed upon another nation or society through the toppling of a government – however unsavory it may have been, through the actions of a foreign government – however powerful it may be. The weapons of mass destruction in Iraq are George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld.

In speaking today, I want the city of Rome – and the world – to know that there was not a broad public support for the American invasion of Iraq, and that there is not a broad public support for the current occupation and the thousands of needless deaths which these actions have caused.

Let us as Americans pledge to go forward to call upon our government to return to its senses, and to end a foreign policy which is based upon lies and a domestic policy which is based upon corporate profits. We must evict the Republican Party from the White House in 2008, and we must pledge to elect sound-minded candidates into office from this day forward, particularly in the mid-term elections of 2006. Let us pledge to do everything possible to end the Republican control of a Congress which endorses military actions based upon lies, a response to domestic emergencies which is based upon incompetence, and the rubber stamping of conservative nominees to the Supreme Court.

George Bush: Enough is enough!

Peter Pelland

U.S. Citizens for Peace & Justice - Rome, Italy