WASHINGTON - A handful of anti-war protesters marched outside the White House Tuesday, carrying a coffin to symbolize the demise of health and education reforms sacrificed to a military escalation in Afghanistan.
Dressed in black, in mourning for the fallen US soldiers in the Afghan war, the dozen or so members of Code Pink, an anti-war group composed chiefly of women, staged a peaceful funeral march from the Treasury Department to the nearby White House.
"We are here mourning the misuse of the high tax dollars by President (Barack) Obama and to symbolize that we will be placing things in a coffin that represents the loss of healthcare, the loss of housing, the loss of loans for students," Code Pink co-founder Medea Benjamin told AFP.
Just hours ahead of Obama's expected announcement about sending 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan, the protesters also carried cardboard tombstones inscribed: "RIP balanced budget," "RIP human lives," "In loving memories: universal healthcare"
Formed after the US invasion of Iraq in 2002, Code Pink is highly critical of the war escalation, believing that its cost of a million dollars per soldier per year will siphon tax dollars from domestic reforms and add to an already massive budget deficit.
Despite its low media profile and apparent difficulty in attracting large numbers to their cause, Code Pink is staging other public protests Tuesday in several US cities.