A new billboard urging the U.S. to get out of Iraq and avoid another war with Iran greeted drivers on the Gowanus Expressway this week.
Activists from Brooklyn for Peace said they paid for the 30 by 40-foot billboard at 43rd Street to increase the visibility of their anti-war efforts and to attract more people to their cause.
“This is a dangerous moment in U.S. history,” Brooklyn for Peace coordinator David Tykulsker told the Courier this week. “We’re looking for as many people as possible to do as much as possible.”
The billboard declaring “U.S. Out of Iraq Now! Don’t Bomb Iran!” also carries contact information for Brooklyn for Peace.
“We in Brooklyn are joining with our neighbors to help make our demand for a new Middle East policy increasingly visible,” said Brooklyn for Peace Chair Dr. Charlotte Phillips said.
As of this writing the number of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq stands at 4,077 with anther 30,000 wounded.
Last week Thomas Insel, head of the National Institute of Mental Health, said that suicides and psychological mortality among American service men and women who served both in Iraq and Afghanistan could exceed battlefield deaths if left untreated.
This week the U.S. Congress is also debating passage of another multi-billion-dollar spending package that would fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan through the rest of 2008
Tykulsker said that he expects the new billboard will undoubtedly generate some negative reaction, but that’s okay with him.
“I’m sure we’ll get “go back to Cuba comments from people,” he said.
Nevertheless, Tykulsker said that strong political feelings were a good thing and that apathy was much more dangerous.
“Part of the problem, of course, is that kind of thing is an attempt to silence people,” Tykulsker added. “These are issues of life and death for thousands, even millions of people.”
Tykulsker would not reveal how much Brooklyn for Peace paid for the billboard, but he did say it cost four figures. It is scheduled to remain on display at the Gowanus Expressway and 43rd Street for two months.