San Francisco, CA - Anti-war veterans group Iraq Veterans Against The War announced today that they would be changing their name. In a combined protest and press conference, IVAW leaders stressed the importance of the name change and how it will help further their goals.
IVAW Spokesman Roger Miller, an Army veteran, believes that the name change will mark a new era for the organization.
"When this first started, we wanted to stop the Iraq war. Now that it's basically over, we either needed to change our name or get actual jobs."
In a dramatic unveiling on San Francisco's Market Street, IVAW members unveiled a new banner and showed off their new look. Their new name, "War Veterans (and/or Non-Veterans) Against All Wars, Wall Street, Big Banks, Globalization, Corporations, The 1%, and for the Furthering of Socialist Objectives", took up an an entire 20 foot length of banner.
Although the name is much longer, and doesn't have quite the same ring as IVAW, many members are thrilled with the new move.
"By changing our name, we are now able focus on even more objectives," said former sailor George Herman, "and really establish our group as the premier protesting group in the country. We're not stuck with just protesting a war -- we can basically protest everything."
Others were also excited about the change for a different reason -- that they weren't stuck with the "Veterans" moniker.
"There's been this stigma, that if you haven't been to Iraq, or you weren't a veteran, you can't be a part of the group," said Jocelyn Mercer, who joined the group after college in 2004. "and yeah, I'm not either. But now, with the new name, we don't have jerks out there calling us hypocrites."
"Yeah, we're talking to you Jonn Lilyea!" exclaimed Herman, referencing a popular military blogger, "Eat it you war-monger!"
There were also some detractors. One is Alan Everett, a former Marine and founding member of IVAW.
"Don't get me wrong. I think this is great, but we probably missed a couple of things. We forgot to include being against Republicans, people from Kentucky, Monsanto, and Rush Limbaugh."