News / 

Thousands of U.S. Protesters take to the Streets

Thousands of U.S. Protesters take to the Streets

Save Story
Leer en espaƱol

Estimated read time: 4-5 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

NEW YORK (AP) -- Tens of thousands of anti-war demonstrators, spanning 30 blocks, marched down Broadway on Saturday as part of a fresh round of cross-country protest against war on Iraq. Military backers also showed their support with flags and "USA" chants.

In Chicago, some of about 800 troop supporters came within 20 feet of a small group of anti-war activists outside a federal building. As the protesters shouted, "killers, killers, killers," a military backer yelled back, "idiots, idiots, idiots." Later, about 500 anti-war protesters marched around the same building.

Carrying peace signs and wearing costumes, demonstrators in New York streamed toward Washington Square Park. Unofficial police estimates put the crowd at 120,000 or more; United for Peace and Justice, the organizers of the march, estimated the crowd at more than 200,000.

Thousands of U.S. Protesters take to the Streets

"I believe if you really want to show `shock and awe,' you should show love and justice," said marcher Bob Edgar, an officer at the National Council of Churches.

Carol Laverne wore a pair of angel's wings and carried a sign saying "Thou shall not kill." Susan Sonz and her 9-year-old son, Ruben, came to the march from their home near the World Trade Center ground zero site. The boy carried a sign saying, "Ground Zero kids against the war."

"We don't want to see more innocent people die," Sonz said.

Some celebrities joined in, including actors Roy Scheider, Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee, and singer Patti Smith.

"We support the troops, but we do not support the president," said Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., a Korean War veteran.

About 2,000 police were assigned to the rally, including undercover officers with beeper-sized radiation detectors and other counterterrorism measures. Officers scuffled with some activists at one point, and police in riot gear moved in to break up the crowd. Several arrests were reported.

Thousands protested in San Francisco after two days of anti-war rallies in which about 2,200 were arrested.

San Francisco police on Friday vowed to be more aggressive in controlling the crowds, but the latest demonstration was largely peaceful at the outset.

"Families are coming out, kids are coming out. In deference to that, we want to keep this a positive experience," said organizer Mario Santos of International ANSWER. "There's no point to civil disobedience. It's Saturday. Everything's closed."

In Hollywood, war protesters marched down Sunset Boulevard, complaining that news coverage is slanted. One sign showed a photo of an Iraqi mother with a wounded child and said, "Collateral damage has a face."

In Washington, several hundred protesters, chanting "No blood for oil," strode through the streets and rallied in front of the White House. Their pink and orange signs read "No war against Iraq" and "Money for unemployment, not war."

Two protesters were arrested. One of them pushed an officer off his bicycle, police said.

In Chicopee, Mass., about 50 of 1,500 protesters were arrested when they blocked a road to Westover Air Reserve Base during an anti-war rally.

Sixteen protesters were arrested on trespassing charges when they refused to leave Iowa's National Guard headquarters, in Johnston. One of them, Carolyn Uhlenhake Walker, an elementary school teacher, declared, "I'm a patriot, and I'm offended by people that say we don't love our country."

In Reno, Nev., about 200 pro-military demonstrators crashed a smaller anti-war protest, drowning out peace hymns with chants of "USA" and "Support our troops."

More than 5,000 backers of the American military demonstrated at a baseball stadium in Millington, Tenn., home to a military base. Ricky Hunt held a poster with an 8-by-10 photograph of a young Marine he knows in Iraq. He also slung a Marine Corps flag over his shoulder.

"We're really tired of all the protesters. I don't understand them. I think they ought to remember where they got their freedom," Hunt said.

In Lansing, Mich., war supporters rallied at the state Capitol with American flags. Patriotic music rang out, and the crowd of hundreds chanted "USA." Dawn Connor held up a sign that said, "Anti-war Jefferson City, Mo.; Charleston, S.C.; Bear, Del.; and Raleigh, N.C.

In Louisville, Ky., about 400 young military wives, leather-clad bikers, veterans and others also massed and declared solidarity with U.S. soldiers.

Abroad, tens of thousands of angry protesters from London to Japan again marched against the war. Some denounced their governments for backing the United States.

Since the outbreak of war, peace demonstrations have spread to dozens of American cities large and small in one of the widest outpourings of anti-government protesting in many years. Anti-war activists have blocked traffic, sat in at federal buildings, prayed at somber candlelight vigils, and laid down on sidewalks to symbolize the war dead.

Mostly smaller counterdemonstrations have sprung up too, appealing for support of the invasion or U.S. troops.

Nearly all protests have been peaceful, though scuffling with police broke out on a few occasions. More than 3,000 arrests have been made, usually as police tried to clear streets and keep buildings open.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Most recent News stories


Get informative articles and interesting stories delivered to your inbox weekly. Subscribe to the Trending 5.
By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

KSL Weather Forecast