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Shelley Osterloh reportingProtests both for and against the war continued demonstrations today, including one here in Utah.
Nine anti-war demonstrators were arrested at the Wallace F. Bennett Federal Building for creating a civil disturbance.
The protesters that were arrested today were from the group Utah Citizens for Peace, the same group that was arrested a week ago for blocking Congressman Matheson's office. Still it doesn't appear they are having much sucess at swaying public opinion.
Protesters say blocking the door of the Wallace F. Bennett Federal building is their way of symbolically blocking the federal government's war on Iraq.
They tried the same stunt last Friday, and thought they'd be arrested then. But workers used other doors and let the protesters sit until they got tired and went home.
So they came back again.
Paul Baer, Utah Citizens for Peace: "WE ALL ARE IN STRONG OPPOSITION TO THE WAR. WE BELIEVE IT IS BOTH AN ILLEGAL AND IMMORAL WAR. AND THIS IS THE STRONGEST STATEMENT A CITIZEN CAN MAKE. WHEN OUR VOICES THROUGH PETITIONING HAVE NOT BEEN HEARD, TO PUT THEIR BODY ON THE LINE, AND RISK ARREST AND RISK JAIL IS THE STRONGEST STATEMENT WE CAN MAKE."
Nine people were for arrested for creating a public disturbance at a federal building. But their anti-war opinions, at least here in Utah, are in the minority.
Survey USA asked 500 Utahns if they support or oppose United States military action against Iraq, and 85% say they support it.
One woman said: "BECAUSE SOMETHING NEEDED TO BE DONE ABOUT THAT MAN AND HIS REGIME, AND NOBODY ELSE WAS STEPPING UP AND WE ARE PROBABLY THE ONLY COUNTRY THAT HAS THE RESOURCES TO DO IT."
Only about one in ten oppose the war.
Protester: "IT SEEMS TO ME WE ARE ASKING FOR MORE TERRORISM BECAUSE WE ARE NOW CREATING SUCH HATRED FOR AMERICANS WE WILL NOT BE ABLE TO COMPARE IT TO ANY PAST EXPERIENCE WE HAVE HAD."
Last weekend, American forces suffered casualties when an American Muslim soldier apparently threw grenades into some tents.
The Survey USA poll shows 73% of Utahns say Muslims should be allowed to serve in the US armed forces. 20% say Muslims should not be allowed to serve in the U.S. military, and 7% say they are not sure.
"I DON'T THINK PEOPLE SHOULD BE KEPT FROM SERVING THEIR COUNTRY BECAUSE OF THEIR RELIGION. I DON'T THINK RELIGION HAS ANYTHING TO DO WITH IT. "
Of the nine people that were arrested today, protesters here say eight were actually blocking the door. The other person was yelling loudly at officers as they arrested the protesters, and ended up in custody with them.