Anti-War Demonstrations Continue as U.S. Soldiers March Toward Baghdad
By Martha Mendoza
SAN FRANCISCO (AP - 21 March) - Undeterred by mass arrests, raucous bands
of demonstrators marched through the streets of San Francisco
on Friday in the largest of anti-war protests around the
Smaller groups elsewhere demonstrated in support of U.S.
"We will sustain this for many days. This is really just the
start," said Jamie Hurlbut, an office worker who joined
protesters blocking downtown San Francisco traffic Friday after
eight hours in police custody Thursday.
"I literally went to sleep and came back out to hit the streets
>From demonstrations near the White House to a march through
downtown Boulder, Colo., from candlelight vigils to traffic
disruptions, anti-war demonstrations continued as U.S. troops
marched toward Baghdad.
The numbers of arrests were down markedly from Thursday, when
police made more than 2,000, most in San Francisco. By Friday
afternoon, about 300 people had been arrested in demonstrations
around the nation.
At a Columbus, Ohio, rally to support U.S. soldiers, several
hundred people brought shaving cream, toothpaste and other
supplies for the troops. In return, Gov. Bob Taft's office
distributed 1,000 red, white and blue ribbons.
Many anti-war demonstrations focused on federal buildings,
including a few dozen who gathered outside the federal building
in Seattle, and the offices of U.S. senators, including
Democratic Sen. Joe Lieberman in Hartford, Conn., and Sens.
Hillary Rodham Clinton and Charles Schumer in New York. In San
Francisco, police blocked hundreds from entering the offices of
Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein.
In the nation's capital, about 100 people gathered outside a
park near the White House. Atop the stroller of 2 1/2-year-old
Margot Bloch her mother, Nadine, had written: "Be nice. No
hitting. Peace now." Police said 22 people were arrested for
disrupting traffic, but only 18 were charged with blocking the
Smaller groups of protesters staged "die-ins" at major
intersections near the White House, lying down and drawing
chalk lines around their bodies, or smearing fake blood on
themselves and the street.
Fake blood was also tossed Friday in Lawrence, Kan., where a
man dressed as Uncle Sam stopped traffic as he dribbled red
liquid on mock victims lying in the street.
At a federal courthouse in Baltimore, about 45 people were
arrested after blocking a driveway. University of Maryland
students staged a mock "funeral for democracy" in nearby
College Park and about 70 protesters waved anti-war banners
before trying to enter the building. When security guards
blocked them, they dropped to the damp ground to simulate war
"We are mourning the deaths of innocent Iraqis who have no
responsibility for anything their government may have done,"
said Ellen Barfield as she lay on her back in the grass.
Two side-by-side rallies, one attacking and the other defending
U.S. policies, were held in Pittsburgh's downtown Market
Square. Printer Bryan Reiter and co-workers left the job for a
pro-U.S. rally, and held a sign that read: "War is evil, but
sometimes it is the lesser of evils."
In Boston on Friday, a five-week peace march culminated with a
200-person rally on City Hall Plaza.
"It's more important than ever that we continue to walk and
pray and raise our voices against this war," said Sister Clare
Carter of the Buddhist Peace Pagoda in Leverett, Mass., where
the march started Feb. 16. "If we give in to war, there really
is no hope."
In Los Angeles, 27 were arrested in protests Friday; 30 were
arrested in Sacramento, including Grandmothers for Peace member
Loretta Schmitz, 67, who said it was her 20th arrest.
As many as 500 protesters targeted the northern New Mexico farm
owned by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on Thursday, pulling
down an American flag and erecting anti-war signs. There were
Larger anti-war demonstrations and vigils, as well as rallies
to support the troops, were scheduled in many major cities for
By far, the largest number of arrests were tallied in San
Francisco. More than 80 demonstrators had been arrested by
Friday morning, a day after police made 1,400 arrests,
including 80 who were charged with felonies.
Though most of the Thursday protests were peaceful, even
festive, some demonstrators scuffled with police and splinter
groups broke windows and heaved newspaper racks and debris into
"We went from what I would call legal protests to absolute
anarchy," Assistant Police Chief Alex Fagan Sr. said. Police
said they spent $450,000 containing the demonstrations.