Antiwar Protests Spread to Smaller Cities – Rallies, Marches, Sit-Ins & Civil Disobedience
COLUMBIA, S.C. — Holding up posters and peace signs, a larger than expected crowd of more than 70 people gathered at the Statehouse on Wednesday as part of a national day of protest marking the fifth anniversary of combat in Iraq. Brisk winds and the threat of severe weather didn’t deter protesters who demonstrated on one of Columbia’s busiest streets, as motorist honked and flashed two-fingered peace signs back at the group. One activist said public sentiment has grown against the war and protesters get a different response than they used to.
BERKELEY, CA. A rallyl was held at Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park at noon to hear peace activist Cindy Sheehan speak. About 80 to 100 people, mostly Berkeley High School students marched afterward to the Marine Corps recruiting station on Shattuck Square, where demonstrators had gathered earlier. After a short rally at the recruiting station – which has been the focus of a weeks-long protest mounted by the anti-war group Code Pink – a group of about 15 marched to the UC Berkeley campus and around the city. A half dozen or so counterprotesters trailed along.
RENO, NEVADA. 200 protesters rallied outside the Federal Building.
CEDAR FALLS, IOWA – The numbers of war opponents in this city grew tonight, and organizers say their their protest is gaining support.
At the intersection of Main and University, Iraq war protestors prop up signs twice their size in hopes of spreading a single message. “To show peace,” says five-year-old Japhy Holt. Peaceful protests have been a part of the sidewalk since the war started five years ago. Once a month, every month, the Cedar Valley United for Peace and Justice group takes control of the corner, no matter how many people show up. “Last month’s protest I think we had maybe 14 people,” says Anne Johnson, a war protestor. Wednesday night, protestors lined the block. “People are waking up and saying they can’t believe it’s been five years,” says Chris Schwartz, a protest organizer. [For more, go here.]
LEWISBURG, WEST VIRGINIA. Nearly 50 members of the Greenbrier Valley Citizens for Change braved rain Wednesday to protest the Iraq war.
NIAGARA FALLS: A group of 20 people standing in front of a Main Street church barely spoke a word Wednesday afternoon. But their message came through loud and clear: “Stop the war in Iraq.” …And there were plenty of horn honks during the demonstration, which was staged in front of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Niagara from 4 to 5 p.m. to attract the rush hour traffic.
DALLAS, TEXAS.“Five Years TOO Long” Peace Rally took place later after a press conference held by religious leaders. The rally was held at Dealey Plaza. A candlelight vigil followed the rally, sponsored by MoveOn.org.
CHICOPEE, MASS., eight people were arrested when they blocked a gate at Westover Air Reserve Base, police said.
HARTFORD, CONN. Five people were arrested for blocking the front door of a federal courthouse.
OMAHA, NEBRASKA. Dozens of antiwar protesters marched along a major highway, and took position on an overpass to display banners, flags and signs to passing motorists.
CINCINNATI, OHIO – Approximately 400 T-shirts were displayed in a 2 mile long stretch, each representing a US death in Iraq.
CHICAGO – Several hundreds of people gathered at the Federal Plaza for a large march downtown, planned for 7pm local time. [Go here for Chicago TV coverage.] Estimate of up to 10,000 marched downtown. (See separate report on Chicago.)
ATTENTION: If you attended any of the above actions or had your own, please send us a comment.