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Massive Anti-War Protest Converges Downtown

More Than 1,000 Demonstrators Attended March, Rally
POSTED: 2:54 p.m. EST November 17, 2002/ABC Northeast Ohio News Affiliate NewsChannel 5

CLEVELAND -- More than 1,000 people staged a '60s-style demonstration downtown Saturday to protest any U.S.-led attack on Iraq.

NewsChannel5's Tony Gaskins reported that protesters walked from Market Square on West 25th Street and across the Detroit-Superior Bridge, with the help of police escorts.

Demonstrators surged up Superior Avenue and onto Public Square, with a sea of signs condemning President George W. Bush's proposed plan to wage war to topple Saddam Hussein.

Several members from various peacekeeping organizations spoke, and the crowd participated in many songs and chants.

"I think it's important that our Congress and senators, (and) indeed President Bush, realize that nobody wants this or at least very few people and they need to be doing what the American people want," protester Nya Stevens said.

Mayor Jane Campbell's mother, the Rev. Joan Brown Campbell, stepped up to the podium and claimed Hussein is a dangerous man.

"But the fact of the matter is we have enough imagination and courage to try every alternative before going to war," she said. "The results of war could be drastic."

The protesters called for more money for health care, jobs and education. They do not believe the United States faces any imminent threat from Iraq.

"A preemptive war would cause incredible human suffering," rally organizer Greg Coleridge said. "This war would result no doubt in retaliation and retribution from people overseas."

The peace activists vowed that their movement is not about to run out of steam, NewsChannel5 reported.

Copyright 2002 by NewsNet5. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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