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Anti-war protesters to march on Sunday

Jesse Tinsley
Plain Dealer Reporter

East Cleveland - Anti-war protesters will spill into the city's streets Sunday to oppose the impending U.S. military intervention in Iraq. It is the fourth protest in five months organized by the Northeast Ohio Anti-war Coalition (NOAC), an umbrella group that has united dozens of regional, pro-peace factions since last fall.

Protest organizers chose East Cleveland - one of the state's poorest communities - to denounce what appears to be an imminent attack and to discuss the socioeconomic impact a high-priced war could have on such cities. Last week East Cleveland City Council joined dozens of others nationwide by passing an anti-war resolution.

"The decision to prepare for war in Iraq has some real domestic consequences that affect jobs, health care, housing and neighborhoods," said Greg Coleridge, coordinator of NOAC.

"While he [President Bush] pours more tax dollars into an obscenely huge war machine, he allows America's cities and neighborhoods to crumble," he said. The rally begins at 2 p.m. inside Christ the King Catholic Church, 1862 Noble Road, where speakers will address the consequences of war. Following the rally, demonstrators will march from the church to Shaw High School on Euclid Avenue, where the demonstration will end with a few brief speeches, Coleridge said.

Expected to participate are City Council members, religious and community leaders and veterans from several wars, including World War II, Korea, Vietnam and the Gulf War, organizers said.

Coleridge said NOAC is pinning its hopes on a peaceful solution to force Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein to disarm.

"Protest is as important now as it has ever been," he said.

"With our sisters and brothers around the world, we have a responsibility to stand up aggressively, forcefully and persistently to oppose this war."

NOAC has sponsored demonstrations at Public Square and Trinity Cathedral, along with a daylong anti-war conference at Cleveland State University.

2003 The Plain Dealer. Used with permission.

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