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Marching to beat of anti-war drums
Hundreds join Cleveland protest

02/16/03
Angela D. Chatman
Plain Dealer Reporter

Anti-war protesters paced Trinity Cathedral in downtown Cleveland yesterday as speakers called for peace, a continuation of the policy of containment against Saddam Hussein, and even the ouster of President Bush.

After the 90-minute rally, the protesters carried signs and banners in a march from the church at East 22nd and Euclid Avenue to the Federal Office Building at East Sixth Street and Lakeside Avenue, where the rally continued. The demonstrators then marched back to Trinity Cathedral.

The protest was sponsored by the Northeast Ohio Anti-War Coalition and Intercommunity/Interfaith Push for Peace.

"We will no longer tolerate an atmosphere of fear, anxiety and hatred," said Gregory Jacobs, canon of mission and ministry at Trinity Cathedral.

US Rep. Sherrod Brown, Democrat of Lorain, said the Bush administration's call for a pre-emptive strike in Iraq reverses this country's long-standing policy of containment against its enemies. He also said there was an inequity in Bush's approach.

"A man who disappeared for six months to a year when he was in the National Guard now wants to send working-class white kids, working-class black kids and working-class Hispanic kids to war," Brown said.

If we go into Iraq pre-emptively, is America a safer country?" asked Brown, one of 133 members of Congress to vote against authorizing Bush to act.

His remarks drew applause and a standing ovation from a crowd that organizers estimated at more than 1200. People crammed into the cathedral's sanctuary and two overflow rooms. One woman carried a sign saying "Wellstone!" is memory of Paul Wellstone, the Democratic senator from Minnesota, who opposed war. Wellstone died in a place crash last October.

Other speakers included Dr. Norman Robbins, professor emeritus of the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine; John Ryan of the Cleveland AFL-CIO Federation of Labor; and Khalid Samad of Peace in the Hood and Council of Cleveland Mosques.

"We must not lose our imagination for a world that is better than the world that we know we have now," said the Rev. Julius Trimble, Cleveland district superintendent in the East Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church.

Dr Maxwell Davis of Shaker Heights said he joined yestersday's and previous protests because the war plan is "taking needed dollars from all the domestic priorities we have and killing innocent children needlessly."

Anti-war activities continue at 2 p.m. today when Artists Against the War present "A Show of Peace," six hours of dance, music, theater and other arts at the Church of the Covenant, 11205 Euclid Ave., Cleveland.

2003 The Plain Dealer. Used with permission

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