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Tens of Thousands Converge in DC for Peace – Again

Tens of Thousands Converge in DC for Peace – Again

Today an estimated 45,000 (police estimate) gathered around the Washington Monument on the Mall, protesting the injustice of a war on Iraq and its civilians, as well as the unilateral process the Bush Administration and its few allies are engaging in.

The demonstration in Washington was smaller than recent ones that have attracted 100,000 and over 200,000 participants, possibly due to the recent plethora of calls for large anti-war protests. Unusual groupings and signs appeared at this one, that long-time DC residents haven't seen before.

One large sign said "Mainstream White Guys Against the War", while others came as "Attorneys Against the War," as well as the now acceptable turnout of Democratic Party members, and a lone Metro policeman with "DC Cop Against the War". The most popular chants called for "Drop Bush, Not Bombs" or "Impeach Bush", by protesters carrying homemade signs with computer manipulated photos that specifically focused on and targeted Bush.

Local and out-of-town contingents included those that found solidarity through ethnic association, the labor movement, their profession, and their desire for social and economic justice through new institutions or community instead of states and corporations. Organizers promise that the intensity of protests will increase in the event of war - with more non-violent direct action including: sit-ins, strikes and walk-outs -- the obstruction of "business as usual."

A small breakaway march engaged in more militant action at the World Bank with a few arrests.

Group of 25-30 anarchists stormed the World Bank, spraypainted slogans and knocked over statues.

As part of one of the breakaway marches during today's demonstrations against the war, a group of 25-30 anarchists stormed the World Bank building. They ran through the building, spraypainting slogans and knocking over statues. Most of the group escaped out the back door.

There were six people arrested at the World Bank. One or two are juveniles. The arrestees are being held at the First and Second District precincts.

One speaker from the stage stated the war had not started due to global protests, and others encouraged people to keep organizing even if the bombing starts.

Similar large and small anti-war protests occurred today, starting in Australia and sweeping around the globe. One of the largest demonstrations was in Spain, whose Prime Minister is joining Bush and the UK's PM Blair in a "Council of War" this weekend on the island of Azores. The world's citizens have vocally expressed their dissent, sometimes strongly contradicting the official position of their states such as in Spain and Britain.

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