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Anti-war protestors march in Washington
(AP)
Updated: 2005-09-25 08:52

Crowds opposed to the war in Iraq surged past the White House on Saturday, shouting "Peace now" in the largest anti-war protest in the nation's capital since the U.S. invasion.


Anti-war protesters wearing prison uniforms and masks depicting from left to right Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, President Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney, sit among crosses and flag draped coffins during protests on the National Mall, Saturday, Sept. 24, 2005 in Washington. Crowds opposed to the war in Iraq surged past the White House on Saturday, shouting 'Peace now' in the largest anti-war protest in the nation's capital since the U.S. invasion. The rally stretched through the day and into the night, a marathon of music, speechmaking and dissent on the National Mall. [AP]

The rally stretched through the day and into the night, a marathon of music, speechmaking and dissent on the National Mall. Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey, noting that organizers had hoped to draw 100,000 people, said, "I think they probably hit that."

Speakers from the stage attacked President Bush's policies head on, but he was not at the White House to hear it. He spent the day in Colorado and Texas, monitoring hurricane recovery.

In the crowd: young activists, nuns whose anti-war activism dates to Vietnam, parents mourning their children in uniform lost in Iraq, and uncountable families motivated for the first time to protest.

Connie McCroskey, 58, came from Des Moines, Iowa, with two of her daughters, both in their 20s, for the family's first demonstration. McCroskey, whose father fought in World War II, said she never would have dared protest during the Vietnam War.

"Today, I had some courage," she said.


Volunteers carry symbolic caskets draped with flags as thousands participate in an anti-war march in downtown Los Angeles September 24, 2005. [Reuters]
While united against the war, political beliefs varied. Paul Rutherford, 60, of Vandalia, Mich., said he is a Republican who supported Bush in the last election and still does except for the war.

"President Bush needs to admit he made a mistake in the war and bring the troops home, and let's move on," Rutherford said. His wife, Judy, 58, called the removal of Saddam Hussein "a noble mission" but said U.S. troops should have left when claims that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction proved unfounded.

"We found that there were none and yet we still stay there and innocent people are dying daily," she said.
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