Philippine 9/11 Demonstrators Say Avoid Iraq War

John Metz redsolidarity at yahoo.com
Fri Sep 13 07:09:29 MDT 2002


Philippine 9/11 Demonstrators Say Avoid Iraq War
Wed Sep 11, 2:14 AM ET

MANILA (Reuters) - Philippine troops guarded the U.S.
Embassy with automatic weapons and a machinegun on
Wednesday as a group of anti-American protesters,
waving flowers, marked September 11 with a plea to
Washington to avoid war with Iraq.

Security was tight around the embassy in the center of
the capital Manila because of fears of attack by
Islamic militants, but the mission remained open for
business.

Reuters journalists said squads of anti-riot police
blocked the protesters, who numbered a few dozen,
about 200 yards from the embassy building, but there
was no violence.

U.S. embassies in several other countries in the
region, including neighboring Indonesia and Malaysia,
remained closed on Wednesday because of the threat of
attacks.

The demonstration coincided with rising international
concern over a possible U.S. military strike against
Iraq, accused by U.S. officials of seeking to develop
weapons of mass destruction.

In Japan, about a dozen people -- some in white and
saffron robes -- gathered in front of the U.S. embassy
in Tokyo to beat small hand drums and chant Buddhist
chants in support of peace.

Two held a banner saying: "No More War! Non-violence."


The Manila protesters, members of a leftist group,
carried white roses and a sign reading "Remember 9-11
victims" in apparent sympathy for the estimated 3,000
people who died in last year's suicide hijack attacks
on New York and Washington.

But they also waved placards calling on the United
States not to attack Iraq.

"No to Gulf War 2," one sign said. Another read:
"Justice and peace, not war of terror."

While refusing passage to the protesters, police
allowed about 100 pro-American demonstrators to hold a
peaceful vigil outside the embassy.

The heavy security included a dozen commandos armed
with assault rifles and a sub-machinegun. An armored
vehicle, with a machinegun mounted atop, stood by.

The pro-American group carried U.S. flags and laid a
symbolic funeral wreath outside the embassy with a
sign reading: "September 11, never again."

Showers of rain dispersed the two groups.

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/nm/20020911/wl_nm/attack_anniversary_protests_dc_1



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