20,000 protest war in Portland, Oregon

Fred Feldman ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Mon Jan 20 06:45:00 MST 2003

More than 20,000 attend Portland peace march
The Associated Press

More than 20,000 people marched through downtown Portland Saturday to
protest a possible war in Iraq in one of the city's largest peace rallies

Downtown streets rang with drumbeats, cheers and peace hymns, and marchers
hoisted signs that read "War is Just Terrorism With a Bigger Budget,"
"Preventative War: An Oxymoronic Idea" and "Grandmas for Peace."

Elderly women in wheelchairs joined families with small children, couples
with dogs and hooded protesters dressed in black as the eclectic crowd wound
through the city, at times stopping traffic.

"Bush keeps saying he represents the will of the people, but he does not,"
said Barry Vandiver, 58, of Salem. "Two hundred billion dollars could be
well-spent fighting hunger and the world problems that cause us to fight
these wars."

Vandiver said he had protested against the Vietnam War too, years ago and
half a continent away in Arkansas.

Fifty-year-old Candy Ouellette, of Portland, said her son -- a U.S.
Marine -- left Friday from San Diego on a ship bound for Kuwait, possibly to
fight a war in which neither of them believe.

"We have got a president who is playing power games with our kids. He hasn't
even explored all the options," she said. "It's a powder keg over there --
war is a big mistake."

A more radical group of protestors -- including anarchists -- occasionally
splintered off from the main gathering and waded into traffic-filled
streets, saying they wanted to speak out for peace, but also against
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