CLEARWATER, Fla. April 6 —
Hailing U.S. troops in Iraq as "the next greatest generation,"
Gov. Jeb Bush led more than 15,000 people in a patriotic rally,
while protesters in Harlem, Chicago and elsewhere assailed the U.S.
invasion of Iraq.
A sea of people at a Clearwater park waved American flags and
patriotic signs as they listened to Bush, the president's younger
brother, whip up support for the men and women fighting in Iraq.
"Each generation has its defining moments," said Bush. "This
generation's legacy is being written now, on the seas and in sands
of the Middle East."
The Rally for America was the latest in a series of gatherings
across the country inspired by syndicated radio talk show host Glenn
Beck, who was seeking a way to counter anti-war demonstrations.
Such anti-war protests were held Saturday in cities around the
In New York City's Harlem neighborhood, several hundred
demonstrators rallied to commemorate the nonviolent calls for world
peace made by slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King. King was
assassinated 35 years ago Friday, on April 4, 1968.
Some in the crowd held signs pointing out that the military is
made up of a large number of minorities.
"Our youth joins the armed services to escape poverty," said
Charles Barron, a city councilman. "Our youth joined the armed
services to get better education, not to be somebody's cannon fodder
Also among the protesters were several Muslims. "We have no
business in this war," Hamzi Latif said. "They say it's not a war
against Islam, but to me it is."
Surrounded by a blue wall of police officers, an estimated 1,500
people marched through downtown Chicago to show their opposition to
"Control your horses, control those sticks in your hands," former
death row inmate Aaron Patterson urged police in a speech before the
march. "Let's march peacefully today."
Patterson was referring to a demonstration two weeks ago when
thousands of people created a massive traffic jam on Lake Shore
Drive, prompting police to made more than 500 arrests. Department
spokesman Pat Camden said there were no arrests Saturday.
In Hartford, Conn., several hundred people stood in a cool
drizzle to show their support for the troops.
"People who are against this war just don't get it," said Bob
Tomasiewicz of Glastonbury, Conn., who drove to the rally in a
pickup truck with "Go Protest in Iraq" painted on back.
"Sept. 11 changed everything," he said. "We have to fight
terrorism wherever we find it. Saddam Hussein is a terrorist."
The Enduring Families Walk in Jacksonville, N.C., was billed as a
nonpartisan bolstering of the troops, many of whom hail from nearby
"This ain't time to be a Democrat or a Republican," said Chuck
Dellasantina, a retired Marine and one of about 1,000 who made the 1
1/2-mile trek. "It's time to get out and support the troops."
|Mary Valens, right, of Castro
Valley, Calif., holds up a flag during a troop supoort rally
in Pleasanton, Calif., Saturday, April 5, 2003. The rally was
sponsored by a local group called. World Peace Through Action.
(AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)|
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