Skip to main content
CNN Europe CNN Asia
On CNN TV Transcripts Headline News CNN International About Preferences
powered by Yahoo!

Antiwar rallies scheduled across U.S.

Organizer: 220 cities to be represented at Washington protest

Iowa State University peace activists board buses in Ames for Washington on Friday.
Iowa State University peace activists board buses in Ames for Washington on Friday.

   Story Tools


WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Antiwar demonstrators will rally across the nation Saturday against Bush administration preparations for a possible invasion of Iraq, organizers said Friday.

Participants will include Hollywood celebrities, politicians, labor union leaders, religious leaders and civil rights activists, all invoking the memory of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. the weekend before the national holiday in his honor. Notable names include Academy Award-winning actress Jessica Lange, former "M.A.S.H" TV actor Mike Farrell, the Rev. Jesse Jackson and the Rev. Al Sharpton.

Brian Becker, co-director of the International Action Center, said the demonstrators will oppose the administration's rationale for war.

"Tomorrow, in the streets of Washington and San Francisco, you will see hundreds of thousands of Americans coming together to say that they do not believe the propaganda of the Bush administration; they believe they have been lied to," he said.

Becker said U.N. Resolution 1441, which requires Iraq to rid itself of weapons of mass destruction, is "a diplomatic fig leaf to serve for this administration and as a trigger to war."

Clay Yapp, a Madison middle school student, prepares to head to an anti-war protest in Washington on Friday.
Clay Yapp, a Madison middle school student, prepares to head to an anti-war protest in Washington on Friday.

Becker said people from 220 cities nationwide have committed to attending the demonstrations, which are slated to begin on Washington's National Mall at 11 a.m. EST.

Demonstrators will converge at the Capitol and march to the Washington Navy Yard, a military installation in Southeast Washington.

In San Francisco, California, where organizers predicted a turnout of about 50,000 protesters, the day's events begin at 11 a.m. (2 p.m. EST) with a march from the waterfront down Market Street in the heart of the city to the Civic Center.

"We are marching to embrace the true legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday," said a Web site for the organizer, Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (ANSWER).

"This is not the first time that a government that seeks to carry out wars of aggression has lied to the people about the nature of that war," it said.

"There is no way to drown out the voices of so many," said Mara Verhaden-Hillard, a spokeswoman for ANSWER. "George Bush has said that he intends to launch a pre-emptive war, and now he's facing the most formidable obstacle, which is a pre-emptive anti-war movement. That is what will restrain the government of the United States."

A white-haired woman who identified herself as a Republican said she, too, was planning to join the protesters.

A demonstrator carries a makeshift dove on a pole as peace activists in Minneapolis wait to board buses to Washington on Friday.

"The anti-war movement is not just a bunch of left-wing radicals," she said. "There are many, many sensible people who are opposed to this war for sensible reasons."

The woman said she did not believe Bush's contention that Iraq's weapons of mass destruction -- which that country contends it does not have -- pose an international threat.

"Personally, I think that oil interests play a big part in this," she said. "I'm much more concerned about North Korea and their weapons of mass destruction than I am about the possible ones in Iraq. But Iraq has a lot more oil, and North Korea has none. That, to me, is very telling."

The Rev. Greylan Haglard, co-chairman of the Washington rally, concurred.

"Why should our daughters and sons have to fight and die to benefit the profits of oil companies and oil industry?" he said.

Temperatures were expected to be in the 20s in Washington and in the 50s in San Francisco.

Also on the list of expected participants in Washington were former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark; documentary filmmaker and corporate gadfly Michael Moore; Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Gumbleton of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit; Rep. John Conyers, the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee; and Ron Kovic, a decorated and disabled Vietnam veteran who wrote "Born on the Fourth of July," which inspired a movie starring Tom Cruise.

Story Tools
Subscribe to Time for $1.99 cover
Top Stories
Father guilty of killing 9 of his children
Top Stories
CNN/Money: Security alert issued for 40 million credit cards
© 2004 Cable News Network LP, LLLP.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us.
external link
All external sites will open in a new browser. does not endorse external sites.