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Insurance Problems Follow Peace Marchers

March 4, 1986

CLAREMONT, Calif. (AP) _ Insurance problems continue to shadow peace marchers, who were refused permission to use a high school athletic field as a campsite on the third day of their 3,235-mile walk across the country.

The more than 1,000 marchers had planned to spend Monday night on the athletic field at Claremont High School. Instead, churches and private homes opened their doors, said PRO-Peace spokeswoman Bobbi Cowan.

Both the city of Claremont and the Claremont Unified School District approved use of the field last week, but PRO-Peace, the group sponsoring the march for nuclear disarmament, didn’t have the required $5 million in liability insurance, said district business manager Ron Fortson.

″(We’re) trying to make sure the school district is adequately protecting itself,″ he said.

PRO-Peace is still trying to iron out some financing and insurance problems, Ms. Cowan said. It has raised $3.4 million but estimates it will need $15 million for the entire 8 1/2 -month march.

Insurance questions have troubled the group from the beginning. The California Department of Transportation and some cities along the march route said they wouldn’t grant parade permits to PRO-Peace without coverage to protect them from lawsuits if a marcher is injured.

The group already has a $1 million insurance policy, at a cost of $1,000 a day, march organizers said.

The march started Saturday at the Los Angeles Coliseum. Some 200 unauthorized marchers have joined the group, pushing the number of participants to 1,400, Ms. Cowan said.

″They’re trying to pare down the march and send these people home,″ she said. ″They want to pick up more marchers, but this is a little early in the game and they don’t have their insurance and financing taken care of.″

The route will take marchers through 37 cities and 15 states to Washington, D.C., where they are scheduled to arrive Nov. 14. Organizers hope the marchers’ number will swell to 5,000 by the time the walk ends.

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