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Demonstrators Rally Across Nation To Protest U.S. Troops In Honduras

March 19, 1988

Undated (AP) _ From Maine to California, opponents of the deployment of U.S. troops in Honduras staged demonstrations that blocked traffic, damaged a military recruitment center and prompted nearly 400 arrests.

More than 500 protesters, chanting and waving signs, obstructed the entrance to the Federal Building in San Francisco and stopped traffic during a five-hour demonstration Friday. Police arrested 250 of them for failure to disperse at an unlawful assembly, said police Sgt. Dave Ambrose.

Violence erupted sporadically at the second demonstration in two days when protesters tried to grab police batons and other equipment. Officers lashed back, jamming the batons in the demonstrators’ faces, stomachs and chests.

Another 1,000 demonstrators, gathered by a coalition of San Francisco’s gay and lesbian groups, stopped traffic Friday night on Market Street.

About two dozen police on motorcycles kept the marchers moving as motorists delayed by the demonstration honked, some in frustration, some in support.

About 1,500 people marched from Times Square to the United Nations in New York in a hastily organized protest Friday night. Two people were arrested for disorderly conduct, said Sgt. Edward Burns, a police spokesman.

Police blocked rush-hour traffic along the route to accommodate the protest.

In Los Angeles, about 75 demonstrators gathered at the federal office building. Twenty-five were arrested for refusing to leave the lobby when the building closed for the day and were cited for trespassing, a misdemeanor.

Federal police in Sacramento, Calif., arrested 29 demonstrators outside the Federal Building, where 275 people gathered. At Fresno State University, about 150 people rallied.

Former President Jimmy Carter joined the opposition to President Reagan’s deployment of the soldiers in the war-torn region.

″It think it is a serious mistake. It’s another example of where President Reagan is exaggerating the situation for his own purposes,″ Carter said Friday in New Orleans after addressing a conference of university presidents.

In Chicago, 60 protesters out of a crowd of about 400 were arrested on misdemeanor disorderly conduct charges after they pasted orange stickers on windows at the federal building and sat in intersections, police said. Many of the stickers bore skull-and-crossbone symbols and the message ″Stop U.S. intervention in Central America.″

Protesters in Minneapolis hurled bowling balls, eggs and paint at a military recruitment building, broke four windows and ripped up a uniformed mannequin. Scuffles broke out between protesters and counterdemonstrat ors, but there were no arrests or injuries, police said.

In Washington, 150 to 200 people demonstrated outside the White House, said police Officer Tom Randolph. Twenty-four were arrested after the protest spilled into Pennsylvania Avenue and were fined $25 for disorderly conduct.

In Portland, Ore., Millie Thayer, a member of the Portland Central America Solidarity Committee, told about 200 protesters that Reagan is risking more than military failure.

″We may be facing the presence of another Vietnam, but the Reagan administration is facing a solidarity movement stronger, deeper and more diverse than the Vietnam movement ever was,″ she said. ″We don’t have to wait for the body bags to come back before we begin our protest.″

In Boston, about 10 demonstrators were removed from a U.S. Navy recruitment center Friday afternoon. None was arrested.

More than 100 people marched in the Nicaraguan immigrant enclave of Sweetwater, Fla., with signs supporting U.S. policy and mutilated an effigy of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega.

About 200 people gathered at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, and at Augusta, Maine, about 15 people quietly gathered at a busy intersection holding signs saying ″Stop the Reagan War Machine″ and ″U.S. Troops Out of Honduras.″

In Sioux Falls, S.D., about 70 people opposed to the troop deployment demonstrated outside the main post office while a small knot of people who supported the move shouted taunts through bullhorns. Three were arrested.

In Seattle, about 40 cars circled the federal building to show their opposition to the troop movement, jamming streets for about an hour.

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