Nation Prays, Protests for Peace
Undated (AP) _ Archbishops celebrated a Mass for peace Friday, Zionist students chanted their support for a U.S.-Israeli military alliance, and students zipped into body bags blocked entrances to a military recruiting center in Indiana.
In San Francisco, scene of the nation’s most disruptive anti-war rallies, 48 demonstrators were arrested after a mock funeral procession to the Presidio, the scenic headquarters of the 6th U.S. Army overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge.
More than 1,600 anti-war protesters have been arrested in the United States since the outbreak of war Wednesday night, including nearly 200 on Friday.
In New York, protesters screaming ″No blood for oil 3/8″ blocked entrances to a building that houses the local headquarters of the Defense Department, the FBI and the Immigration and Naturalization Service, and 36 arrests were made.
″The purpose of this protest, and others planned in the coming days ... is to exert maximum pressure on the U.S. government to immediately end this war, this bloodbath in the Middle East,″ said organizer John Haines.
Colleges and churches were among the groups organizing peace demonstrations. Rallies also were held to express support for U.S. troops and President Bush’s resort to force.
In Oklahoma City, 200 veterans and others gathered at the state fairgrounds Friday to sing patriotic songs, wave American flags and shout pro-American slogans such as ″America, just do it.″
Polls, including one taken Thursday for CBS and The New York Times, found three out of four Americans’ initial reaction to the attack on Iraq was to support Bush.
Indiana University students laid out colleagues wrapped in body bags on the doorstep of a military recruiting center in a deliberately subdued protest in Bloomington, leading to about 75 arrests.
″Those people flying those planes are our brothers and sisters. Their lives are as important as our lives,″ said protest organizer Bill Breeden.
In downtown Indianapolis, hundreds of workers jammed a flag-waving rally on Monument Circle, while a few blocks away the Indiana chapter of the American Legion saluted troops in Operation Desert Storm with a banner outside headquarters.
Six people were arrested for trying to stop people entering a Marine Corps recruiting office in Corvallis, Ore. At the University of Pittsburgh’s Greensburg campus, 40 to 50 pro-deployment demonstrators burned Iraqi flags while about a dozen anti-war protesters tried to shout them down.
In Los Angeles, police moved in on 100 protesters who refused to end a sit- in in an administration building at the University of California. They were cited for interfering with a lawful business, said campus spokeswoman Jan Klunder.
In Seattle, federal police on Friday formed a corridor through 200 protesters staging a sit-in outside the Federal Building. The demonstrators did not prevent employees from entering, and no arrests were reported.
In New York, about 200 members of a Zionist student group incensed by Iraq’s bombing of Israeli cities waved U.S. and Israeli flags and chanted ″U.S. and Israel, Together They Cannot Fail 3/8″ outside the Iraqi mission to the United Nations.
″We want to show our anger at Iraq for bombing Israel when the Israelis showed such restraint in not launching a pre-emptive strike,″ said a demonstrator, Michelle Cohanin.
Four Roman Catholic archbishops, Cardinals John O’Connor of New York, Bernard Law of Boston, Joseph Bernardin of Chicago and James Hickey of Washington, celebrated a Mass for peace at New York’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
On Thursday, an anti-war rally in San Francisco turned violent, with demonstrators hurling rocks and screaming obscenities in clashes with police.
Police Chief Willis Casey said the nearly 1,000 protesters arrested for blocking a street near the Pacific Stock Exchange exceeded the number of arrests on any one day during anti-Vietnam War rallies in San Francisco.
In Missoula, Mont., a dozen war protesters delayed the start of a nationally televised basketball game between Idaho and Montana for five minutes Thursday night by lying on the court.