Protesters Head For Mission Of Peace - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

01/17/03

Protesters Head For Mission Of Peace

The organization, International Answer, is sponsoring Saturday's protest. As the American military buildup continues in the Persian Gulf, about a dozen protesters met at Glen Sandberg's Gulfport home.

The message on one of their posters, "No War on Iraq," is the same one members of Mississippi United for Peace will take with them to Washington. The group will join thousands of others protesters who hope to catch the attention of our nation's leaders.

"I think the peace movement of which this protest is part has already been effective. I think we've slowed down the drive towards war and what we want to do is show there is no national consensus for war," says Will Watson, one of the protest organizers.

Sandberg, another organizer says, "I think it's the American military who are most embarrassed. They know the significance of what they do and they're glad to be backed off if this public opinion has its effect."

Inside Sandberg's Gulfport home, protesters painted picket signs they will carry during their march. Outside a bus waited to begin their long journey. The group says polls show 70% of Americans are opposed to war, especially if the U.S. goes in alone.

"This should not be going on. This is not for the American people, this is for profit of some sort to the government and this is not what the people want and this is not what the government should want," protester Josh Minor says.

"Our feeling is this war, whether it's approved by the U.N. or not, it's gonna be disastrous for world peace hence we're taking this step of riding 40 hours in a bus in 48 to stage a protest," Watson says.

Organizers say they will make stops in Hattiesburg, Alabama and Tennessee to pick up other people who will join the rally. The group will return Sunday night.

By: Marcia Hill

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