South Mississippians Protest War

About 30 South Mississippians gathered at the Biloxi Town Green Saturday to speak out against a war with Iraq. Will Watson, president of South Mississippi United for Peace, headed up the protest.

Watson said he and fellow demonstrators support the nation's troops, but not military action against Iraq. Watson said he knows the Mississippi Gulf Coast is home to many military men and women and he sympathizes with them and their loved ones.

Another protestor, Hal Shoemaker, said war is not the answer to America's problems. Shoemaker says if the United States were to launch an attack against Iraq, the United States would likely be perceived as terrorists.

Glen Sandberg was part of a Mississippi coast group who traveled to Washington, D.C. on the peace bus to protest a war with Iraq. He said Americans should learn from colonial history that one country should not oppress another nation for its resources.

Some protestors said the government has been lying to the people and even its military men and women.

The protest drew mixed responses from passing drivers. Some people honked in support. Others yelled obscenities from their vehicles, but protestors say at least they brought their message to the front lines.

John Lindback watched the protestors with weary eyes. The disabled veteran served 31 years in the war and spent three years defending America overseas on tours of duty. He flew over enemy territory in Vietnam, protecting American ground troops and was part of combat missions in Korea. He says he served America proudly and has no regrets.

Lindback says that's the price that must be paid for freedom. Lindback says he believes the protestors are misinformed and would learn much from visiting with veterans and others who have actually served time in the military.

Members of South Mississippi United for Peace plan to hold anti-war protests every Saturday, beginning at 10 a.m. on the Biloxi Town Green.