by Matthai Kuruvila, Meredith May, Steve Rubenstein, Anastasia Ustinova sfgate.com
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
(03-19) 18:55 PDT SAN FRANCISCO – — Hundreds of anti-war protesters rallied today at San Francisco’s City Hall, condemning the Iraq war’s fifth anniversary and culminating a day’s worth of often contentious gatherings in the region.
“It’s been five years and we want to be out,” State Sen. Carole Migden said to the protesters gathered at City Hall. “And we want to bring the money home. We want to bring the troops home. We want to use that money for health care, affordable housing. And we want to spend it on young people at home.”
With each reference, the crowd roared in approval.
While defiant in tone, the Civic Center rally was in sharp contrast to protests earlier in the day which resulted in more than 140 people being arrested – most in front of Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s office.
Protesters briefly clashed with San Francisco police several times as officers tried to clear Market Street of hundreds of demonstrators.
One scuffle took place after about two dozen demonstrators staged a “die-in” at about 12:15 p.m. in front of Feinstein’s office at the intersection of Market and New Montgomery streets and were surrounded by 80 police officers in riot gear. After more than two hours of protests – and about 100 arrests – authorities finally cleared the intersection and reopened Market Street to traffic at 2:30 p.m.
Left-wing activist Daniel Ellsberg told the crowd, “The symbolism of people lying in death appears to symbolize the life and death seriousness as we enter the sixth year of this crime against the American people.” He soon sat down in the street and was himself arrested.
Anti-War protesters march through Mission District
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
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