Weekend Anti-War Demonstrations Continue As Hundreds March Through Manhattan

Sunday, March 18th 2007, 3:41 pm
By: News On 6

NEW YORK (AP) _ Hundreds of anti-war activists, calling for the ``defunding'' of the war in Iraq or the immediate return of U.S. troops, marched through Manhattan on Sunday and took their case to the offices of the state's two Democratic senators.

Union members, representatives of Rev. Jesse Jackson's Rainbow-PUSH Coalition, war veterans and others joined the demonstration, one of several staged during the weekend across the country to mark the fourth anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

Actor Tim Robbins, among the speakers at the rally, organized by the New York chapter of United for Peace and Justice, told the crowd that getting Congress to cut off funds for the war ``would be a good way'' to get the troops home.

``The American people want this war to end,'' Robbins said. ``That's the message they sent last November in the election. When are we going to start listening to them?''

Robbins, a frequent war protest participant with his partner, actress Susan Sarandon, also referred to the recent revelations of substandard care and facilities at the military's Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington.

``You want to support the troops? First get them home, then take care of them,'' he said.

Police lined sidewalks and some walked ahead of the protesters as they marched to the offices of Sens. Charles Schumer and Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Demonstrators carried signs reading ``Impeach Bush,'' and ``Not one more dollar, not one more death.''

No counter-demonstrators were visibly present, as they had been at a larger anti-war rally in Washington on Saturday.

Saturday's demonstrations drew thousands of war opponents to the Pentagon, crossing the Potomac River from the Lincoln Memorial to rally loudly but peacefully. Thousands more gathered in cities including Los Angeles, San Francisco and Hartford, Conn.

``We're here in the shadow of the war machine,'' anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan told the Pentagon crowd. ``It's like being in the shadow of the death star. They take their death and destruction and they export it around the world. We need to shut it down.''