Denouncing the prospect of war with Iraq, protesters rallied outside US Senator
John Kerry's office in downtown Boston yesterday while members of an antiwar group
met with the junior senator's policy aides.
Carrying signs of ''Say No to War'' and ''Attack Iraq? - NO!,'' about 80 demonstrators
crowded the sidewalk and handed out fliers arguing against a US invasion against
Saddam Hussein. They called for more weapons inspections and said a unilateral
move by the United States would have devastating effects in the Middle East.
''There's no evidence that Saddam Hussein is an imminent danger,'' said Mike
Tannert, a retired GTE employee and a veteran of World War II and the Korean War.
President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney should ''focus on homeland
security, like protecting our nuclear plants from being attacked,'' Tannert added.
After meeting for an hour with Kerry's senior policy adviser, Mark Sterman,
10 members of MoveOn.org, which organized the rally, said they were encouraged
that the senator supports their right to ask questions and voice concerns. They
said Sterman urged them to lobby congressional members and enlist peers to demonstrate
In a statement, Kerry said that ''while I've expressed my clear desire to eliminate
the threat that Saddam Hussein represents, I want us to arrive at a policy that
does that and advances the cause of America.''
Kerry also accused Bush of failing to make a case in the international arena
or to the American public that would justify initiating a conflict with Iraq or
to detail an exit strategy in the event of war.
The demonstrators, many of them from suburban towns, protested quietly, waving
to a few passing motorists who honked their horns in support. But they were largely
ignored by passersby. Group members said they are dedicated to nonconfrontational
''People with our opinion can be intelligent, rational, and non-confrontational,''
said local MoveOn.org organizer Diane Jones. ''Our message will be heard by a
far larger audience with passive demonstrations and a strong organization.''
They chastised Bush for pursuing war and failing to consider the thousands
of innocent Iraqi lives that could be lost and the potential for significant American
casualties in a second war in Iraq. Most said that the only justification for
war would be if the United States was attacked.
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