NEW YORK - Seventeen people were arrested on Monday during an anti-war protest outside the United Nations, where chief arms inspector Hans Blix was addressing the U.N. Security Council about the hunt for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
A demonstrator is arrested during an anti-war protest in front of the United Nations headquarters in New York Monday, Jan. 27, 2003. Inside the U.N. on Monday, weapons inspection chief Hans Blix gave his report calling for more time for weapons searches in Iraq. (AP Photo/Ed Bailey)
At its peak, there were between 200 and 300 people at the hour-long protest across the street from U.N. headquarters in midtown Manhattan, police said.
The group chanted slogans and held up signs reading: "Let the Inspectors Work" and "No to Bush's Oil War."
The 17 people placed under arrest faced charges of disorderly conduct, police said.
Speaking at a news conference following the hour-long protest, Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights, a New York-based non-profit legal group, urged the United States not to go to war against Iraq.
"This war is about oil and the domination of oil in the Middle East. This war will lead us to being less safe, not more safe. This will lead to more terror from others who hate what we are about to do," he said.
Phyllis Bennis of the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington said the protest was a way to say "no to war."
"The U.S. is looking for political cover for a war that has nothing to do with disarmament. It's for oil and for empire, expansion of the U.S. empire," she said.
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