PORTSMOUTH- Anti-war protesters plastered their clothing with anti-war slogans
such as, "Santa Hates War, Donít Buy It," and "Going at a Great Price: Peace,"
and headed out to walk among the shopping masses Friday.
"Part of the reason weíre doing this is that it is a very busy shopping day,"
protester Amy Antonucci said. "But itís also the beginning of the Christmas season,
which is supposed to be about caring for your neighbor and peace.
"Bombing a country of already impoverished people was not Ďpeacefulí or Ďcaringí
last time I checked."
Other shoppers looked alternately pleased and confused as the group of about
10 activists circled Market Square in Portsmouth Friday afternoon after having
been ejected from the Fox Run Mall earlier in the day.
On Friday morning, Fox Run Mall marketing manager Linda Frink had said that
so long as the protesters did not bother customers or attempt to hand out any
materials, she didnít believe there would be any problems.
The protesters said they were asked to leave by mall security because of the
mallís "no solicitation" rule. Recognizing that they were on private property,
the activists left peaceably for the public - albeit freezing - streets of downtown
"Even if we were only there for a little while, itís enough to just be seen,"
protester Jennifer Fitzsimmons said. "Thatís a reminder to people that while they
shop and relax, some very ugly things are happening on the other side of the world."
One of the protesters, David Diamond, said Fridayís protest was "cut from
the same cloth" as Adbuster Magazineís Buy Nothing Day, which encourages people
to not shop on the Friday after Thanksgiving to protest what they see as out-of-control
"When you look at the war in Iraq, which in large part is over oil, it is
actually quite related," Diamond said. "We need to look at how our choices and
purchases affect the world around us."
Karina Beadling, of Seattle, Wash., said she was happy to see people across
the country joining the anti-war movement.
"People everywhere need to spread the word," she said. "Unconditional support
of President Bush has ramifications people havenít even considered. Itís just
going to continue the cycle of violence, creating orphans who will become terrorists."
Andrew Smiler, sporting a sticker reading, "Job Available: Peace Work," agreed.
"The current war has given America the chance to be terrorists," he said.
"We just killed six men in Yemen without a trial, without asking any questions,
without anything. Thatís terrorism."
Carolyn Miller said her shirtís quote, "Be an Instrument of Peace," embodied
a theme of the work of Saint Francis of Assisi.
"Thatís why Iím out here in the cold," she said. "Iím just trying to live
up to that example and fight for peace."
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