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Orange County Digest

Costa Mesa : Final Protest Peaceful as Arms Forum Ends

March 01, 1986|Sheldon Ito

As the Winter Conference on Aerospace and Electronic Systems at the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station in El Toro came to a close Friday, so did the protests against it.

Between noon and 1 p.m., about 15 protesters stood on the corner of Bristol Street and Anton Boulevard near the Westin South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, where the conference delegates were staying, holding signs that read "Enough Bombs" and asking motorists to "Honk for Peace."

The scene was in marked contrast to the protests against the weapons-technology conference held on Tuesday night outside the hotel, when about 1,200 people participated in a candlelight vigil, and Wednesday and Thursday, when a total of 22 peace activists were arrested for civil disobedience. There were no police officers monitoring the protest activities Friday and no arrests.

Marion Pack, director of the Orange County Alliance for Survival, said the protesters were out on Friday "just to be a presence." She said the alliance will now focus its attention on Mildex, the International Military Defense Expo, which will be held April 2-5 at the Anaheim Convention Center.

Pack said her group will not disrupt Mildex if the group is allowed to set up a table at the show and is permitted to express its views, a condition being negotiated with Mildex organizers.

She said the alliance is trying to work out a similar arrangement for next year's Wincon gathering.

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