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500 Seized in Several U.S. Protests on Troop Moves

March 19, 1988|JILL STEWART and GEORGE RAMOS | Times Staff Writers

At the Santa Clara County Administration building in San Jose, California Rep. Norman Y. Mineta, (D-San Jose), told about 100 protesters that Reagan had used "a flimsy pretext" to send the troops to Honduras as a way to drum up patriotic support for his policies.

The protests were sparked by Reagan's decision to send in U.S. forces to Honduras as a show of force after Nicaraguan soldiers crossed the Honduran border earlier this week in pursuit of the Contras, who are fighting the Sandinista government.

Responded to Request

Reagan's move was in response to a request for help from President Jose Azcona Hoyo of Honduras, the White House said.

American troops were told to expect to spend about 10 days in Honduras, but spokesmen said there is no official timetable yet for their return to the United States.

Thursday's protests drew large crowds but resulted in fewer arrests. The largest protests Thursday were in San Francisco, where more than 1,000 people marched from the Honduras Consulate to the Federal Building, and in Minneapolis, where 600 protesters set fire to a dumpster and barricaded streets with garbage cans.

Times researcher Norma Kaufman, in San Francisco, contributed to this story.

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