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1,000 Rally for Peace in Washington; 16 Arrested

January 20, 2003|From Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Dancing in a conga line and shouting calls for peace, protesters on Sunday pressed as close to the White House grounds as they could get to demand that President Bush back off on Iraq. Police arrested those who breached barricades.

A crowd of about 1,000 rallied in view of the Executive Mansion, capping a weekend of protests around the world.

At one point Sunday, protesters flooded onto a street to block traffic; police pushed and dragged them back. In the scuffle, a demonstrator was pushed over. Officials said she was one of two people taken to hospitals with minor injuries.

On a weekend of remembrance for the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., many invoked the civil rights leader's legacy. Said Heather Williams, 30, of Alexandria, Va.: "We still have a dream."

During a mile-long march, one crowd of 500 protesters met another of a similar size, waiting near the White House. That set off a surge of enthusiasm, and some protesters began running toward, and over, barricades blocking the park's boundaries.

Police forced them face down, bound their wrists with plastic handcuffs and made 16 arrests. They were processed on misdemeanor charges and released.

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