WASHINGTON - The slogans came out of an earlier era: Give
peace a chance. We shall overcome. When will they ever learn?
So did many of the demonstrators. One even strummed Bob Dylan's
anti-war creed, "Blowin' in the Wind," on his guitar as he
"This feels like a resurgence of the anti-war movement," said
one of its veterans, Deborah Vollmer, 54, of Chevy Chase, Md., who
made her opposition to an Iraq war the centerpiece of her recent
unsuccessful congressional campaign. Vollmer wore the classic
anti-war button of a black peace sign over the American flag.
Others who marched against the Vietnam War three decades ago
also took to the streets again Sunday to oppose a war with Iraq.
They walked side by side with students who know about Vietnam from
their history books. In all, District of Columbia police estimated
that 2,500 people marched from Dupont Circle to Vice President Dick
Pat Lant of Royal Oak, Mich., walked with a sign that contained
a flower and the slogan, "War is not healthy for children and
other living things." Said Lant, 73, who rode on a bus full of
demonstrators: "I've been carrying this sign for a long time."
One of her Michigan bus mates and another Vietnam protest
veteran, Jane Kyriacopoulos, 69, of Detroit, said she needed to
raise her voice again.
"Mothers of the world don't let our sons kill each other," she
said. "We can't sit at home and do nothing, and we have to
convince people that this is not the right thing to do. And I have
to live with myself, and my children and grandchildren."
Just like most anti-Vietnam War protesters did not support Ho
Chi Minh and the North Vietnam communists, most of those marching
Sunday were no friends of Saddam Hussein. Rather, they called for
alternatives to war to hold Iraq in check, such as bringing back
the United Nations inspectors.
"Violence plus violence just equals more violence," said Ann
Steffy, 55, also of Royal Oak, Mich. "It breeds more terrorism."
Sunday's demonstration capped off a series of protests
coinciding with the annual meeting of the World Bank and
International Monetary Fund. Anti-war activists have planned
another march in Washington on Oct. 26.