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Anti-Iraq March Echoes Vietnam Tone
Associated Press
September 30, 2002

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 marched.

"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 Cheney's house.

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.

Copyright 2002 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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