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Anti-War Demonstrators March in Washington - 2002-10-26

Tens of thousands of demonstrators gathered Saturday in Washington for a protest rally and march against President Bush's threat to go to war to disarm Iraq. The protesters rallied at the Vietnam Veteran's memorial on the National Mall and marched to the White House.

The protesters descended on Washington from all over the United States.

"I'm Faith Gemmill. I'm from Arctic Village, Alaska."

"I'm from New Haven, Connecticut. My name is John Hay. I'm 61."

"My name is Alison Gurin. I'm 19 years old. I'm from Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxsville, New York."

"My name is Sean. I'm 36 and I'm from San Francisco, California."

"We're part of a coalition of groups of about 700 people that came from Chicago, Illinois, and stuff, to protest."

Speakers up on the stage urged the sympathetic crowd to support efforts to oppose a potential war against Iraq.

Announcer: No War!
Crowd: No way!
Announcer: No War!
Crowd: No way!

Many demonstrators said they are against war in general and just want peace.

Another message repeated several times is that the millions of dollars Washington would spend on a war against Iraq should be used to create jobs and build up schools in the United States.

A counter-demonstration a few blocks away drew only about 50 people. But that didn't stop Adam Ramey, who runs a radio show at George Washington University, to criticize the anti-war demonstrators.

"These people are against our country - against our values and against our security," he said.

The Gallup Polling organization puts President Bush's approval rating at 62 percent. The organization says this is the lowest since the September 11 terrorist attacks, but not unusually low.

Meanwhile, Gallup says support for potential U.S. military action against Iraq is at 56 percent, while only 37 percent oppose it.

The organization asked if the respondent favors or opposes invading Iraq with ground troops in an attempt to remove Saddam Hussein from power. But the question does not ask what people think if the action is taken unilaterally, which many analysts say may change the responses.