Thousands march to protest military showdown with Iraq

Monday, September 30, 2002

WASHINGTON -- Thousands of people opposing a war with Iraq marched to the residence of Vice President Dick Cheney on Sunday, culminating three days of smaller-than-expected demonstrations.

Protesters, some holding signs that said "No Blood for Oil," blamed Cheney for pushing the nation toward war. Police estimated about 2,500 people turned out for the peaceful event.

Demonstrator threats to shut down the nation's capital and disrupt meetings of world financial leaders during the weekend fell flat and all protesters had evaporated from city streets by dusk Sunday.

However, protest organizers insisted their goals were met: drawing attention to those seeking more money for global AIDS research and calling for changes in world economic policies.

"It's been a highly successful couple of days," said David Levy, who was the only protest organizer to show up for a Sunday morning news conference to evaluate the demonstrations.

Police had prepared for as many as 20,000 demonstrators, but during the largest event, on Saturday, a much smaller number filled a five-block long stretch of a four-lane street as they shouted opposition to policies of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, which were holding their annual meetings nearby.

"No, we didn't change the state of the global economy," said Zoe Baldwin, 21, a college senior from Garfield, N.J. "The main purpose for most of these demonstrations, it's basically a huge outreach tool."

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