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9/27/2 Article: Anti-war activists protest Bush in Flagstaff, AZ


President George W. Bush

by Sam Stonebraker
Sept. 27, 2002 - It was a windy and overcast Friday morning as Flagstaff citizens united in protest against war in Iraq. President Bush was to arrive early in the afternoon and deliver a stump speech for Republican Congressional candidate Rick Renzi. Protesters gathered early at the American Baptist Church to carpool and march together to Fort Tuthill County Fairgrounds where Bush was scheduled to speak. The Flagstaff Activist Network (FAN) initiated the demonstration, also sponsoring the pre-protest organizational meetings which included two days worth of sign-making, non-violence training and discussion groups. Others involved included the Sierra Club, the Justice and Peace Coalition and the Black Mesa Water Coalition. The Flagstaff Police Department was instrumental in securing a site for protesters at the entrance to the venue. Organizers estimate that 700 were on hand to show their support for the anti-war effort. Despite rain, protesters manned the picket lines and delivered dozens of speeches. No arrests were made, although two people were escorted from the Republican Rally inside. Approximately, 4,000 people attended the actual event.

Hundreds of protesters also awaited Bush's arrival in Phoenix later that day. Over 600 demonstrators were arrested in Washington, D.C. In London, thousands more took to the streets. Although many might be tempted to think otherwise due to the current mainstream media whitewash, there are those who are struggling to make their voices heard in opposition to our government's current policies.