SF protesters mark war anniversary

March 19, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Protests are marking the fifth anniversary of the war in Iraq. The war has cost nearly 4,000 U.S. lives, including 53 Bay Area residents. And the price tag at this point is roughly around $500 billion dollars.

Hundreds of protesters are marching through the Financial District, causing traffic problems. One protest organizer said that at least a couple dozen people have been arrested. So far, the demonstrations have been peaceful.

Traffic has been a big issue with protests all day in San Francisco. The intersection of Market and Third was briefly blocked in the morning by protesters.

Hundreds of people started early, marching the streets of San Francisco in protest.

"The message we want to send to the U.S. government is that people are not going to sit by in silence, and not let murder go on and let more lives be lost in Iraq," said Sarah Norr, Direct Action to Stop the War.

Demonstrators are also blocking entrances at some 20 offices across the city. This morning, the Federal Reserve Building was targeted and seven were arrested. Chevron's headquarters was also on the list; protestors had to be moved off company property by an army of police and several more people were arrested.

"We want to make a strong statement, that this has been going on for a really long time, troops keep dying, Iraqis keep dying -- we can stay here for a day, we can get arrested," said Jane Martin, protester.

The demonstrations are part of a day long attempt to disrupt the city. Extra officers were out in force and city firefighters are having to cut protesters out of chains; acts of non-violent civil disobedience that organizers hope will make a statement.

"If you break things or fight with the police it distracts that message. So we try to keep people focused on total non-violence", said Kevin Danaher, Global Exchange.

Muni is very concerned about the commute this evening. That is when there is expected to be a massive parade through the streets of San Francisco.


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