Iraq war protesters draw support, rebukes

Drivers honk horns at 12 holding Mount Vernon rally

October 03, 2003|By Matt Whittaker | Matt Whittaker,SUN STAFF

With anti-Bush banners pressed against their bodies by the wind, a dozen protesters stood at Mount Vernon Place yesterday urging Maryland's congressional representatives to call for an investigation into the "disinformation" they say led to the second Iraq war.

Had more than 12 people from the Pledge of Resistance-Baltimore protest organization showed up, the group could have held up more than their first two signs -- "Bush Lied" -- of what was to fully say "Bush Lied, People are Dying."

But people driving by the protesters on Charles Street at Centre Street got the message anyway.

"The people are speaking," said Max Obuszewski, a member of the group, as people honked their car horns.

"We interpret [the honks] as support," said Scott Loughrey, a computer programmer from Bolton Hill.

Some who honked gave the thumbs-up sign. Other drivers shouted profanities.

Obuszewski said the protest was a "chance to get out here and meet the people and see them support us."

He said the main reason the group was there was to demand an investigation into the "manufactured disinformation" that was part of the "circumstances of how we got into this war." He pointed to the Bush administration's claims of a link between al-Qaida and Saddam Hussein and that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

"I oppose the occupation of Iraq," Loughrey said. "I think it's inhumane and it's too costly," mentioning the weekly toll of dead and wounded military personnel as well as the $87 billion President Bush has requested for continued support in Iraq.

Ben Hughes, a senior at Towson University and an Army reservist, photographed the protest for his photojournalism class.

"I have to believe in my commander in chief and everything he's done," he said during the protest. "I have friends who are in Iraq right now. I could be sent at any time, too."

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