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Orange County Anti-war Demo

by James VanHise Monday, Mar. 20, 2006 at 4:29 PM
bob@fragmentsweb.org

On March 18th, protesters gathered at Hart Park in Orange County to demand the Bush administration bring the troops home from Iraq.

Orange County Anti-w...
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On March 18th the sleepy city of Orange was the site of a rowdy demonstration against the Iraq War. Hundreds of noisy protesters poured into the commercial center of the Orange County city, snarling traffic and startling shoppers.

The march was part of a rally held at nearby Hart Park to mark the third anniversary of the Iraq invasion. Organized by the Orange County Peace Coalition, the theme of the event was: "Three years, thousands dead--enough's enough. It's time to bring the troops home now." The event featured speeches by local journalists, politicians and the mother of a fallen soldier.

This was the first large anti-Iraq War protest held in Orange County. In the past, when there were big demos in L.A., people who live behind the "orange curtain" made the drive north to participate. "It's one thing for 10,000 people to show up at Hollywood and Vine, where dissent is expected," said organizer Jarret Lovell. "But in the heart of conservative Orange County, even a thousand people protesting the war will stick out like a sore middle finger to the Bush administration."

The rally MC was Rebecca Schoenkopf (AKA Commie Girl) of the alternative newspaper "OC Weekly." Among the speakers calling for an end to the war was fifties film star Mamie Van Doren, Aliso Viejo City Councilmember Karl Warkomski, "OC Weekly" columnist Jim Washburn, and Middle East scholar Mark Levine.

But the most moving speech of the day was delivered by Vickie Castro, whose son, Cpl. Jonathan Castro, was killed in action in Mosul, Iraq. A hush fell over the assembly as Ms. Castro fought back tears of grief while describing the death of her son and the senselessness of the war that took him.

Halfway through the rally, the crowd left the park and marched the half-mile to Orange Circle. As they lined up around the center of the traffic circle, different groups chanted anti-Bush and anti-war slogans. Cars were forced to slow down or stop. Many motorists blared their horns in support, adding to the cacophony.

At the Diedricks across the street, bemused coffee drinkers sat outside and calmly observed the noisy proceedings. An elderly man, probably a local resident, walked up and stood next to me, watching in astonishment. "This is great!" he said, smiling. "They're really loud, aren't they?" Just then a group of women started chanting at the top of their voices: "This is what democracy looks like!" The man laughed. "This really IS what democracy looks like," he said.
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Making noise at the Orange Circle

by James VanHise Monday, Mar. 20, 2006 at 4:29 PM
bob@fragmentsweb.org

Making noise at the ...
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Police try to keep order

by James VanHise Monday, Mar. 20, 2006 at 4:29 PM
bob@fragmentsweb.org

Police try to keep o...
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Actress Mamie Van Doren

by James VanHise Monday, Mar. 20, 2006 at 4:29 PM
bob@fragmentsweb.org

Actress Mamie Van Do...
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Vickie Castro speaks behind a picture of her son

by James VanHise Monday, Mar. 20, 2006 at 4:29 PM
bob@fragmentsweb.org

Vickie Castro speaks...
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Unbelievabush

by James VanHise Monday, Mar. 20, 2006 at 4:29 PM
bob@fragmentsweb.org

Unbelievabush...
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Part of the assembled multitudes at Hart Park listening intently

by James VanHise Monday, Mar. 20, 2006 at 4:29 PM
bob@fragmentsweb.org

Part of the assemble...
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Boot out Bush

by James VanHise Monday, Mar. 20, 2006 at 4:29 PM
bob@fragmentsweb.org

Boot out Bush...
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LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
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