Protests Heat Up On Both Sides

In this Monday Oct. 26, 2009 photo provided by ABC, Mark Ballas and Melissa Joan Hart perform during "Dancing with the Stars" in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/ABC, Adam Larkey)
AP Photo/ABC, Adam Larkey
Anti-war rallies continued over the weekend with marches in Los Angeles, Oklahoma City and in Washington D.C., where police arrested 23 demonstrators outside the Capitol. Other rallies were held to show support for U.S. troops or for military action against Iraq.

Hundreds of people walked for peace in a silent procession around the site of the bombed out Murrah Building on Sunday, a quiet contrast to the raucous demonstrations that continued around the nation this weekend both for and against a war in Iraq.

"We walk around this monument to feel the power of one bomb that hit our community," said Nathaniel Batchelder, with the Oklahoma City Peace House.

Escorted by police cars, participants walked wordlessly through the empty downtown streets, carrying signs that said "War is not the answer," and "Brains not bombs."

"I pray for President Bush, I pray the U.N. Security Council, I pray for the people of Baghdad," said Sister Miriam Schnoebelen, a Benedictine sister with the Red Plains Monastery in Oklahoma City.

Overseas, hundreds of thousands of people in Pakistan and Indonesia, and India among the world's largest Muslim countries rallied Sunday against a looming U.S.-led war in Iraq.

In Columbia, S.C., more than 200 people rallied to show support for U.S. troops at the Statehouse, which has been a gathering ground lately for anti-war groups. Participants insisted it wasn't a pro-war rally.

"We need to let our guys and girls know we're here for them," said Sheryll Lawson, who worked with the event's organizers and handed out more than 200 U.S. flags.

Supporters and opponents of an armed conflict in Iraq hit the streets in Southern California.

In East Los Angeles, hundreds of mostly Hispanic anti-war protesters marched for two and a half miles, chanting "Guerra no! Paz si!" (War, no! Peace, yes!).

Organized by the group Latinos against The War On Iraq, the protest ended with a rally at Salazar Park, the site of a Chicano protest against the Vietnam War in 1970.

Henry Gutierrez, 54, who attended the 1970 rally which drew tens of thousands of protesters, also marched.

"If we go to war, Hispanics in particular are going to suffer," said Gutierrez. "It will mean cuts in public transportation, health care and education. Those are things we depend on."

In Orange County, a small group of demonstrators waved signs outside Disneyland in support of an attack on Iraq.

For the second Sunday in a row, fans of the Mighty Ducks hockey team of Anaheim signed postcards that will be mailed to troops stationed in the Middle East.