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Vigil Draws Hundreds in Arcata (retrospective)
In the wake of the fourth anniversary of the United States' invasion and subsequent occupation of the nation of Iraq, a look back at the many voices on the road to war — and a reminder of the many more voices needed to stop this war and prevent other wars in the future.
Arcata, Humboldt County, California — An estimated 300 protesters gathered here on Friday, 28 March 2003, at the town's main Plaza area to speak out for justice and peace, and against the U.S. government's ongoing war drive in Iraq.
Brian Ohkubo Covert is an independent journalist based in Hyogo, Japan.
At least 100 participants of the "Women in Black" group protested in silence Friday at Arcata's downtown Plaza, where official signs remind citizens what they can't do in the public square. The "Women in Black" gather every Friday at this same southeast corner of the Plaza at 5:00 p.m., standing (or sitting) for one hour in a silent vigil for peace.
Rays of the setting sun bathe the "Women in Black" who gathered at the Plaza in silent protest.
A couple dozen or so local members of the local "Veterans of Peace" group and their supporters silently occupied the southwest corner of the Plaza on Friday in solidarity with the "Women in Black" (in the background).
"Veterans for Peace" facing the setting sun on the Arcata Plaza.
Mock gravemarkers reading "How Many More?" were placed inside the Plaza.
On the northwest corner of the Plaza, a variety of other demonstrators faced oncoming traffic and held up signs, chanting and cheering for peace and against the war on Iraq.
Two demonstrators at the Plaza make known their feelings on America's war in the Middle East.
A few dozen bicyclists, meanwhile, continually circled the Plaza, weaving in and out of traffic for the sake of "bikes, not bombs."
More Bikes-Not-Bombers circling the Plaza.
A dozen or so jubilant participants of the local "Code Pink" group gathered on the northeast corner of the Plaza, urging passing motorists to "honk for peace."
A "Code Pink" participant displays a sign challenging the political legitimacy of one George W. Bush.
As the one-hour mark approached at 6:00 p.m., the several hundred protesters from all four corners of the Plaza came together and joined hands.
The demonstrators, hand in hand, lined up all the way around the Plaza sidewalk Friday, as the U.S. war on Iraq raged on.