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War protesters a mix of ideologies

Sunday, March 23, 2003

By Lori Shontz, Post-Gazette Staff Writer

Nationwide, the anti-war movement has been notable for the diversity of its participants, and Pittsburgh's movement is as varied as any.

The age range of the participants -- high school students, young parents with babies, senior citizens -- may be the most noticeable difference, but it's far from the only one.

Some protesters are pacifists or unabashed idealists. Others are religious people who believe that this war, specifically, does not meet the standards for a just war.

Others are worried mainly that the Bush administration has alienated the rest of the world with its arrogance in pursuing war with Iraq.

Their political views encompass a wide spectrum, from socialists to anarchists. And while many of the anarchists cover their faces with bandannas, not all of the bandanna-wearing protesters consider themselves anarchists, either.

From the beginning, the rallies and marches in Pittsburgh have attracted people who had never before participated in any kind of protest. And they found themselves side-by-side with activists who have traveled widely to protest the World Bank and International Monetary Fund with other anti-globalism activists.

"It's kind of like all the appeals I get from the environmental groups in my mailbox," said Elizabeth Donohoe, a member of the Green Party who is helping to distribute PEACEburgh posters and buttons.

"They're all working for the same thing, but they've each got a different way of looking at it. Some have a slightly different take; sometimes they have a very different take."

And sometimes they disagree, as was evident Thursday night, when some protesters at a Downtown march broke away and headed to the South Side, setting in motion events that would lead to 122 arrests.

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