Story last updated at 3:14 p.m. Thursday, October 31, 2002

Protest taps global movement
by Sepp Jannotta
Staff Writer

photo: news

  Photo by Sepp Jannotta, Homer News
Demonstrators at WKFL Park on Saturday watch as a mock George W. Bush ascends a ladder in preparation for "bombing" Iraq. The group was participating in a Kindness Without Borders protest over U.S. foreign policy on Iraq. This Bush was talked down before the "attack" was launched.  
The "theatre of the absurd" was the theme for a group of Homer activists who gathered on Saturday to demonstrate their opposition to President George W. Bush's foreign policy on Iraq.

"We didn't bill this as a gathering as much as a visual event," said organizer Sharon Whytal, adding that it was intended to emphasize the lack of reason in the Bush doctrine of pre-emptive military action.

Approximately two dozen people participated at WKFL Park in the Kindness Without Borders event, which was staged complete with a Bush character armed with mock bombs. As this Bush climbed onto a ladder above a representation of Iraq. Mock Bush supporters yelled for the president to jump. Meanwhile, protesters carrying signs that decried the escalation toward violence called for him to step down from the ladder.

"We're hoping for transformation and for reason to prevail," said co-organizer Peggy Ellen Kleinleder. "Making the world safe for multinational corporations doesn't necessarily make the world safer for the American people."

The Homer event coincided with demonstrations held across the country and overseas. Protesters used costume and puppetry for dramatic effect in a Washington, D.C., protest that attracted tens of thousands, according to The Associated Press.

In Europe, people gathered in London, Paris, Rome, Copenhagen and Berlin. There were also demonstrations in Mexico City and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Protesters in many locations called for the president to work within the United Nations to solve the problems of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons in Iraq. According to The Associated Press, one sign in Washington read: "Regime change begins at home."

In Alaska, there were Saturday demonstrations in Anchorage and Fairbanks.

Homer wasn't the only small rural town in the state to get into the act. Residents in Kenny Lake also held an antiwar protest.

"A lot of small communities are seeing this as an opportunity to tap into the peace and justice movement," said Whytal.

Sepp Jannotta can be reached at sjannotta@homer news.com.

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