Demonstrators protest the war
March 22, 2006
Vince Cameron says he was neutral in 2003 when President Bush launched the war in Iraq.
But three years later, Cameron, who said he did not vote for Bush in 2000 or 2004, is unhappy with the war.
Cameron brought his 11-year-old daughter and 7-year-old son to a demonstration marking the third anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion, joining about 35 people at City Park to march to the Olympic Welcome Plaza.
The demonstrators were angry with the administration and, echoing past anti-war events held locally, berated the decision to invade Iraq.
"We’re probably feeling it more than we were three years ago," Cameron said. "As things have passed, more things are coming to light."
He is unhappy with the Abu Ghraib prisoner-abuse scandal, pre-war intelligence and the administration’s domestic-spying operation.
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The demonstrators left Miners Hospital at City Park at 3:30 p.m., arriving at the Welcome Plaza 25 minutes later. They carried signs saying "Peace," "Imagine," "Give Peace a Chance" and "We Speak Peace." Some of the marchers held signs equating the U.S. presence in Iraq with the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.
Lots of drivers honked as they passed the march and the demonstrators paused at the busy Park Avenue-Deer Valley Drive intersection, in view of the scores of people leaving the city’s two mountain resorts at that time.
At the Welcome Plaza, where demonstrations are sometimes held, organizer Rich Wyman, a musician, sang against Bush and performed John Lennon’s anthem "Imagine" and Bob Dylan’s "Blowin in the Wind."
Wyman quoted Dwight D. Eisenhower about freedoms, charged that the administration is hiding the costs of the war and claimed that the U.S. commits war crimes.
"It’s hard not to be angry and demand justice," Wyman said.
Hugh O’Neill, who lives in Red Pine, was livid with the administration, telling the crowd that the war has been conducted with "dishonesty."
"I’m so mad, I’m willing to die for it," he said.
He indicated he comes from New Hampshire and said people there adhere to the ‘live free or die’ motto.
"I am mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore," O’Neill said.
Paddy Wood, a clergy member, talked about religious underpinnings to the war and said "all the paths to God are good."
"We need to think and pray with one mind and one heart for our country," she said.
The Sunday demonstration continues a series of local anti-war or peace events stretching to since before the invasion. The demonstrators have held events at the Welcome Plaza before and on Main Street.
The number of people who participate, however, has never been large.
Wyman, meanwhile, has unsuccessfully tried to convince the Park City Council to adopt a peace resolution.
The Sunday event ended just more than an hour after the demonstrators left City Park.
Cameron, the demonstrator who brought his children, acknowledged that the event would not influence policies in Iraq but said he wanted to be with others with similar views.
"I’m doing this not so much for what it accomplishes but to join people with like minds," he said.