More than 200 arrested in NY protest
About 400 anti-war activists converged near Rockerfeller Centre in midtown Manhattan, many of them lying on their backs near the intersection of 49th Street and 5th Avenue and others holding signs and chanting "No War, No Oil, No Profit."
The "die-in" resulted in about 150 arrests for disorderly conduct and blocking traffic, a police spokesman said. Other arrests came at smaller demonstrations at other intersections.
The two hour peaceful protest, which closed part of 5th Avenue and snarled city traffic, was the latest of several acts of civil disobedience and anti-war demonstrations in New York and other large US cities.
Since last week, similar demonstrations have closed downtown San Francisco streets with a total of more than 2,000 people arrested.
The United States and Britain invaded Iraq a week ago, saying they wanted to overthrow President Saddam Hussein and rid the country of suspected weapons of mass destruction. Iraq has denied possessing the weapons.
"I'm against this illegal war of aggression," said protester Daniel Grulich. "I think there are ways through diplomatic and multilateral action that we could have disarmed Saddam Hussein."
Several of the demonstrators said they were also protesting media coverage of the war and accused "corporate media of making profits off the war."
Construction workers and office workers passing by engaged the demonstrators, saying things like "You don't know what you are talking about" and "Go back to school."
Demonstrators taking part in the "die-in" broke through police barricades along the avenue, lay on their backs in the street and waited for officers to remove them. Some were holding large photographs of civilian war victims.
About six demonstrators carrying sticks and using them to hit a small rubber ball on the sidewalk, were pushed up against the window of the Saks Fifth Avenue department store by police officers and arrested, witnesses said.
On the sidewalk, a smaller group held a funeral march. They said it was
for the death of US soldiers, those killed in the September
Drummer Jeremy Varon, a 34-year-old history professor, said, "This war is an abomination. It is getting uglier every day. Lots of Americans will die. Lots of Iraqis will die."
In the weeks before the war, as many as 250,000 people demonstrated near the United Nations on February 15 as part of a worldwide anti-war protest.
Last Saturday, between 150,000 and 250,000 people marched peacefully down Broadway and 91 were arrested at the end when a small group clashed with police.
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