War Protesters March to Rumsfeld's Home; Slain Man's Father Calls for Peace

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Byline: Denise Barnes, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Hundreds of antiwar demonstrators gathered in Lafayette Park in Northwest yesterday to call for an end to the U.S. occupation in Iraq and the immediate return of American troops.

Protesters from across the nation chanted slogans and carried signs with such messages as "Bush Lied. Thousands Died," and "A Few Bad Apples: Bush, Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld [and] Wolfowitz."

Empress Inity, 46, traveled from the Bronx to attend the demonstration and show her support for the troops.

"We would like to see the troops come back safely, alive and not in body bags," Ms. Inity said. "This war is about economics and greed. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice and Powell, all need to be" removed from office.

The activist group International ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism), organized the afternoon rally. Protests also took place in California.

Despite the rain, the crowd, estimated to be in the hundreds, listened to a series of short speeches by representatives of various interest groups, including the Free Palestine Alliance, the National Committee to Free the Cuban 5 and the International Action Center, headquartered in New York.

"More and more people are outraged about Iraq," said Larry Holmes, co-director of the International Action Center. "The debate should not only be in Congress. The debate also should be in the streets through rallies and demonstrations.

"I truly believe George Bush is a warmonger," Mr. Holmes said. "It's impossible to conclude anything else. There was a false reason for the war and many on both sides died, many on both sides were wounded."

Michael Berg, the father of Nicholas Berg, 26, the American businessman who was beheaded in Iraq by an Islamist extremist group, addressed the crowd with a message of peace and nonviolence. Mr. Berg embraced the philosophy of the late Martin Luther King.

"America has been in touch with me, Dr. King, [and] the people of America told me they have a dream of peace. I am here to answer the people who offered me help. …