Activists Planning Iraq War Protests; Demonstrations Recall the 1960s

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Byline: Julia Duin, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Drawing on imagery from the Vietnam War era, anti-war activists are planning demonstrations, peace vigils and civil disobedience at the U.S. Capitol as part of an 11th-hour effort to stop a conflict in Iraq.

Along with a demonstration at noon today at the Washington Monument will be similar demonstrations in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Tokyo and in several European cities.

Tomorrow evening, 2,816 cities in 98 countries have signed up for candle-light vigils against the looming war, including one from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Lincoln Memorial. Sixties-era musicians Peter, Paul and Mary will be among those appearing. An unknown number of activists are expected to conduct civil disobedience on Capitol Hill Monday morning.

"We urge this administration to listen to these voices and prayers," said former Rep. Tom Andrews, a Maine Democrat who now heads Win Without War, a coalition of peace groups. "We are disappointed there has not been clearer and louder voices of support in Congress. There's a political maxim: We cannot always get a politician to see the light, but you can get him to feel the heat."

Yesterday, Mr. Andrews at a press conference presented a petition signed by 70 politicians who served in Congress during the 1970s and were active against the Vietnam War. Only four of the signers were Republicans: former Reps. Paul Findley of Illinois, Charles Whalen of Ohio, Paul N. "Pete" McCloskey Jr. of California and Jim Weaver of Pennsylvania.

"For this country to say the way to settle arguments is through war is just unbelievable," said Berkley Bedell, a former congressman from Iowa.

Elizabeth Holtzman, a former congresswoman from New York who sued the U.S. government in the 1970s to stop bombing in Cambodia, said the Bush administration was not understanding history's lessons. …