Group walks for peace Saturday evening

Many protesting U.S. involvement in Iraq

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— A small group of people gathered Saturday evening at Bud Werner Memorial Library to march to the Routt County Courthouse for the cause of peace.

But before they could go anywhere, a man walked up to tell them what he thought.

Over and over in an angry tone he said, "We set those people (in Iraq) free," and "God bless America."

But those who gathered told the man that dropping bombs was not the way to set people free. They told him there are better ways to help the people of Iraq than a preemptive war.

"I'm right, and you're wrong," the man yelled as he walked away. The people who gathered for peace lit their candles and began the walk toward the courthouse.

Along the way, several spoke about why they thought they were right.

"I'm here for peace because peace is the right thing," said Eve Partridge.

Despite scenes showing Iraqis dancing in the street, she said she thought there was a better way than war. "It's important to look at both sides," she said.

Sandra Sherrod said she was marching because she feels there are ulterior motives behind the war.

She questioned President Bush's father, former President Bush, and his involvement with the Carlyle Group, an investment firm that has long made money from the military industry, according to a New York Times article.

The local marchers finally made it to the courthouse, where march organizer Jerry Rudolph spoke.

"We could be here all night," he said. "There are so many reasons we are here. It seems the best thing we do is make weapons. And it doesn't seem Iraq has any weapons of mass destruction. What we're doing is making other countries think they don't have to have other countries consent to start a unilateral war."

In response to the television images of Iraqis celebrating the U.S. forces, Mary Couch said the Iraqis' new-found freedom is not the issue at hand, but rather the method used to win that freedom.

"It depends on the approach to freedom," Couch said. "It can be a killing method or a peaceful method. We believe in the peaceful method. Of course, seeing them dance looks good, but we feel there could be a better way."

One of the marchers, Chris Lohman, suggested authors for the marchers to read to get accurate information about the war. He cited writers Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky.

"I think this is about the quantification of human life and suffering," Lohman said. "How people suffer depends on where they live and what they believe in. But you have to ask, is the people's suffering in other countries less than ours?"

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