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Anti-war protesters turn out in record small numbers

Date Posted: 2003-03-28

Anticipated anti-war protests were whittled down to next to nothing as the Iraq war began in earnest.

A crowd of several dozen protesters wearing face masks and helmets gathered in front of Kadena Air Base Gate One and shouted slogans and held war-denouncing banners while weary-looking Japanese policemen looked on. That was Thursday. By Friday morning, the group had diminished to about a dozen, and again swelled to maybe three dozens as the day wore on. By Saturday morning they had disappeared.

Another group showed up outside the gate to the U.S. Consulate General in Nishihara, Urasoe City, where protesters had pitched a tent for shelter against intermittent rain. The group consisted of members of Urasoe City Workers' Association, representatives of various local labor unions and citizens' groups. Some members of the group have reportedly started a hunger strike to press their cause. The groups say that they plan to continue their demonstration for ten days.

Representatives of Urasoe City workers and labor unions also handed the consulate a letter with 644 signatures protesting the war.

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