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Kadena peace protest fails to attract expected crowd

Date Posted: 2003-04-26

Only a fraction of the number of protesters organizers had hoped for showed up outside Kadena Air Base Sunday to demonstrate against the U.S. bases in Okinawa and the war in Iraq. Organizers had announced earlier that they wanted to attract at least 20,000 people and planned to circle the base with a human chain. Despite very good weather, only a couple of thousand showed up. The police estimated the crowd at 2,500 at most, but many officers said that the actual number was much smaller.

The human chain stretched from KAB Gate 1 to Kadena Town Fire Station, with protesters chanting anti-military and anti-war slogans and carrying banners. Afterwards many organizers admitted they were disappointed with the low participation. "It looks like people don't care any more. We must do something to get people again interested in our cause for peace," said one organizer, who did not want to be identified.

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