Anti-war demonstrators marched yesterday down Auahi Street by Ward Center. The demonstration was part of a national day of protest against the Iraq war.

Protesters march
against war in Iraq

Nearly 200 demonstrators
in Honolulu take part in a
nationwide anti-war effort

With drumbeats, chants, world flags and signs calling for peace, nearly 200 protesters marched in Honolulu yesterday calling for an end to the U.S. presence in Iraq.

"I think it's shameful that George Bush won't allow showing any caskets of children coming home from Iraq," said Elizabeth Apana of Kaimuki, who carried one side of a banner leading the march that read, "End the Occupation of Iraq -- Not In Our Name."

Yesterday's march was coordinated with others in San Francisco, Washington, D.C. and other locations, said Cha Smith of the anti-war coalition Not In Our Name.

Nick Yee of the organizations Refuse and Resist and Not In Our Name rallied protesters yesterday on Ward Avenue.

Organizers in Washington estimated that 100,000 demonstrated there, but police at the scene put the number much lower, from 10,000 to 20,000.

Smith said that even though the number of Honolulu marchers was smaller than some of the peace marches of the past year, "there were lots of different groups coming together."

Jody Grandinetti pushed a stroller with her sleeping 3-year-old Jocelyn, while her husband, John, carried a sign that read, "Our kids are not cannon fodder."

"I'm just for peace," Jody Grandinetti said. "I just can't stand people being killed unnecessarily. Real religious people should be loving each other instead of killing each other."

The hourlong, midday march, which began and ended at Ala Moana Park, went along Piikoi, Kapiolani, Ward and Auahi, passing people doing their Saturday shopping.

Denise Kinoshita, who works in the Ward Farmer's Market, said the marchers are exercising their freedom of speech. "But they're also irritating the customers" by blocking traffic temporarily, she said.

McKinley Car Wash workers paused yesterday to watch anti-war demonstrators pass by on Kapiolani Boulevard.

Army soldier Jim Parrish was having lunch at Kua Aina when the march passed by. "I'm not uncomfortable with it," he said. "That's why we're fighting, for their freedom to do that."

Marcher Charles Luce, an Air Force veteran who is a member of Veterans For Peace, said he's concerned that America isn't taking good care of its soldiers.

"The joke is that Iraq is Arabic for Vietnam," he said. "They're getting bogged down."

Marcher Louis Xigogianis said he thinks Americans are supporting Bush's military policies "because they think he is protecting us."

"But in the long run, I think we're engendering so much dislike around the world," he said. "If we'd used diplomacy from the start, we could have saved lives and billions of dollars."

Watching the march go by her City Florist shop on Piikoi, Alice Umeda said: "I know what they feel. War is not the answer."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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