Tuesday, March 4, 2003

Thousands rally for troops

Hundreds march against Iraqi war

The Associated Press

CLEVELAND - Ignoring the cold, thousands of people rallied to show their patriotism for U.S. troops while hundreds of others marched against a possible invasion of Iraq.

About 8,000 people were part of a "Rally for America" on the west bank of the Cuyahoga River, said Harry Gant, in charge of security at the free event Sunday.

The 90-minute rally, hosted by national conservative radio host Glenn Beck, was held outdoors on a parking lot in a brisk, below freezing wind.

Many carried flags or signs that read "God bless our troops" and "America: love it or leave." They tried to keep warm with coffee and doughnuts provided by the Cuyahoga County Republican Party.

Beck has held similar rallies in Texas and has more scheduled this month in Georgia and South Carolina. He said the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks have reunited America.

"The Norman Rockwell America lives. We will unite with our troops and stand with our neighbors," he said.

In East Cleveland, about 10 miles away, a rally against a possible invasion of Iraq took place.

Mayor Emmanuel Onunwar, who recently changed his political affiliation from Democrat to Republican, and others urged President Bush to focus on domestic problems. About 500 people marched a half-mile from a church to Shaw High School.

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