- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 30, 2001

Eleven protesters were arrested yesterday and at least two were injured in scuffles with police as some 4,500 people marched down Pennsylvania Avenue all calling on the United States not to make war on terrorist leaders whose Sept. 11 attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center killed more than 6,000 people.
Many of the demonstrators were those who had planned to be in town yesterday to protest the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund meetings. When the World Bank meetings were canceled because of the attacks, organizers switched gears and turned their protest into an anti-war march.
Before the terrorist attacks, police had trained and prepared for 100,000 anti-World Bank and IMF protesters. Instead, they were faced by a much smaller crowd, which gathered at Freedom Plaza, at 14th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW. Still, there were groups among the demonstrators who strayed from the strict route spelled out in the permit issued to leaders of the march last week.
At 9 a.m., about 900 protesters, led by the Anti-Capitalist Convergence, a Washington-based anarchist group, were met by police in full riot gear as they assembled outside Union Station. This group, which did not have protest permits, repeatedly tried to break police lines as it marched from Union Station to the World Bank headquarters at 18th and H streets NW.
A clash broke out when about 200 of the protesters many equipped with gas masks and balaclava coverings tried to surround and halt a squad car near the MCI Center.
Several police officers and demonstrators suffered minor injuries. One of those injured was Assistant Police Chief Terrence W. Gainer. "I took a clunk on the head and caught some pepper spray," said Chief Gainer, who had been walking in front of the squad car.
It took police less than an hour to encircle the group, once it reached the World Bank, but more clashes ensued one lasting 15 minutes and ending in the arrest of several protesters at the corner of 15th and H streets NW when police herded the crowd in the direction of Freedom Plaza, where several thousand other protesters were waiting to begin their duly licensed anti-war march from the plaza to the U.S. Capitol.
"Overall, this has been a very responsive group," Chief Gainer said yesterday afternoon. "We've had good dialogue with the demonstrators."
"My first assignment as a police officer was the '68 Democratic Convention in Chicago, where there was a big clash," Mr. Gainer said. "Today has been much better. There have been a few rough moments, but whenever you have a clash of ideas, there's going to be a bit of give and take."
Despite the day's smooth runnings, Mr. Gainer said he would "rather have had to deal with 50,000 protesting against the World Bank than what happened to the Pentagon and World Trade Center."
Some from the anarchist group were surprised the police acted so firmly when the group broke through police lines. "There were so many signals we have given the police over the last few days that this would be peaceful, why are they surrounding us?" said Adam Eidinger, a 28-year-old carrying a sign that read 'Violence Does Not Solve Violence, Why Value One Over The Other.'
As Mr. Eidinger's group merged with those at Freedom Plaza, who were organized by a new coalition called International Act Now to Stop War and End Racism, his sign was lost in a sea of other signs showing how many different groups had come to protest.
"War Kills Children," read one. "Do More Innocent People Have To Die?" read another.
The two groups began making their way toward the Capitol lawn shortly after 3 p.m. D.C. Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey estimated 4,500 demonstrators marched down Pennsylvania Avenue.
Ingrid Zemer, 21, of Fort Collins, Colo., was among them. She had driven 1,680 miles from her hometown to the District with some friends.
"I can remember when I was in high school seeing footage of Vietnam protesters and thinking, 'I hope if the day ever comes, I'll have the strength to stand up for what I believe in,' and now is that day," she said. "… I feel like I have a moral responsibility to be here."
Police lining Pennsylvania Avenue were equipped with see-through shields, protective vests, helmets and batons to protect them against acts of violence not covered in training manuals breaking up fights among warring factions of demonstrators.
Police had to be "prepared for anything," Chief Gainer said, including clashes between the protesters and those who believe in President Bush's declared war on terrorism.
The two groups protesters and counterprotesters who supported military action had jostled one another in the morning on the periphery of Freedom Plaza, before the march began. A few scuffles and shouting matches had broken out.
Not much happened, however, when the two met up along the line of march, by the U.S. Navy Memorial at Seventh Street and Pennsylvania Avenue.
One counterprotester, standing with others on the sidewalk, held up a sign that read, "Welcome traitors, seek therapy." Another pointed to individuals in the march yelling, "Hey you, swim to Cuba."
Anti-war activists used a bull horn to shout at the counterprotesters. "George Bush, we want peace. U.S. out of the Middle East," they chanted.

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