Five arrested at anti-war protest in SF

March 21, 2009 7:57:36 PM PDT
Five protesters were arrested during the second part of an otherwise peaceful anti-war demonstration in San Francisco Saturday, San Francisco police said.

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Three men and two women were arrested at about 2:30 p.m. at the Civic Center Plaza for allegedly assaulting a police officer, San Francisco police Sgt. Lyn Tomioka said.

At least three of those arrested were also involved in the release of a teenage boy who was taken into custody after he was allegedly throwing rocks from a backpack, one of which hit an officer, Tomioka said.

Another officer suffered a groin injury and a third was bitten by a protestor, Tomioka said.

Saturday's rallies, which drew hundreds of demonstrators, were held as part of a nationwide "Day of Action" marking the sixth anniversary of the Iraq War.

Demonstrators of all ages representing a diversity of causes, from the wars in the Middle East, to healthcare in the U.S., initially gathered for an hour-long rally at Justin Herman Plaza. They wore anti-war T-shirts and memorabilia, chanted along with speakers, carried signs and placards and conversed amongst themselves about the need for the U.S. government to end the wars abroad.

"Money for jobd and education, not for war and occupation!" the crowd chanted as they marched along Market Street, where officers followed on bicycles.

A San Francisco police officer at the first rally said there were no reports of any problems or arrests related to the protest there.

Among the groups that participated in the rallies and march today were members of the National Assembly to End the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars and Occupations, Act Now to Stop War and End Racism, U.S. Labor Against the War, Veterans for Peace, and Progressive Democrats of America.

Demonstrations were held today in Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and Chicago, and other major cities across the country.

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