Night protest ends peacefully

March 19, 2008 11:56:03 PM PDT
President Bush is asking Americans for patience, but tonight there is little of that in evidence on Bay Area streets. Demonstrators against the war have been out all day and most of the evening.

At 24th and Mission Streets in San Francisco, anti-war demonstrators ended their big march. At 9 p.m. there were a few people still gathered and a big police presence to make sure things didn't get unruly. It's hard to say how many people attended, but one field officer put the crowd estimate at 2,000.

The marchers made through way through the Mission District after starting at San Francisco City Hall.

These protesters came from all over the Bay Area. For many, this is old hat, many are regulars when it comes to anti-war demonstrations, but there were some people who said this was their first peace march.

Five years in Iraq they believe is five years too many. They say no longer can they just sit passively and remain silent. Too many lives have been lost, too much money has been spent, and they say it's time to end the war now.

"I think there are a lot more people who feel this way who don't bother coming who say, 'You know I'm really against this war.' I was like that. I didn't think about coming. I think this isn't just a fringe, these aren't just San Francisco hippies," said Christopher Overton, a protester.

"I'm a student. And I've gone from being an undergraduate to a graduate student looking for work and seeing things not be so good in this country and I feel that it's time that the government pays attention to what's going on domestically," said Diana Negrin, a protester.

Earlier today, protesters spread their anti-war message in the financial district. Several demonstrations ended up halting traffic and disrupting business. Demonstrators targeted corporate offices with either direct or indirect ties to the war. Police ended up arresting 143 people.