About 5,000 people lay down for the die-in, Thompson said, and none was arrested. But when the crowd became rowdier, officers pepper-sprayed many of the protesters and started making arrests, he said.
The marchers "were met with a huge police presence. Obviously, they're very scared of an antiwar movement," said Thompson, 32.
Into the early evening, protesters continued to chant, "What do we want? Peace!" in front of the Capitol.
Among them was Jessica Ramirez of San Gabriel, a UCLA student who spent $500 on her trip to Washington because, she said, she wants to see more students mobilize against the war.
"It's about doing something that you believe in," Ramirez, 22, said as she sat on a ledge near the Capitol, chanting antiwar slogans.
The above is from Tina Marie Macias and Jordy Yager's "Protest caps an Iraq-focused week" (Los Angeles Times). Ian Thompson was among those arrested the week before last for the very serious 'crimes' of posting information about Saturday's event -- along with Tina Richards (Grassroots America) and Adam Kokesh (Iraq Veterans Against the War). The article tells you pepper spray was used by police, the Washington Post (noted by Lloyd) says "chemical spray" and we'll note this from the article:
Iraq war veteran Geoff Millard, 26, of Columbia Heights wore fatigues and clutched an American flag as he lay on the ground before he was arrested. "It's time for the peace movement to take the next step past protest and to resistance," said Millard, president of the D.C. chapter of Iraq Veterans Against the War.
[. . .]
March organizers said Iraq war veterans were more involved and visible at yesterday's protest than in any other similar demonstration since the conflict began. Activists said they are planning "a week of action" meant to push the antiwar movement to a more confrontational stage.
After being processed and released last night, one of those arrested said he had come by train from the Boston area. The protester, who identified himself as Walter Ducharme, 78, of Cambridge, Mass., said he had been arrested at an earlier demonstration and "figured I had to do it again."
Organizers of the antiwar event said tens of thousands turned out. A law enforcement official, who declined to be identified because authorities no longer provide crowd counts, estimated the gathering at closer to 10,000; the march permit obtained in advance by ANSWER had projected that number.
Brandon notes this from "Fake Peace" (Inside Iraq, McClatchy Newspapers -- this is their blog written by their Iraqi staff):
Two days ago and since Ramadan month started and as we Muslims say its the month of God which means peace must be everywhere, I decided to break to visit my best friend at night especially after the (peace) that my neighborhood enjoys. Don't misunderstand me when I say peace because I'm not talking about real peace that all Iraqis pray to have. The peace we have in my neighborhood is a fake one came as a result of killing and displacing all the families from a specific sect not because the US army or the Iraqi army could control the area, this is the bitter fact I hate to but I must admit. Now, all the families in my neighborhood are from one sect including a big number of families who were displaced by the other sect from other neighborhoods of Baghdad.
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