Anti-War Protesters March Down Michigan Ave.

More Than 2,000 Show Up For Peaceful Protest

CHICAGO - MARCH 19, 2008 - Protesters marched up Michigan Avenue on Wednesday to protest the Iraq War.  

NBC5's Alex Perez reported that Wednesday's protest comes on the fifth anniversary of the start of the war.

"I'm hoping that we see a new spirit in this country," said one woman before the protest began. "That perhaps we have a different elected leadership. Whatever the elected leadership we end up with, we will still have to tell them that we want to get out of Iraq."

Organizers were at Federal Plaza during the day setting up and making signs. Organizers were expecting about 6,000 protestors, but only about 2,2000 people showed up.  There was a heavy police presence, but it proved to be a peaceful demonstration.

One protester, Chocoby Sargent, has a friend in Iraq now and said soldiers are not fight for a just cause. 

"The hurt inside to know that you are serving an ill purpose," said Sargent.  "Some people come home, they are just tore up inside."

Money being spent on the war was also an issue of protest.

"We're not seeing any money going into our educational system or in our healthcare," said one protestor. 

"It's in nobody's interest but a few corporations  that are profiting at our expense," said another anti-war protestor. 

"We're pouring billions into destroying other's people's society when our own infrastructure is crumbling," said one man. "This has to stop."

Perez reported that more than 4,000 troops have been killed and there are currently 158,000 troops are serving in Iraq.

"That could have been 4,000 people here in the United States working," said a Chicago college student who attended the march.

"It's (Iraq) not our country," said one protester. "I think we went in for the wrong reasons, and I think we've messed things up enough, and it's time to pull out."

The march began at Dearborn and Adams streets, and proceeded up Michigan Avenue and end up at Washington Square Park.

"There's obviously a huge number of people who are against this war," said another protester. "We're not going to be dragged through it anymore."

"I think that because it's the American people who are killing Iraqis, it's the American people who have to stop it and have step up and stop their own government, and take control of their own government," said another protester.

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