WASHINGTON, Oct. 25 — Tens of thousands of demonstrators from around the country are expected to converge here on Saturday to tell the Bush administration that they oppose its strategy for a pre-emptive military strike against Iraq.
The protesters, a coalition of community, religious and academic groups, will march from the Vietnam War Memorial to the White House in a show of dissent, as President Bush continues to try to gain international support for military action against Iraq.
Simultaneous demonstrations are to take place around the country in places like Seattle, San Francisco, Austin, Tex., and Raleigh, N.C.
Participants say they hope to highlight what they believe to be a growing unease among Americans for the administration's position. Interest in the rally, which has been in the works for several months, swelled, demonstrators say, after Congress voted earlier this month to authorize use of force against Iraq.
"The American people are saying there is another conversation to be had, and I would frame this march as a new beginning," said the Rev. Bob Edgar, the general secretary of the National Council of the Churches of Christ who served six terms in the House as a Pennsylvania Democrat.
"For us as religious leaders, the real axis of evil is the pandemic of poverty, the degradation of the planet Earth and the proliferation of weapons," Mr. Edgar said yesterday as protesters began to arrive. "The issue for the American people is terrorism. You don't attack terrorism with bombs; you attack it with international policing. We would not have gotten the sniper here in Washington by bombing the Capitol."nytimes.com/2002/10/26/politics/26PROT.htmlE-mail this article