KUCINICH OFFERS ANTI-WAR PLEA AS ACTIVISTS GATHER FOR PEACE
Sunday, March 26, 2006
Christopher Evans / Plain Dealer Reporter
The Beachwood Ballroom rocked to a different kind of rhythm Saturday. Instead of bass guitars and primal screams, there was Bush-bashing and speechifying. The popular North Collinwood concert venue was packed with a standing-room-only crowd of about 300 peace activists. U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich, Democrat of Cleveland, kicked things off with an impassioned plea to end all wars. He invoked the writings of St. Francis of Assisi, Mohandas Gandhi and the poet William Wordsworth as he addressed the need for a "peace consciousness." "War could not occur if we held peace in our hearts," the vegan pacifist told the cheering crowd.
A lone protester booed and yelled "Commie," startling the crowd. David Boron, who said he served 13 months in Iraq with the Ohio National Guard's 1486th Transportation Company, was unapologetic. "I fought a war against terrorists in Iraq," he said. "Now I'm fighting a war against liberals here." A man approached and touched Boron's arm. "Please, sir," the man warned. "You don't want to do that. We're here for peace, but we'll do what we need to do to take care of you." "Give him a hug," someone shouted.
Boron left as Paul Schroeder outlined his proposal for a withdrawal of coalition troops. Schroeder's son, Marine Lance Cpl. Edward "Augie" Schroeder, 23, of Cleveland, was killed in Iraq last August. Anti-war activist and Gold Star Families for Peace founder Cindy Sheehan was a no-show due to an ear infection. Sheehan - whose son, Army Spc. Casey Sheehan, 24, was killed in Iraq - is scheduled to speak at 1 p.m. today at the Akron Public Library, 60 S. High Street.
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