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5th year of Iraq war marked by protests in Atlanta, nation
GA War Protest GASL 6744496
The Rev. Lauren Cogswell, of the Open Door Community, carries a symbolic casket protesting the Iraq War on the fifth anniversary during the anti-war rally and march in Atlanta, Wednesday, March 19, 2008. (AP Photo/Stanley Leary) - photo by Associated Press
    ATLANTA — Anti-war demonstrators carried five black coffins during a half-mile march to an Army recruiting office Wednesday as protests around the nation marked the fifth anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
    About 100 people gathered near the Carter Center in Atlanta, drumming and chanting for peace. Their signs declaring ‘‘Bush lied, thousands died’’ and ‘‘Master peace’’ were met with honks of support from commuters on the way home from work.
    The coffins were marked with the words truth, justice, Iraqi civilians, troops and economy — what the demonstrators called the five victims of the Iraq war.
    ‘‘We feel it’s a disgrace to the United States that we’re sending our children to die in Iraq,’’ said Judy Conder, 60, of Decatur.
    Conder and 10 other women who call themselves Atlanta’s ‘‘Grandmothers for Peace’’ were arrested Monday for criminal trespass at the same recruiting station for refusing to leave. They tried to enlist in the Army but were turned away, which led to a protest outside the building, Conder said.
    None of the women arrested have children or grandchildren serving in Iraq, but they consider themselves grandmothers to all children, she said.
    Earlier in the day at Emory University’s crowded student center, a handful of war opponents gathered at noon to read the names of the nearly 4,000 U.S. troops killed so far.
    They had planned to meet outside, where they assemble weekly to read the names of new war casualties, but were forced inside by stormy weather.
    The coalition of Emory faculty, staff and students is called Stand With Me. About 10 of them stood in front of placards that resembled the Vietnam Memorial, but bore the names of those who have died in Iraq.
    ‘‘Most Americans have been successfully narcotized about the war,’’ said Theophus ‘‘Thee’’ Smith, an associate professor of religion at Emory. ‘‘We are a nation of sheep in lockstep, following this policy. The very least we can do is remember our dead.’’
    Before reading the names, they had Korean drummers do a ceremonial drumming.
    At the afternoon demonstration, one group of college students wore bright orange jumpsuits and black bandanas bearing the words ‘‘Drive out the Bush regime’’ across their mouths.
    Andy Santamaria said he was there to remind people about the war.
    ‘‘A lot of people have forgotten,’’ the 27-year-old Georgia State University student said while holding a sign that said ‘‘Pigs here, bombs there, U.S. out of everywhere.’’

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