About two dozen people gathered on four downtown Palo Alto street corners at noon today to protest the war in Iraq, which began five years ago today.
Several people held a large banner, "Out of Iraq Now" at Emerson Street and University Avenue. Others held signs at the three other corners at Emerson and University, prompting supportive motorists to loudly honk as they drove by.
One man yelled an obscenity from a passing truck, but many drivers and their passengers waved at the demonstrators.
Not only people carried signs. Marley, a small, black poodle, had a sign on his back, "Peace, Please." He was accompanied by his owner, Nora Kruzic.
"I didn't want to think it would be five years when it started, but I did (think that)," Paul George, director of the Peninsula Peace and Justice Center in Palo Alto, said.
George said he started using the word "quagmire" but others claimed, "No, it will be quick." He noted that almost 4,000 Americans have been killed in Iraq and there is "no end in sight" for the war.
George handed out leaflets to passersby while others held signs and waved to motorists who honked and waved back in support. The leaflets urged people to call their congressman or congresswoman to ask to stop funding the war effort.
"I want to protest this horrid war," Hershey Julien of Palo Alto said while holding a sign. "Why the Congress keeps passing funding for it, I don't know."
A candlelight vigil marking the fifth anniversary of the start of the war will be held at 7 p.m. tonight in King Plaza, 250 Hamilton Ave.
Demonstrations across the country also marked the fifth anniversary of the war. In San Francisco, 115 protestors had been arrested by mid-afternoon as demonstrations continue there.