War protesters draw honks and jeers | SummitDaily.com

War protesters draw honks and jeers

SUMMIT COUNTY – Sue Carr-Novotny found her motivation after spending a night in jail. And she stayed motivated, even with people flipping their middle finger at her.

The Breckenridge woman and administrator at Father Dyer United Methodist Church was one of 20 demonstrators Denver police arrested Jan. 26 when the group refused to move from blocking the offices of Halliburton. Vice President Dick Cheney is the former CEO of Halliburton, an energy company.

Saturday, peace activists from a variety of walks of life joined Carr-Novotny on Colorado Highway 9 in Frisco and Breckenridge. The demonstrators carried signs decrying a war in Iraq, waved and sang John Lennon’s “Give peace a chance” to the morning ski traffic.

“This is really to raise awareness and let the general public know that, if they don’t support a war, they’re not alone,” she said.

Carr-Novotny said she’s concerned about her country behaving like a bully. There are too many reasons not to go to war, she said, including possible destabilization in the Middle East, a lack of support among other industrialized nations and the negative impact a war would have on the credibility of organizations such as NATO and the United Nations.

“I hope the people driving by realize that not everyone is resigned to a war,” she said.

More than 20 people joined Carr-Novotny in the demonstration in Frisco, and about a dozen turned out in Breckenridge.

Jim Baldwin, a Silverthorne resident and attorney, camped out at the dam road in Frisco along with his wife and signs. Baldwin said he wanted to be a part of demonstrations going on Saturday throughout the world and that “everyone would be affected by a war.”

“I’m here to support nonviolent solutions,” Baldwin said. “I think it’s obvious at this point in history that we’re all interconnected, and the idea that we can solve problems through force simply won’t work.”

The roadside rally drew musicians, real estate agents, fathers and grandmothers, in addition to attorneys and church workers. Summit High School teachers Joel Hecht and Jim Braun also lent their support.

“Saddam Hussein isn’t a great leader, but I think the people there have to say something about it,” Hecht said. “I think the inspections are working, and we need to give them a chance.”

Passersby had mixed reactions to the demonstrators. Many honked and waved. Some made peace signs with their fingers or gave the group a thumbs-up. But many showed their disapproval. Some shouted through open windows, gave demonstrators “the bird,” and two drivers made shooting motions with their hands shaped into pistols.

Dillon resident Paul Romano, a war supporter, didn’t attend or see the demonstration. Romano agreed with the demonstrators on several points but said Saturday that there doesn’t seem to be any other solution than military action.

Romano said a war could destabilize the world and dissolve the credibility of international organizations. He added it’s a natural human reaction to avoid confrontation.

“But if you feel the real point of this exercise is to get rid of Saddam Hussein because he’s the evil-doer, then I don’t see that there’s any other way than war,” Romano said. “You’re not going to talk him out of this.”

At 68 years old, Romano said he’s seen the United States deal with Hitler, Mussolini and Tojo the same way. He admitted that the U.S. was able to unseat Russia’s Stalin without military action, “but it took 50 years of outspending him.”

“The number of lives it might cost us now still may be a lot less pain and misery than that man can cause in the next 10 or 15 years,” Romano said. “I’m looking at what’s the most benefit for humanity in the long run.”

Demonstrators took to the streets elsewhere in the U.S. Saturday. New Yorkers clogged First Avenue in Manhattan, and activists gathered in Florida, Chicago, Alaska, Youngstown, Ohio and other cities.

International protests were held in Rome, Jakarta, London, Baghdad, Berlin, Paris, several Australian cities, Hong Kong, Denmark, South Korea, Japan, South Africa, Bulgaria, Pakistan, and Croatia. A march in Athens turned violent when hooded protesters threw rocks at police. Unofficial estimates put the total number of participants in the range of one million.


Reid Williams can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 237, or rwilliams@summitdaily.com.

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