Few Show for Times Square Protest on U.S. Iraq Invasion Anniversary

Some dismayed by thin turnout in NYC as thousands rally in Washington

Only a few dozen people showed up in Manhattan today for a rally protesting the seventh anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

The sparse demonstrators gathered Saturday near the military recruiting station in Times Square that was damaged by a small explosive device two years ago while elsewhere across the nation, protestors came out by the thousands to rally against sending more U.S. troops into Afghanistan.

Despite its small size, however, the group in Times Square was no less enthusiastic in their cause than their colleagues in Washington.      

A group of older women calling themselves the Raging Grannies even broke out in song, chanting "The country is broke, this war is a joke.''

Four demonstrators evoked images of the U.S. detention camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, by dressing in orange uniforms and wearing black hoods. And Liz Proefriedt, a retired Roman Catholic nun, held up a banner that read, "Bread not bombs.''

Still, the number of disinterested tourists lollygagging in the sun far surpassed the thin turnout at the anti-war rally -- an observation that dismayed some staunch advocates who hoped to make a stronger statement.

"It's sad that a lot of people did not come out for this protest," said Kathy Hoang, of Manchester, Conn. "People are getting used to the war, and don't bother even to think about it anymore."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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