YOUTH OF TODAY 

Not just the fogeys, but kids also oppose the war

Many of the day's events, including food, and speakers, had been planned primarily by high school and college-aged students. Tourists stopped to take pictures as police shepherded the line of protesters on the two-mile march from HemisFair Park, along the sidewalks of Commerce Street - where some demonstrators held a mock "die-in," - a journey which culminated in an open-mic rally at Milam Park.

 
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Morgan Duran, 16 (center), joins hundreds of other children and adults protesting the threat of war in Iraq in a march through downtown San Antonio on Saturday, February 15. Photo by Mark Greenberg

Youth poses problems for some activists, as Leti Guerra, 25, explained: "It is more difficult getting people to listen to you and respect your viewpoints. Because a lot of times people hear you and say, 'Oh, you're just a stupid kid, what do you know?'"

Yet even 7-year-old Zachary Brown knew why he was marching: "We don't want another world war." Or, as the poster of another wee one stated, "Money for skoole, not for war." As Food Not Bombs member Jessica Gute, 15, remarked, "`Bush` needs to be for his citizens, to think about the people he represents and his actions, and to listen to the people." From the mouths of babes.

The only sour note to the afternoon was a be-studded young man whose parroted "Fuck capitalism" diatribe on the mic attracted the attention of the hitherto cooperative cops. As police and protesters swarmed around him - he received a ticket for his outburst - a medical helicopter for the nearby Santa Rosa hospital beat noisily overhead: The cops, the din, and the sudden fear-tinged chill of a gusty afternoon reminded both young and old that there are more important things to protest than the vocabulary choices of one boy. •


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