The Star-Ledger

Protesters Rally Against War

The Star-Ledger — Monday, March 19, 2007

Vietnam Marine veteran Bruce Tornari was among nearly 100 people who rallied in the wind-chilled shadow of the Statehouse today to protest the United States' involvement in Iraq on the fourth anniversary of the war.

As they waved placards and chanted, "Not one more death. Not one more dollar,'' passing motorists on West State Street honked their horns in support, including the drivers of a NJ Transit bus and a Staples truck.

At 10:45 this morning, Tornari learned his 80-year-old mother had passed away in Cherry Hill. At 12:15 p.m., Tornari, 57, of Washington Township, Gloucester County, stood on the Statehouse steps in Trenton and spoke out against the war in Iraq.

"I owe it to the Marines and soldiers to be here,'' he said.

"I stand here today embarrassed. I've come to the sad conclusion that I don't support the war,'' Tornari told the protesters."There is worldwide opposition to the Iraq war. You see in others nations people carrying 'war criminal' signs.''

On his 3rd Marine Division veteran's s cap, Tornari wore a button that read: "Iraq, 4 years of death and lies.''

"We are doing the right thing,'' he told the crowd. "We are here for all the right reasons.''

The rally was sponsored by the Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action, New Jersey Citizen Action, the New Jersey Industrial Union Council, New Jersey Labor Against the War, the Peoples Organization for Progress, and Americans Against Escalation.

The Rev. Robert Moore, of the Coalition for Peace Action, said that President Bush's actions have led to the deaths of more than 3,000 servicemen and women, the wounding of over 50,000, and the deaths of thousands of innocent Iraqis.

"How in the world could anybody believe his assertions that he supports the troops,'' Moore said. "Bush has never attended the funeral of one serviceman and has banned photos of returning coffins. This is an abomination. The president doesn't realize there are other options available to him than to approach other nations at the point of a gun. The only option is to bring the troops home and to bring them home now.''

Candice Robinson, 17, of Trenton, a senior at the ISLES Youth Builds Institute in the capital city, told the protesters Trenton has 1,000 vacant homes that could be rehabilitated for the same cost as two military helicopters.

Contributed by Tom Hester

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