If an Anti-War Protest Marches Through Downtown Dallas and No One Is Around to Hear It, Does It Make a Sound?

Yesterday, about 35 people marched from City Hall to the Earle Cabell Federal Building and Courthouse to protest the Iraq War, which began six year ago.

They dressed in black shirts and pants and wore white masks over their faces to represent the dead. From their necks, they hung cardboard signs with names of the many soldiers who have died in the war. The Dallas Peace Center organized the march.

The procession walked mostly in silence and through empty streets. Only a few heads turned at a bus stop on Commerce Street. This had some of the protesters grumbling.

"We're in the wrong place," whispered one to a man in front of him. "I don't understand why we're here. We need to be in a mall."

Several heads nodded. Then a 59-year-old man who gave his name only as Hank spoke up.

"It's a little too milquetoast for me," he said. "I like things to be more radical. Dallas downtown, on the weekend? Chicken shit."

But the march was more of a symbolic effort, explained Dallas Peace Center director Lon Burnam, also a state representative from Fort Worth, when asked if another location should have been picked for today's protest.

"No, it's perfect," said Burnam, pointing up at the Cabell building. "You have to take it to the power."

Several protesters got down on the sidewalk and lay on their backs, as if in a grave.

Almost immediately, a federal guard rushed over. "You've got to move. This is federal property." The director nodded and motioned everybody to stand back up. The group crossed the street and set up on the sidewalk across from the building.

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