War Protestors Brave the Snow in Cape Girardeau

War Protestors Brave the Snow
By: Kate Scott
(Cape Girardeau, MO)--While many Americans continue to prepare for war, some groups continue to protest the idea.
One such group has been demonstrating on the streets of Cape Girardeau since last October. The Southeast Missouri Coalition for Peace and Justice believes that President Bush is as committed to the idea of going to war, as they are committed to opposing it.
Members of the group feel so strongly about peace, that they they're out holding signs every Thursday night, even in the sleet and snow.  “It's very cold,” shivered Bob Polack, as the flakes fell on Thursday night.  “We've been out in the snow three or four times in the last four months, and even in much colder weather than this. We were out in five degrees one night. So we're dedicated. It's cold, but we do it.”
So why do they do it?  “We feel that the inspections should be allowed to continue their full course,” stated Polack.  Demonstrator Warren Whitworth had another, more personal reason. “I spent time in Vietnam with the Fifth Special Forces and I saw a lot of innocent people get killed,” he told Heartland News.  “I just don't want to see that happen again.”  SEMO student Emma Franklin hasn’t witnessed any such violence in her own life, but she doesn’t want anyone else to be forced to see it either.  “I want to make a difference, and I feel this is a way that we can make a difference,” she said.
The protestors say something that didn't make a difference to them was President Bush's latest speech, warning Saddam Hussein that his time is running out, and urging the United Nations to take action.  “It didn't really impress me,” says Polack.  “I do believe personally that Saddam Hussein does have weapons. But I don't believe he has anything that's worth going to war over at this time. That's the issue.”
So what will happen if the United States does declare war?  “I don't think it would be a war. I think it would be a massacre,” says Whitworth.  “I think thousands of innocent women, children, and people would be killed.”  Emma Franklin says if American soldiers head into battle, she plans to protest even harder.  “I have family members involved in the war, so it means a lot to me.”
The group points out that they're just one of thousands of small groups across this country, who are putting in the legwork to make their opinions heard.
If you’d like to join them, the Southeast Missouri Coalition for Peace and Justice is out every Thursday night, starting around 6 o'clock, at the corner of West End and Legion Drive in Cape Girardeau.