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New Yorkers Speak Out: Dozens Arrested, 14 Officers Injured In Largest Anti-War Rally Yet. New York, March 22, 2003. .. ..More than 70 people were arrested and 14 police officers were injured during an anti-war demonstration that drew more than 125,000 people to Manhattan Saturday afternoon. ....The march, which wound its way from Times Square down Broadway to Washington Square Park, was said to be the largest anti-war rally the city has seen since the situation with Iraq first escalated. ....While the rally began as a peaceful one, violence broke out near Washington Square Park as police attempted to disperse the crowd at the scheduled 4 p.m. end of the rally. At least 74 protesters were arrested and 14 officers were injured, some from being sprayed with a substance similar to Mace, as they tried to move crowds out of the area, police said. At least seven of the injured officers had to be treated at local hospitals. ...."I was trying to disperse, but you couldn't get through because of a line of helmeted riot police," said a woman who took part in the protest. "They started making a line and pushing the crowd back so you could not exit. They're squeezing in people like rats because there's no place to go and the police are provoking what's going to be violent." ....Riot officers and mounted police tried to get control of the crowd, announcing via loudspeaker about 5:30 p.m. that those who remained in the area could face arrest. A small group of protesters appeared defiant of the announcement, continuing to linger in the area and shouting "Our street" as officers tried to disperse crowds. ....Police estimated the crowd at more than 125,000 people; however, organizers said the numbers were double that, at about 250,000 people. ....The march stretched more than 30 city blocks and filled Broadway from sidewalk to sidewalk.....Byline: Alecsey Boldeskul/NY Photo Press.   ....NY Photo Press:  ..phone (646) 267-6913;   ..e-mail: info@nyphotopress.com
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