Local News

Anti-War Rally In Chapel Hill Confrontational

Posted October 28, 2001 5:22 a.m. EST

— Demonstrators with opposing opinions about the war in Afghanistan traded barbs and insults Saturday near the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Pro-war demonstrators tried to drown out those opposed to the war while they were speaking at a rally and urged passing motorists to honk their horns if they supported the fight.

When several hundred anti-war protesters marched down the street chanting, eight to 10 people followed in a pickup truck waving a U.S. flag and holding signs.

One of the men made an obscene gesture at the protesters. Outside a gas station, several employees approached the anti-war protesters and shouted obscenities.

Some of the pro-war people identified themselves as college Republicans.

``We are here against the peace march,'' said Rheta Burton. ``We want these people, instead of going behind our nation, we want them to come together and support our troops.''

Some bystanders supported the anti-war protesters, nodding in agreement and chanting along with them.

Matthew Smith, a member of the Coalition to End the Cycle of Violence, looking at the pro-war group's signs urging support for the troops and the New York Fire Department, said, ``I don't think we disagree with that.

``I think there's a lot of anger, and I think it's very justified and understandable that people are angry. I think I'm angry, and like everyone else I'm scared, but I don't think a policy that comes from anger and fear will be a just policy or an effective policy.''