New York Anti-war Protesters Stage Die-in

Hundreds of anti-war demonstrators gathered near Rockefeller Center in Midtown of Manhattan on Thursday and dozens rushed into the street and lay down on the street in a "die-in" to protest the ongoing war with Iraq.

Police officers clamped plastic handcuffs onto protesters and loaded them into police vehicles.

In a statement the organizers of the event said they chose Rockefeller as the location to draw attention to what they called "extreme bias currently characterizing the war reporting from all the major media outlets."

"From the beginning, the American media have failed to ask the kind of critical questions that would have revealed the fraud and deceit in the administration's case for war," the statement said.

Anti-war groups had called for a day of widespread civil disobedience, including blocking busy intersections and a "die-in"to protest media and corporate "profiteering from the war."

"As billion dollar contracts are awarded to well-connected American corporations, it becomes obvious why the American business community has so wholeheartedly backed, and in many casesdriven the Bush Administration's drive to war," the statement added.

Protesters chanted "No war, no profit, no business as usual," as helicopters hovered overhead and police officers, many in riot gear and some on horseback, lined up the street for crowd control.

Police and security officers placed a web of barricades on streets in Rockefeller Center, home of the GE Building, NBC headquarters and the Associated Press, to prevent a planned "die-in" there.

Organizers said the "die-in" was intended to symbolize Iraqi war victims. A group of young people, dressed in black robes, played dirges in a simulated funeral march.

One protester held up a sign that said, "Embedded? or In Bed?"

She criticized the media's practice of embedded reporting for presenting "almost exclusively the military view of this war."

Holding a sign saying "Boycott Fox," another protester said Foxis the worst in telling half news and half lies to mislead the public.

At a similar "die-in" on Fifth Avenue Wednesday, demonstrators doused themselves with fake blood, chained themselves together andlay in the street. Police arrested 16 people for disorderly conduct.

The traffic-blocking technique was used in recent anti-war protests in San Francisco, which led to thousands of arrests and complaints that police used excessive force.



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