Obama's peace prize inspires protest

OLYMPIA - Twenty-five to 30 anti-war demonstrators marched through downtown Thursday, protesting President Barack Obama's acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize, just days after he announced a plan to send more troops to Afghanistan, organizers said.

The protesters, mostly students at The Evergreen State College, staged a peaceful protest near the offices of The Olympian just before noon. After setting up a table and holding signs at Bethel Street and Fourth Avenue, the group entered The Olympian’s lobby to discuss concerns about the war. They brought signs, some of which said, “How about some peace with that Nobel Prize?” and “War is costly, peace is priceless.”

They also shared displeasure over a range of issues, such as two-party government, the cost of the war and the number of military bases around the world. They chided the news media for not covering the war or the anti-war movement more closely.

“We are tired of the anti-war movement being denigrated and marginalized, and we need the help of the media to start (changing) that,” Nigel Weiss said.

Some of the demonstrators came from out of town, including longtime war protester Joe Sonntag.

“War is not a solution for a nation trying to improve itself,” he said.

Devin Matthews-Jensen wanted to make clear Thursday that the group supports the troops in Afghanistan.

“In no way do we want to denigrate their service,” he said.

After leaving The Olympian, the group marched west on State Avenue, turned south at Capitol Way, then marched back along Fourth Avenue. They blocked one lane of traffic but kept moving, and Olympia police watched from a distance. Another war protest is set for noon Tuesday at Yauger Park in west Olympia.

Rolf Boone: 360-754-5403