NEW YORK (AP) – Peace activists wearing faux bloodied gloves marched and held a silent vigil on Sunday to mark the third anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

About 200 anti-war protesters walked down Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue and over to Times Square to demonstrate in front of a military recruiting office as part of a mourning procession for the dead in Iraq and Afghanistan. Seventeen of the marchers were arrested for disorderly conduct, police said.

Marchers beat drums and gongs and carried signs saying, “We the People Need to do More to End the War” and “Resist the war Don’t enlist.” Others carried fake coffins with gloves painted to look bloody.

“I’m here to help raise people’s consciousness so that they remember the victims of this unjust war,” said Michelle Barsa, a community organizer from Brooklyn who helped carry a coffin.

The participants who were arrested had tried to place objects wrapped like bodies in front of the Times Square recruiting station, organizer Ruth Benn said.

Others were content to march with placards on the second day of small war protests in New York and elsewhere ahead of Monday’s anniversary of the invasion.

Elizabeth Lascoutx, an attorney, was carrying a sign with the image of Iraqi women wearing scarves and crying.

“These are Iraqi women watching their people and their country be destroyed,” Lascoutx said. “I think this is an illegal, immoral war.”

Outside the Marble Collegiate Church, worshippers hung ribbons, some with the names of U.S. soldiers killed in the war.

Following a service, congregants observed a silent vigil while the names of fallen soldiers were projected on a screen above the altar, which was adorned with white lilies. Participants were given cards printed with individual names and asked to pray for the soldiers’ friends and families.

Danny Vasquez said it affected him to see the names of dead female soldiers.

“It’s not something we are used to seeing,” he said, “and it really hits home.”


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