Anti-War Rally Coming Saturday

March 16, 2006

"
After three years of trying, organizers will finally get to hold an anti-war rally on Chicago's famed Michigan Avenue.

The so-called Festival of Rights parade will be held this Saturday to protest the United States' presence in Iraq.

Organizer Andy Thayer says the city hasn't wanted this kind of event on the Magnificent Mile.

But last week, Thayer's group got a permit to hold the Festival of Rights, which will follow the route of Disney's Festival of Lights parade.

Thayer hopes an equal number of spectators will show up.

""The battle for the right to march on Michigan Avenue has been not just about being able to express anti-war opinions,"" he says. ""But it's about being able to express them in a meaningful way, where you're actually going to have an audience for those ideas.""

The parade starts at 7 p.m. at the corner of Walton and Oak streets.

It marks the third anniversary of the war, and that of another protest.

In 2003, thousands of marchers clashed with police during a similar march.

That one spilled onto Lake Shore Drive, causing it to shut down during rush hour.
"