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thousands of protesters march to capitol

thousands of protesters march to capitolfrom ap: Thousands of protesters marched Saturday from the White House to the Capitol to demand an end to the Iraq war.

U.S. Capitol Police arrested least seven people who jumped over a barricade near the base of the Capitol. Nearly 100 officers were standing guard, and the protesters were arrested without a struggle.

"What do we want? Troops out. When do we want it? Now," the demonstrators chanted.

The protesters gathered earlier Saturday near the White House in Lafayette Park with signs saying "End the war now" and calling for President Bush's impeachment. The rally was organized by the ANSWER Coalition and other groups.

Army veteran Justin Cliburn, 25, of Lawton, Okla., was among a contingent of Iraq veterans in attendance.

"We're occupying a people who do not want us there," Cliburn said of Iraq. "We're here to show that it isn't just a bunch of old hippies from the 60s who are against this war."

About 13 blocks away, nearly 1,000 counter-protesters gathered near the Washington Monument, frequently erupting in chants of "U-S-A" and waving American flags.

They lined both sides of Pennsylvania Avenue to confront the anti-war protesters as they marched by.

Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Robert "Buzz" Patterson, speaking from a stage to crowds clad in camouflage, American flag bandanas and Harley Davidson jackets, said he wanted to send three messages.

"Congress, quit playing games with our troops. Terrorists, we will find you and kill you," he said. "And to our troops, we're here for you, and we support you."

Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., made a surprise visit to the counter-protest, which was organized by the group Gathering of Eagles. The group was created this year by veterans who wanted to challenge war protesters.

"We're a people of faith, courage and fidelity," said Hunter, a 2008 presidential candidate. "It's for this generation that we will win this war on terror."

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