Organizers of a Jan. 18 protest in the District against a possible war against Iraq say they expect a turnout similar to the Oct. 26 protest last year.

At that event, the largest protest in the area since the Vietnam War, an estimated 100,000 protesters took to the streets of Washington.

Among those thousands will be some organized opposition, Communists, anarchists and others who have turned out for other Washington protests against war, and against International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

There will also be an informal group of Arlingtonians, meeting at the Ballston Metro station, 10-10:30 a.m. Saturday, to attend the events, which will include speakers, music and a march. Marches and protests will be sponsored by a number of groups, including United for Peace and International ANSWER.

Dissension among organizing groups has split supporters in some previous protests, but residents predict a more unified event this weekend. Kirit Mookerjee, a member of the Arlington Green Party, said the event will help show the nation that not just radicals oppose the war.

“I don’t necessarily agree with the views of everyone that’s going to be there,” he said. But he agrees with the fundamental principles of peace and the right to protest. “This is just as American as anything else,” he said.

The Oct. 26 march drew large numbers of counter-protesters, who wanted to show their support for President Bush. Similar demonstrations are expected Saturday.

The Arlington County Republican Committee will not be involved in an official counter-protest, but chair Elise Kenderian said she assumes that most local GOP members would “support the President completely.”


After the sudden death Saturday morning of County Board Chair Charles Monroe, board members refused to answer questions about government business, saying it was time to pay respects.

But state law allows little time for grieving. Special elections to replace deceased government officials must be conducted within 45-60 days.

“The calendar is really horrible on this because there’s very little time for the community to grieve,” said Daniel Steen, chair of the Arlington Democratic Committee.

Jim Hurysz has already declared himself interested in the Democratic nomination, and others are expected to follow.

Steen said a steering committee will meet Sunday, Jan. 19 to discuss nominations. “We have a strong bench of folks who could potentially run,” he said. Christian Dorsey, who took about a third of the vote in the Democratic primary last May 14 against then-board chair Chris Zimmerman, is a likely candidate.

Dorsey said Monday that until the proper respects had been paid to Monroe, he would not make a decision about running. But he will likely make a decision in the next two weeks. “I definitely will think about it,” he said.


The Black Heritage Museum of Arlington and the Arlington Convention and Visitors Service will host a celebration to unveil the new “African-American History in Arlington, Virginia” brochure. The event will take place from 2-4 p.m., Monday, Jan. 20, at the Capital Ballroom of the Best Western Hotel at 2480 S. Glebe Road.

The brochure highlights historical black assets of the county, including the boundary stones placed by Benjamin Banneker for the Federal City of Washington in 1791. The brochure and accompanying site map were designed to encourage regional heritage tours by black family reunions and other black tourists traveling in the national capital area.

The Arlington Chamber of Commerce, the Virginia Foundation for Humanities and the Virginia Tourism Corporation will co-sponsor the unveiling celebration. Attendees are encouraged to RSVP. For additional information, or to RSVP, call 703-228-0888.

The “African American History in Arlington, Virginia” brochure will be available at the event and will also be distributed through the Arlington Convention & Visitors Service.