Protesters: David McNew/Getty Images/Newscom
Brian Hiatt
March 24, 2003 at 05:00 AM EST

Inside the Kodak Theatre, the rowdiest antiwar moment was Michael Moore’s fiery anti-Bush speech. But outside, some 12 people were arrested as a few peace protesters tried to leave the area to which they had been assigned and approach the theater, according to the Los Angeles Times. Police estimated the antiwar crowd at about 1,000 people, while organizers claimed to have 5,000 present, the Associated Press reported. ”Unfortunately, the officers had to start pushing the protesters back,” Deputy Chief Mike Hillman told the wire service. ”The situation got very contentious.”

Among the charges against protesters were failure to disperse, interfering with police, and disturbing the peace, according to AP. The permit for the rally expired at 6 p.m., but many protesters didn’t leave; by 7, police were threatening to make mass arrests, the L.A. Times reported. Around that point, the crowd finally broke up. Meanwhile, some pro-war demonstrators also showed up. Among their reported chants: ”Impeach Martin Sheen.”

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