Protesters scaled an Air Force base fence in New Jersey, battled with police in San Francisco, and converged in other cities Saturday to oppose sending U.S. troops to Honduras, while a few smaller groups voiced support for the action.
Opponents of the Reagan administration's Central American policy gathered in San Francisco for the third straight day, rallying in the largely Hispanic Mission District before parading through other parts of town. Police estimated the crowd at 3,000.In the evening, protesters battled with police for 25 minutes after a fire was lit in the street near where demonstrators held their last of several rallies.
Several bottles, wooden crosses and bags of garbage were thrown at two-dozen riot-clad police as several hundred protesters, some wearing bandannas to hide their faces, rushed the officers and tried to stop them from putting out the blaze.
There were no arrests reported immediately in San Francisco, and only a few reported elsewhere Saturday. But on Friday, more than 250 people were arrested in the city and more than 350 nationwide.
In Boston, about 5,000 people, some carrying signs with slogans such as "Reagan and North Boy Scouts from Hell," rallied on the Common at noon Saturday. Vietnam veterans, elderly couples and young families with children listened to speeches, while some protesters handed out copies of The Socialist Worker. Police reported no arrests.
Shortly after the rally began, about 10 members of the Young Americans For Freedom appeared. Carrying signs in support of President Reagan and Lt. Col. Oliver North, the group recited the pledge of allegiance and chanted "Ollie North, he's our hero, all you Commies are one big zero!"
"We wanted to show that people support Reagan," said Ken McCracken, 24, a Boston University student. "We believe the U.S. has the right to send troops to protect our interests. We love our country."
One of those protesting on the other side was Robert Hickey, 34, a Vietnam veteran. "I'm here because I don't believe we should send our troops to Honduras," he said. "I think the Reagan people have a communist hysteria."