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26 Aug, 2008 05:24

Obama’s big week hit by war protests

About 1,000 anti-war activists have taken to the streets of Denver in Colorado to protest against the US occupation of Iraq. The rallies coincide with the Democrats' annual convention, where delegates will formally endor

On Sunday, activists marched peacefully through a heavily-guarded Denver city centre, waving signs and chanting slogans such as: “Stop the torture, stop the war. That's what we're fighting for.”

It was the first in a series of protests by ‘Recreate 68’ – a group whose name references famous Vietnam war protests at the Democratic Convention in Chicago in 1968.

‘Recreate 68’ are planning five major protests during this year’s convention, one each day. Their official website says each rally “will focus on a symptom of the disease of an imperialist, capitalist, racist system as seen in our communities.”

On Monday night thousands of protesters, including anti-war, immigration and anti-abortion activists, have gathered in the town. However, the number is said to be a lot less than the 25,000 the organizers had expected.    

As police tried to disperse a crowd of around 300 protesters, scuffles broke out and some demonstrators were hit by police pepper spray. Arrests are believed to have been made, but no figure has been released.

Meanwhile, there are reports that four people have been arrested in Denver amid fears of a plot to kill Barack Obama. The investigation is being carried out by the Secret Service, the FBI and the joint terrorism task force.

Barack Obama is due to formally accept the Democratic presidential nomination in a speech on Thursday to a crowd of 80,000 people.

He also hopes his supporters will endorse veteran Senator Joe Biden, who was announced as his running partner on Saturday.