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Costa Mesa : 35 People Stage Peace Vigil Over Contra Aid

Thirty-five people representing two coalitions of peace groups held a vigil at Bristol Street across from South Coast Plaza on Saturday to protest U.S. aid to Nicaraguan rebels, known as contras.

Dorothy Callison of Irvine said the Pledge of Resistance and the Orange County Coalition for Peace and Justice had organized the vigil, scheduled for 4 to 6 p.m., to come on the eve of the House of Representatives’ second vote on $100 million in contra aid, scheduled for Thursday.

If the House approves the money requested by the Reagan Administration, leaders said protesters will have sit-ins at local congressmen’s offices, as they did on March 20, when the House first voted on the non-lethal aid package.

But if the funding is again denied, protesters “will hold parties at the offices of their congressmen the day following the vote,” a statement from Pledge of Resistance read.

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Orange County Reps. Robert K. Dornan (R-Garden Grove), William E. Dannemeyer (R-Fullerton) and Robert E. Badham (R-Newport Beach)--who have consistently voted in favor of contra aid--were visited by protesters in March.

Protesters gathered next to the Westin South Coast Plaza hotel.

Pledge of Resistance is a nationwide coalition of several peace groups, nine of which make up the Orange County chapter, Callison said. The Orange County Coalition for Peace and Justice is comprised of about 15 other groups.


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