Bikers Protest Vietnam Ties in Ride Past White House

Associated Press

Thousands of demonstrators rode roaring motorcycles past the White House on Sunday to loudly make their argument that warming relations with Vietnam amounts to a sellout to business and a betrayal of MIA families.

With exhausts growling, fists upraised and shouts of "Bring 'Em Home," bikers from many parts of the country rolled past the White House for more than 90 minutes on their way to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

It was the seventh annual "Rolling Thunder" rally protesting lack of a complete accounting of those listed as missing in action during the Vietnam War.

U.S. Park Police estimated the number in the rally at 40,000. The participants' own estimates of the number of bikers ranged from 5,000 to 100,000.

The motorcycles flew U.S. flags, many at half-staff, along with black banners of the POW-MIA movement and slogans and messages lettered on placards, vehicles, clothing and skin.

Clinton lifted a trade embargo against Vietnam earlier this year and the two countries have agreed on a framework for establishing diplomatic missions, considered a step toward full diplomatic recognition.

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