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Peace Movement Starts Easter Marches

Demonstrators took to Germany's streets Friday, kicking off the traditional Easter peace marches. This year the main issues of protest are the social effects of German government reforms, plans to expand the German military's activities abroad as well as calls for condemning the Iraq war. But participation has so far been low, especially compared to last year's turnout, when ten thousands of protesters voiced their opposition to the Iraq war. Around 350 demonstrators took part in the march in Chemnitz, organizers said, the biggest so far. Events, including demonstrations on bicycle and religious services calling for peace, are planned in more than 60 German cities over the Easter holiday. The largest activities are expected Sunday. Peace marches have been held in Germany since 1960, two years after they were first kicked off in London by British philosopher Bertrand Russell.