Antiwar Petitions Are Delivered to Congressss

Leaders of an antiwar group delivered petitions to Congress yesterday that they said had been signed by 2,050 service members and veterans calling for the immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq.

The group, Appeal for Redress, did not release the names of those who signed petitions but said that 1,274 are active duty and another 488 are in the National Guard or Reserve.

Navy Petty Officer Jonathan Hutto, co-founder of the group, said that many service members fear reprisal if they are public in their opposition to the war. Hutto was the only active-duty member of the armed forces to appear at a news conference on Capitol Hill.

Rep. Bob Filner (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee and one of four House Democrats attending the news conference, called the petitions "courageous" and said they would bolster efforts to stop the war. "Your standing up will make us stand up even taller," he said.