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Libertarians participate in a Walk for Capitalism

[December 6] Libertarian activists across America went on a "Walk for Capitalism" to demonstrate their commitment to free trade and private property rights.

On December 2, hundreds of Libertarians marched, displayed signs, chanted pro-capitalism slogans, fended off protesters, and gave out awards to selected entrepreneurs to honor their contributions to economic freedom.

Organized in more than 100 cities, the Walk for Capitalism was a global event celebrating the free market economy. The project was created by PRODOS, an Australian radio personality.

Libertarians participated in the March for Capitalism in at least a half-dozen cities around the USA -- and afterward said it was a good opportunity to "stand up" for free enterprise.

"Capitalism is frequently portrayed as the epitome of evil in popular culture and in the media," said North Carolina LP State Chair Barbara Howe, who walked in Raleigh. "It was time that an event celebrated the contributions that capitalism has made to the world."

Noelle Stettner, a Libertarian radio announcer who walked in Northern Virginia, said she hopes the Walk for Capitalism becomes an annual event.

"It was great to see many people reading our pro-capitalism signs, then honking their horns and giving us the thumbs up," she said. "I didn't see even one person react negatively."

Libertarian highlights from around the country include:

* Boston: Libertarians and Objectivists who gathered to walk the Boston Freedom Trail were met by several anti-capitalist protesters who carried signs such as "Capitalism Kills Children" and "Eat the Poor."

"These same people would later mingle with our group during the walk and shout similar things, attempting to pass themselves off as capitalists," said LP State Executive Director Kamal Jain.

Nevertheless, Jain said the event was a success, and afterward Libertarians celebrated by "indulging in capitalist refreshment" -- Seattle's Best Coffee.

* Raleigh: Who says that only people support free markets? Libertarians and other supporters of economic freedom marched with a pony at the state capitol.

"He added a fun element and was the subject of his owner's speech to the crowd," said event organizer Bobby Emory. "The owner pointed out that, just like us, the pony depended on capitalism for his food."

During the event, Libertarians tied blue ribbons around trees in front of prominent local businesses and honored John Hood, president of the John Locke Foundation, a pro-property rights think tank.

* Seattle: Free market proponents were jeered by dozens of socialist counter-demonstrators during their walk to Westlake Park, the site of two recent demonstrations commemorating the WTO riot.

During the event, marchers read articles and poems supporting economic freedom, and Microsoft CEO Bill Gates was honored as the "Capitalist of the Day."

In addition, Northwest Cable News Network and local TV stations covered the walk, said LP member Greg Clark.

"For the first walk, [it was] a success," he said. "As we build on this, the message of free minds and free markets will resound."

* Washington, DC: To avoid the "bureaucratic hurdles" of getting a permit in the District of Columbia, Libertarians marched just across the Potomac River, in Arlington, Virginia.

More than 100 participants attended the walk, carrying signs and chanting, "Hey Hey, Ho Ho, Socialism has got to go!"

The march concluded at a restaurant/pub, where a lawyer for the libertarian Institute for Justice gave a speech, and presented an award to a client who had successfully fought a law prohibiting individuals from shining shoes on the streets of Washington, DC.

Stettner said she attended the march to highlight the relationship between capitalism and Libertarianism.

"Capitalism and Libertarianism are about choice: the choice of how to spend, invest, and save one's money," she said.

Libertarians also participated in the March for Capitalism in San Jose, California; Honolulu, Hawaii; and Westminster, Maryland.

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