How OC remembered Sept. 11

"I love these people," says clean-water activist and Huntington Beach City Council candidate Joey Racano, enthusiastically waving a colorful World Peace Flag.

"Yeah," I say. "Wish there were more of them."

Racano pauses and stares at his feet. "I know what you mean, but you can't think that way. You have to be positive. Remember this is the most conservative city in the most conservative county in California."

One activist holding a cloth flag displaying a large peace sign who hadn't heard that conversation comes over. "It's a good group we've got here," he says. "Several hundred . . . in spirit."

Occasionally, a guy driving by will flip off the activists. They respond by laughing or blowing kisses. A blond girl on a bike riding by yells, "Go to New York and hold that sign. See how long you last."

Across the street and in front of Jack's Surf Shop, three counterdemonstrators take up position. They yell and gesture at the peace activists. One of the guys, who looks about 20, holds a crudely drawn cardboard sign reading, "Nuke Iraq Cut Your Hair."

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