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Libertarians 'walk for capitalism'

Libertarian activists from around the country have participated in the first “Walk for Capitalism” to show support for free-trade policies and private property rights.

The event, which took place Dec. 2, involved “hundreds” of Libertarians who “marched, displayed signs, chanted pro-capitalism slogans, fended off protesters and gave out awards to selected entrepreneurs to honor their contributions to economic freedom,” according to a statement released by the party’s national headquarters yesterday.

Created by Australian radio personality PRODOS, LP officials say the event was actually global in scope and involved more than 100 cities.

In the U.S., LP activists marched in a half-dozen cities.

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

“It was great to see many people reading our pro-capitalism signs, then honking their horns and giving us thumbs-up,” added Noelle Stettner, a Libertarian radio announcer who walked in northern Virginia and who hopes the event is staged annually. “I didn’t see even one person react negatively.”

Elsewhere during the event:

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,” noted Kamal Jain, LP state executive director for Massachusetts

In Raleigh, 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.”

In Seattle, Wash., 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, said local party officials. Microsoft CEO and founder Bill Gates was honored as “Capitalist of the Day.”

“For the first walk, [it was] a success,” said Washington resident and LP member Greg Clark. “As we build on this, the message of free minds and free markets will resound.”

Members also walked near the nation’s capital, but to avoid the “bureaucratic hurdles” of trying to get a permit in Washington, they organized their event across the Potomac in Arlington, Va.

“Capitalism and Libertarianism are about choice: the choice of how to spend, invest and save one’s money,” Stettner said.

LP members also walked in San Jose, Calif., Honolulu, Hawaii, and Westminster, Md.