The March Against Fear in Paterson, NJ March 29 was a big success, with 300 participants, about a third from the Middle Eastern community, the rest from peace groups and activists from Paterson and the rest of the state. We had 20-30 students from the local High Schools as well as young workers  and whole families from the community. We brought the message to the community that many stand with them and that the assault on civil rights would be fought. Banners and signs carried the rallies demands: STOP the War on Iraq! Money for Communities Not For War! End the SPECIAL REGISTRATIONS Now! FREE ALL the DETAINEES in US & Guantanamo Bay! End repressive “ANTI-TERRORISM” legislation. The rally and march through the community went very smoothly, completely discrediting those who had tried to scare people away from it.  A number of people, including one town councilman and a local merchant had widely spread the rumor that there would be a pro-war counter demonstration and violence between us and them.  This was a complete lie and backfired as well. As people gathered for the rally, a group of 30 young  workers from the Middle Eastern community stood across the street.  When asked, they said they would join the rally when speeches got under way, but now were waiting for the "counter-demonstrators" to show up.  They said they had come to physically defend the rally against any such pro-war types. The lead speaker from NJ Vietnam Veterans Against War David Cline denounced the attacks on civil rights and recalled how important it had been for him as a combat soldier in Vietnam to hear that protestors back home were trying to end the war, "It gave us all hope," he said. Carol Gay of NJ Labor Against the War emphasized the relation between the attacks on civil rights, the governments attacks on worker's wages and benefits  and the war.  Ammar Heq , a student at Kennedy High spoke out  strongly against the detentions and the war, despite the efforts of one pro-war heckler, who was rapidly shouted down by the crowd. Other speakers included long-time Paterson residents Viji Sargis (Pres. AFT local  and Socialist Party member) and Flavia Alaya (National Writers Union) and Kamau Khalfani(school of African Philosophy. Tommy Silva, another long-time Paterson resident and Jeannette Gabriel of NJ Workers Democracy Network mc’ed the rally. News courage was extensive, with coverage appearing on CNN, and NYC TV channels of CBS, ABC and NBC, as well as front page articles in the local  papers and a brief article in the New York Times. Of course, much of the coverage involved the normal media distortions. After the rally, a planning meeting agreed to set up the NJ Civil Rights Defense Committee to carry on more work,  including teach-ins in April and further actions in May, as well as to strengthen links with similar groups around the country.  March Against FearUnite for Peace and Justice