Carrying signs reading, "Jobs Not War" and "Peace: A Growth Industry," about 1,000 people gathered Saturday afternoon in Portland's Pioneer Courthouse Square to protest the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The March 19 date marks the eighth anniversary of U.S. forces invading Iraq. But the protest was as much about jobs as it was anti-war. With the U.S. deficit soaring, the economy limping out of the recession, and national unemployment hovering around 9 percent, the demonstrators identified the culprit for those ills in military spending.