Special Reports

Protesters hit Manatee beaches (with video)

Hundreds took to Manatee County beaches today to protest oil drilling and support clean energy on a perfect sunny day.

About 350 formed a four-block human chain at Manatee Public Beach, while another 50 or more protested farther north at Anna Maria, said Jay Moyles, Manatee County's chief of marine rescue.

He was looking down the beach with binoculars at the mostly black-clad crowd, which was part of the Hands Across the Sands international protest event.

"Look at this beautiful water and white sand," said Jennie Patellis, 79, of Holmes Beach, a retired businesswoman. "What would happen if this was coated with oil? It would be devastating, devastating, to all the businesses here and the economy."

The protest, which began officially at noon, ended just at 12:15 p.m. as protesters drifted away.

Read more in Sunday's edition of the Bradenton Herald or Sunday at Bradenton.com.

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