Two rallies protesting the Persian Gulf War are scheduled in downtown Washington today, one led by Jesse L. Jackson and his National Rainbow Coalition and the other by an anti-war group that wants to lift United Nations sanctions against Iraq.

Four days into the war, the Coalition to Stop U.S. Intervention in the Middle East, which also declines to condemn Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, said it is expecting a large outpouring from across the country.

Meanwhile, the Rainbow Coalition said it expects thousands to join in a separate "peace and D.C. statehood" rally, then merge with the demonstrators in the other coalition.

"We'll have thousands," said Unnia Pettus, a Rainbow Coalition spokeswoman. "It's going to be a big one."

Coordinators for the Coalition to Stop U.S. Intervention would not estimate the crowds at their gathering, but said they expected at least 300 buses from out of town. Police said they expect a smaller number of buses.

Riding what they say is a crest of anger and dismay at the Jan. 16 U.S. attack on Iraq, Dianne Mathiowetz, of Atlanta, a planner for the Coalition to Stop, said the organization expects a broad-based turnout of students, union members, environmentalists, parents of U.S. military personnel in the Middle East and veterans of previous wars.

The coalition plans a late morning rally in Lafayette Square in front of the White House, followed by a march to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library at Eighth and G streets NW, to commemorate King as a leader of nonviolent protest.

Rally speakers are scheduled to include activist Dick Gregory and former U.S. attorney general Ramsey Clark.

The Rainbow group, led by Jackson and D.C. Mayor Sharon Pratt Dixon, will go from Freedom Plaza, across Pennsylvania Avenue NW from the District Building, to Lafayette Square and join anti-war demonstrators with the Coalition to Stop U.S. Intervention, who already will be there.

Leaders of the Coalition to Stop U.S. Intervention say their concerns go beyond a demand for U.S. withdrawal from the Middle East to what they call the related issues of poverty, racism and statehood for the District.

Money and other resources now going into the war effort should be diverted to housing, social services and other domestic needs, said Mathiowetz. Statehood is related, she said, because the predominantly black District has a disproportionately large number of residents serving in the Persian Gulf War, while the District has no voting power in Congress to influence war policy.

Sahu Barron, a founding organizer of the Coalition to Stop U.S. Intervention, said the organization advocates lifting of the economic sanctions against Iraq because sanctions serve "only as punishment, denying vital medicine and food to the people of Iraq . . . . Who's most affected? Iraqi children."

As for Saddam, Barron said, the idea of condemning him as a "bad guy" or "mad man" is "comic book politics . . . . This {war} is not about Saddam Hussein's personality . . . . His bad-guy attitude is not the reason for instituting a world war."

The real reason, she said, is a "U.S. interest in leveling Iraq into oblivion . . . for the redivision of the world's resources."

Pettus, of the Rainbow Coalition, said her group simply stands for "D.C. statehood and peace."

Jackson, a Democrat, was elected to lobby the Senate on behalf of D.C. statehood.