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Record Crowds Protest Around the World, 55,000 in Seattle

top feature on seattle indymedia right now: (go there for the links and photos)

Record Crowds Protest Around the World, 55,000 in Seattle
Feb. 15, 2003, millions around the world joined in international public outcry against the war. In an unprecedented day of global action, the people of the world expressed a clear disdain for the Bush Regime and the potential escalation of the war in Iraq.

In Seattle, roughly 55,000+ people marched through downtown, following a noon rally at the Seattle Center. After speeches by Sherman Alexie, Rep. Jim McDermott, and Pramila Jayapal, among other speakers and performers, the record crowd moved slowly down 5th Ave, through Westlake Plaza and down 2nd Avenue, passing the Federal Building before culminating at the INS headquarters. The march brought traffic to a standstill throughout downtown for about two hours, with some frustrated drivers yelling the occasional insults. However, most drivers waited patiently for the crowd to pass, and many had their own pre-made or hand-written signs displayed in support of the protest.

The Seattle Police were out in force, and well stocked with pepper spray and other "less lethal" weapons of mass repression. The day passed without many reported incidents of protestors being arrested, harrassed, or attacked by police. However, one possible arrest was witnessed at 5th and Stewart.

While the corporate news media seems to be concentrating on the "No Blood for Oil" message, there was a large contigency of "Impeach Bush" sloganeering clearly visible throughout the day.