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Interesting Protest numbers and Info

I found this posted on the KW Shambhala forum - but I don't know where it originated from -
War protesters mark anniversary
Saturday, March 20, 2004 Posted: 11:52 AM EST (1652 GMT)

LONDON, England (AP) -- Anger over the war in Iraq remained sharp on the first anniversary of the U.S.-led conflict Saturday as protesters took to the streets across much of the globe, urging an end to the coalition occupation which some blamed for international terrorism.

Thousands marched through central London -- some of them waving placards that called U.S. President George W. Bush the "World's No. 1 Terrorist" -- and anti-war demonstrators held a huge rally in Rome, where organizers said up to 300,000 people turned out.

It was not possible to get independent confirmation of the figure, but very big rallies are not unusual in Italy.

Germany, Greece, the Netherlands and other European countries also saw protests, while earlier demonstrations took place in Japan, Australia, India and the Philippines, where protesters clashed with riot police, although no injuries were reported.

Anti-American feelings ran high in Cairo, Egypt, where demonstrators -- vastly outnumbered by riot police -- burned copies of the U.S. flag. Hundreds of people gathered in other Middle Eastern capitals to denounce the war.

"I thought the war was illegal, and we need to all show our feelings about that," said Neil Andrew, a 57-year-old builder taking part in the London protest. "They should hand control over to the United Nations but I don't think that will happen."

London's Metropolitan Police estimated that some 25,000 people took part in the rally between Hyde Park and Trafalgar Square in the center of the British capital.

Early Saturday morning, two anti-war demonstrators wearing climbing gear scaled the Big Ben clock tower at the Houses of Parliament and held up a small banner that read "Time for Truth" before coming down several hours later.

Police said they would review security at Parliament following the incident.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair was the United States' staunchest ally in the war.

But many Britons opposed the invasion and questions about the conflict's legality have dogged the government as coalition forces have failed to find Saddam Hussein's alleged weapons of mass destruction.

In Italy, anti-war activists jammed the streets of central Rome, many of them decked out in rainbow-colored peace flags and chanting "assassins." There was no crowd estimate from police.

Protesters demanded that Italy withdraw its 2,600 troops from Iraq. The center-right government of Premier Silvio Berlusconi was a strong supporter of the war, even though most Italians opposed it.

Paolo Quadrardi, a 42-year-old mechanic, said the Madrid train bombings that killed 202 people and injured some 1,800 others showed that "war doesn't do anything but increase terrorism."

Many Spaniards have accused Spain's conservative government of provoking the March 11 attacks by supporting the Iraq war. The ruling Popular Party fell in a surprise loss to the Socialists in general elections last weekend.

The Socialists on Saturday repeated their intention to withdraw Spanish troops from Iraq unless the United Nations takes charge in the Mideast nation. An anti-war rally in Madrid was scheduled to start at 1700 GMT.

In Berlin, about 1,600 people attended a rally while in western Germany some 2,000 activists met outside a U.S. military base, accusing Washington of undermining the fight against international terrorism by invading Iraq.

"George Bush did not wage a war against terror," veteran peace activist Franz Alt told protesters gathered outside the Ramstein Air Base. "He has ensured with his wars that terrorism is now stronger."

More than 10,000 people marched to the U.S. Embassy in Athens, Greece, protesting the war in Iraq and government plans to have NATO assist in the security of the August 13-29 Olympics, while some 3,000 took to the streets of Amsterdam. Rallies also took place in Belgium, Norway, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Sweden, Poland, Finland, Ukraine and Denmark.

As many as 30,000 people turned out in Tokyo to protest Japan's involvement in the war, organizers there said. The country has sent 1,000 personnel to Iraq, its largest foreign deployment since the Second World War.

In Turkey, one of Iraq's neighbors, about 2,000 anti-American demonstrators protested the war in Ankara and Istanbul before dispersing peacefully amid tight security.

Jordan and Bahrain also witnessed small rallies, while in San'a, Yemen, where authorities had banned a demonstration, opposition parties and union members held a sit-in outside parliament and issued a statement condemning the government.

Communists, anti-war activists and ordinary citizens took part in marches across India, during which some burned effigies of Bush and Blair. "Down with war mongering America," read banners carried by protesters in Jammu-Kashmir state, India's only Muslim majority state.

Protesters in Sydney held aloft a 1.5 meter (5 foot)-high effigy of Prime Minister John Howard in a cage, saying it represented Australian terror suspects detained at the U.S. military prison camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.


Thousands turned out in Australia to protest.
Howard's government has sent troops to fight in Iraq, despite overwhelming public opposition, and some repeated allegations that he lied about the reasons for going to war.

About 500 anti-war protesters who tried to push their way to the U.S. Embassy in the Philippine capital Manila briefly scuffled with riot police.

After some pushing and shoving, the demonstrators hurled stones at the security personnel, who responded with water cannons as the protesters locked arms and stood their ground.

People also held rallies in South Korea, Thailand, Hong Kong, New Zealand and South Africa

homepage: homepage: http://www.corereflections.com

Updated numbers 20.Mar.2004 14:20

Guardian

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The Guardian of London website has an updated version of the story which now says that the turnout in Rome was up to 2 million (not 300,000 as the version above says).

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 http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,1280,-3884290,00.html


Thousands Protest on Iraq War Anniversary


Saturday March 20, 2004 8:01 PM

By MICHAEL McDONOUGH

Associated Press Writer

LONDON (AP) - Anger over the war in Iraq remained sharp on the first anniversary of the conflict's start Saturday as protesters took to the streets across much of the globe. Some said the war had only encouraged international terrorism.

Tens of thousands marched through central London, some of them waving placards that called President Bush the ``World's No. 1 Terrorist.'' Anti-war demonstrators held a huge rally in Rome, where organizers said up to 2 million people turned out and police estimated 250,000.

Some 150,000 people demonstrated in Barcelona, Spain, city hall officials reported.

France, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands and other European countries also saw protests, while earlier demonstrations took place in Japan, Australia and India. In the Philippines, protesters clashed with riot police, although no injuries were reported.


Continued at:
 http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,1280,-3884290,00.html

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