DC: Tens of Thousands Converge in DC for Peace - Again
(Washington DC IMC)
Today an estimated 45,000 (police estimate) gathered around the Washington Monument on the Mall, protesting the injustice of a war on Iraq and its civilians, as well as the unilateral process the Bush Administration and its few allies are engaging in.
The demonstration in Washington was smaller than recent ones that have attracted 100,000 and over 200,000 participants, possibly due to the recent plethora of calls for large antiwar protests. Unusual groupings and signs appeared at this one, that longtime DC residents haven't seen before.
One large sign said "Mainstream White Guys Against the War", while others came as "Attorneys Against the War," as well as the now acceptable turnout of Democratic Party members, and a lone Metro policeman with "DC Cop Against the War". The most popular chants called for "Drop Bush, Not Bombs" or "Impeach Bush", by protesters carrying homemade signs with computer manipulated photos that specifically focused on and targeted Bush.
Local and out-of-town contingents included those that found solidarity through ethnic association, the labor movement, their profession, and their desire for social and economic justice through new institutions or community instead of states and corporations. Organizers promise that the intensity of protests will increase in the event of war - with more non-violent direct action including: sit-ins, strikes and walk-outs -- the obstruction of "business as usual."
A small breakaway march engaged in more militant action at the World Bank with a few arrests.
One speaker from the stage stated the war had not started due to global protests, and others encouraged people to keep organizing even if the bombing starts.
Similar large and small anti-war protests occured today, starting in Australia and sweeping around the globe. One of the largest demonstrations was in Spain, whose Prime Minister is joining Bush and the UK's PM Blair in a "Council of War" this weekend on the island of Azores. The world's citizens have vocally expressed their dissent, sometimes strongly contradicting the official position of their states such as in Spain and Britain.
Thousands of anti-war protestors march through the downtown area to protest a possible U.S. - led war against Iraq in Toronto (Reuters).
Montrealers demonstrate against a possible U.S.-led war in Iraq in front of the Guy Favreau Complex on Saturday March 15, 2003 in Montreal, Quebec (AP).
Hundreds march in protest against a possible U.S.-led war in Iraq (AP)
Panama City, Panama
About three thousand demonstrators marched for peace and against the possible U.S.- led war on Iraq (Reuters)
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Demonstrators shout in front of the U.S. embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina, during a protest against a possible U.S.-led war in Iraq (AP)
Sao Paulo, Brazil
Thousands of protesters march through the Paulista Avenue, Sao Paulo, Brazil's main street, Brazilian anti-war protester shouts slogans to protest against the possible U.S.-led war on Iraq (AP).
Hundreds of British Muslims marched in London, calling on Islamic countries not to offer bases or logistical support for a war on Iraq.
RAF Leuchars Air Base, United Kingdom
Peace Activist Disables Military Plane
Ploughshares activist Ulla Roder entered RAF Leuchars Air Base (UK) early Tuesday morning in north-east Fife and damaged a Tornado plane with a hammer, putting it out of action.
The Tornado's at Leuchars are important in the UK's mobilisation for war against Iraq, and the base, whose motto is "Attack and Protect", is believed to have been involved in the bombing of Iraq since 1991. Also on Tuesday 11th, 9 'citizen weapons inspectors' cut through fences at RAF Lakenheath and cycled around the base, some locking on and obstructing the runway for 3 three hours.
About 50,000 demonstrators gathered in Paris' Place de la Nation under a huge American flag with a Nazi swastika painted over the stars and the words ``killers and criminals'' written over the stripes. There was a heavy Muslim element to the Paris march, with many people holding Palestinian flags and Arabic signs. (AP)
More then a thousand demonstrators hold red flags at a protest rally outside the U.S. Embassy in Moscow (AP)
Daniel Rizzoti of Argentina, captain of Greepeace's flagship Rainbow Warrier and Carlos Bravo from Spain, a Greenpeace 'No War' campaigner are handcuffed by Spanish police March 15, 2003. Spanish police boarded environmental group Greenpeace's flagship, the Rainbow Warrior, on Friday after the vessel blockaded a naval base in southern Spain preventing a U.S. military supply ship from leaving as they protested against U.S. war plans on Iraq. (Reuters)
Protesters sit down in the street with banners reading 'No to the War' during a protest in Granada, Spain (AP).
Tens of thousands march around the Cibeles fountain during a demonstration against a possible U.S.-led war in Iraq in central Madrid. (AP)
Anti-war protesters march with a banner which reads 'No to a war' during an anti-war demonstration in the Spanish Basque Country city of Bilbao, thousands of protesters gathered to protest against a possible U.S.-led war on Iraq while the Spanish government's support for military action. (Reuters)
Malaga, Spain (Reuters)
Police officers carry away a demonstrator who took part in an sit-in in front of the entrance of the U.S. air base in Frankfurt, central Germany (AP).
100,000 Germans form "chain of lights" against war
BERLIN, March 15 (Reuters) - More than 100,000 people lit candles and held hands in Berlin on Saturday, forming a "chain of lights" to protest against a war in Iraq.
Children, workers, peace activists and elderly people formed a line stretching 35 km (22 miles) across the city, passing the U.S. embassy and the landmark Brandenburg Gate.
"The urge for peace and the mobilisation against a war is incredibly great," said organiser Jutta Kausch. "The fact you can get so many people out on the streets on a Saturday night tells you something."
Several protesters had drawn the slogan "No War" on to a U.S. flag.
Several hundred protesters earlier on Saturday staged a sit-in protest at a U.S. air base near Frankfurt which the United States uses to transport troops and supplies to the Gulf region. Police carried the protesters away.
some 10,000 people rallied in the centre of the southwestern city of Karslruhe, and in Nuremberg in the south, 4,000 protesters held each other's hand and formed a "chain for peace" around the town's historic centre.
A strong opponent of a war in Iraq, Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said on Friday Germany, France, Russia, China and the majority of the Security Council still believed Iraq could be disarmed peacefully and weapons inspections should go on.
But asked on German n-tv television later on Friday whether he believed a war could be prevented, Schroeder said: "I have doubts whether that can be achieved although I cannot allow myself these doubts."
People dance in downtown Milan, Italy, during a demonstration against a possible U.S. led attack on Iraq. Over 400,000 people, according to police sources, 700,000 according to organizers, marched in Milan to say no to war Saturday. (AP)
Hundreds of Romanians march in Bucharest, Romania Saturday, calling for the U.S. troops stationed here to leave and protesting the government's fervently pro-U.S. stance in a possible war on Iraq. Between 3,000 and 4,000 U.S. troops are stationed at an air base in the Black Sea port of Constanta, which is acting as an air bridge for personnel and equipment in the build-up to a possible war against Iraq. The protesters yelled 'Get the troops out of the country' and 'We don't want to be a nation ofslaves' carrying signs with the words 'Stop the disease of the mad cowboy' next to a portrait of U.S. President George W., and 'USA is the shield of Israel'. (AP)
About 40,000 demonstrators marched to protest against a possible U.S-led war on Iraq. (AP)
A couple of hundred demonstrators join a peace march in Vienna, Austria on Saturday, to protest against a possible U.S.-led war against Iraq. (AP)
Demonstrators shout slogans and beat empty oil drums during an anti-war rally outside the Greek Defense Ministry in Athens, Greece Saturday, March 15, 2003. About 300 people protested against a possible US-led attack against Ira. (AP)
and Baghdad, Iraq
Iraqis demonstrate in Tikrit, Iraq against a possible U.S.-led war in Iraq. Hundreds of thousands rallied throughout Baghdad and in provincial cities in support of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. (AP)
Palestinian children walk as they hold posters for the Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, during a protest against U.S. involvment in a war in Iraq in the Khan Younis refugee camp, southern Gaza strip (AP).
Masked militants of the Islamic group Hamas walk during a demonstration against a possible U.S.-led war in Iraq, in the West Bank town of Nablus. (AP)
Thousands of Lebanese, Palestinians, and some 20 Americans, participated in the protest against a possible U.S-led war on Iraq. (AP)
Jordanian women shout anti-U.S slogans in front of a banners reading: 'No for American and Zionist attacks on Arab Land,' during a march in Amman on Saturday March 15, 2003. More than 3,000 demonstrators took to the street of the capital to protest against a possible U.S.-led war on Iraq and to demand the removal of U.S. troops from Jordan. (AP)
Peace activists march with banners as they chant slogans during an anti-war demonstration in Istanbul, Turkey, Saturday. Some 1,000 Turkish peace activists gathered outside the Istanbul's Sabiha Gokcen airport to protest a possible U.S.-led war against neighboring Iraq. Sabiha Gokcen civilian airport is likely to be used by U.S. Army for logistical support in a war against Iraq. (AP)
A riot police officer carries a tear gas gun as he stands near protesters demanding that the United States scrap plans to use their country in a possible Iraq war, at the southern Turkish port city of Iskenderun. (AP)
About 2,500 people held candles outside the city's peace monument to spell out ``No War'' and ``No Nukes.'' (AP)
About 10,000 anti-war protesters gathered in central Tokyo on Saturday to protest against a possible U.S.-led strike on Iraq. (Reuters)
Women of various political organizations hold a candle light demonstration in Calcutta, India, Saturday, March 15, 2003. The demonstration was against a possible U.S.-led war against Iraq. Placard on the left reads 'Hands off from Iraq.' (AP)
New Delhi, India
Activists shout anti-U.S slogans during an anti-war rally in New Delhi. The group gathered in the Indian capital on Saturday to protest against a possible U.S.-led strike on Iraq (Reuters).
A group of peace activists stage a protest next to the building of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), Washington's de facto embassy in Taiwan in Taipei. About a hundred peace activists, mostly foreigners living in Taiwan, protested against the U.S.-led war in Iraq. (AP)
Hong Kong, China
Demonstrators march through downtown Hong Kong, Saturday, shouting slogans and carrying placards and a Palestinian flag, in an antiwar demonstration. About 300 demonstrators from an antiwar coalition of local labor, Christian and non-governmental organizations marched to the U.S. and British consulates, to protest a possible U.S-led war on Iraq(AP)
Christian, Muslim Filipinos rally against war in Iraq
.c Kyodo News Service
MANILA, March 16 (Kyodo) - About 2,000 Christians and Muslims converged Sunday in a public park of the southern Philippines' Iligan City where they prayed, danced and sang to oppose looming military action by the United States against Iraq.
In Manila, the antiwar sentiment was duplicated in several Catholic churches where devotees lit candles in unison with candle-lighting prayer vigils held around the world based on the call by Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
Tonyo Cruz of the Philippine Justice Not War Coalition said his group has lined up more street protests meant to drum up awareness of and opposition to the planned U.S. assault against Iraq.
Aside from demonstrations held near the Malacanang presidential palace and the U.S. Embassy in Manila, protest activities are also planned for the coming days in the provinces of Davao, Cebu and Iloilo, he said.
Cruz said the group's members are organizing what is expected to be their biggest multi-faith rally, which is tentatively scheduled to be held at Manila's Luneta park on April 9.
The group is also set to publicize contact numbers of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and other officials so that antiwar members of the public may convey their sentiments via telephone, fax or electronic mail.
Antiwar protesters have criticized Arroyo for her support for the U.S. case against Iraq.
They have demanded the resignation of Angelo Reyes, Arroyo's defense secretary, who came under fire over a plan -- later shelved -- to allow U.S. forces to assume a combat role in the battle against Muslim insurgents in the southern Philippine province of Sulu.
Seoul, South Korea
South Korean protesters with anti-war banners march toward the U.S. Embassy building in Seoul to protest a U.S.-led war in Iraq Saturday. About 2,000 students and activists, some holding paper doves, shouted 'Oppose war against Iraq' during the rally. (AP)
Anti-war protesters demonstrate outside the US embassy in Nicosia. The demonstrators estimated by police at about three thousand marched to the embassy from the city's main square to protest against the possible US-led war on Iraq. (AP)
More than 3,000 in anti-war protest in Thailand
BANGKOK, March 15 (Reuters) - More than 3,000 people protested on Saturday in front of Bangkok's United Nations building against war in Iraq, a day before the leaders of the U.S., Britain and Spain hold an emergency summit on the crisis.
Chanting "No war" and holding banners reading "No Bush oil" and "U.N. stand up to the U.S.," the protesters, some wearing the traditional black veil of Muslim women, listened to anti-war speeches and released grey pigeons as a symbol of peace as a handful of Thai policemen watched impassively.
"Let's not use war methods, but peaceful methods," said Weng Tojirakam, one of the organisers of the protest.
"When the Tomahawk, the first one, bombards Iraq, I think that (will) create disgust in the minds of people all over the world, not just Muslims."
The leaders of the United States, Britain and Spain are to meet in the Azores on Sunday in a final effort to find a diplomatic solution to the Iraq crisis after failing to muster majority support in the U.N. Security Council for a resolution paving the way to war.
The U.S. threat of force against Iraq, which it accuses of developing chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, has sparked worldwide demonstrations.
Long-time Bangkok resident, Terri O'Connor, said the global protests were proving influential.
"I think it's made a difference to Tony Blair. It's made him think again," she said, referring to the British prime minister.