Global protests against Iraq war

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  • Date: Sun, 19 Jan 2003 11:52:48 -0000

 San Francisco march
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Marchers in San Francisco lend their voice to protests

A day of worldwide protests against a looming US-led war on Iraq has
culminated in giant peace rallies in Washington, San Francisco and other
US cities. 

More than 50,000 Americans converged on the National Mall in the centre
of Washington, in one of the biggest protests since the build-up for war
began. 




 Washington protesters
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Banging the drum of peace in Washington

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Click here  <http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/2672433.stm>
for more photos of protests


The most popular chant was "No War For Oil". The crowds carried placards
saying "Regime Change Starts at Home" and "Would Jesus Bomb Them?" 


In San Francisco, a group of nude women called for President George W
Bush to rein in his "naked aggression" against Iraq. 


Anti-war demonstrations spanned the world on Saturday, including rallies
in Japan, Pakistan, Syria, Egypt, Russia, France, Britain, Argentina and
Mexico. 



Pressure on Baghdad 


But the momentum towards war continues to grow. 




KEY DATES

19 Jan - Blix meets top Iraqi officials in Baghdad

27 Jan - First full report on inspections presented to UN

29 Jan - UN discusses report

31 Jan - Bush meets Blair

15 Feb - Anti-war protests across Europe

27 Mar - Blix submits new report to UN



  <http://news.bbc.co.uk/shared/img/o.gif>      

 <http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/2419885.stm> Next steps
in full


The UN chief weapons inspector, Hans Blix, complained on Saturday that
Iraq was still not giving his team "genuine co-operation" as they
searched for weapons of mass destruction. 


And it has emerged that UN arms experts have found 3,000 undisclosed
documents apparently relating to nuclear weapons technology in an Iraqi
scientist's home. 


US opinion polls show that most Americans still back President George
Bush, our Washington correspondent says. But many of them say Mr Bush
has not yet made a convincing case for war against Iraq. 


The US and its main ally Britain are sending tens of thousands of troops
to the Gulf, and putting others on standby. 


'Pre-emptive movement' 


The activists at the Washington rally included the Reverend Jesse
Jackson and Reverend Al Sharpton. 





 Anti-war demonstrators in Tokyo
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Protesters in Tokyo said the US must not jump into war

As many as 50,000 people are expected to attend a peace rally in San
Francisco, including actor Martin Sheen. 


US protest organisers want to generate the kind of opposition that was
expressed against the Vietnam War 30 years ago. 


One of them, Washington lawyer Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, said: "Bush has
said he intends to launch a pre-emptive war, and now he's facing the
most formidable obstacle, which is a pre-emptive anti-war movement". 


In San Francisco, environmental and trade union activists, Hollywood
stars, anarchists and military veterans marched to show opposition to
military action against Iraq. 


"I'm hoping that the bus loads of people coming as far away as Oregon
and Nevada give an indication that this isn't just the crazy loons in
San Francisco - but we reflect the opinions of the entire United
States," said Tim Kingston of the anti-war group Global Exchange. 


Elsewhere, much anger was aimed at the US itself. 



*       In Moscow, Cold War-era music accompanied a demonstration
outside the US embassy by about 1,000 communist supporters 

*       Thousands of people joined an anti-war march in Paris 

*       In Germany, peace protesters marched through the cities of
Rostock and Tuebingen 

*       Protesters in Cairo defied a ban on political rallies to condemn
any war against Iraq 

*       In Damascus, tens of thousands of people condemned US war
preparations and Washington's support for Israel 

*       Hundreds of schoolchildren joined protesters in the Pakistani
capital Islamabad to try to form a human chain to Rawalpindi, 10
kilometres (six miles) away 

*       More than 4,000 people attended a peace concert in Tokyo - the
largest of about 10 demonstrations in Japan

 

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