[R-G] Anti-war protests worldwide
mstainsby at tao.ca
Sat Jan 18 13:35:36 MST 2003
AP, Reuters and BBC. 18 January 2003. Anti-war protests worldwide.
SHANNON AIRPORT, MOSCOW, TOKYO, HONG KONG, ROSTOCK, DAMASCUS, CAIRO and
LAHORE -- Activists poured onto the streets around the world on
Saturday in mass protests against an attack on Iraq.
With Washington massing troops and equipment in the Gulf and Baghdad
declaring itself mobilised for battle, tens of thousands of
demonstrators in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the Americas beat
drums, clogged traffic and chanted slogans denouncing a U.S.-led war on
"There's been too much capital invested in this war for it not to
happen. But we're making our position clear, we're saying 'no'. There
are people speaking out on this all over the world now, and we're part
of it," said Adam Conway, 24, an activist living at a peace camp near
Shannon Airport in Ireland.
In Moscow, there were reminders of the Cold War with Soviet-era music
providing the background to a demonstration outside the US embassy by
about 1,000 Communist supporters, carrying banners with slogans like
"U.S., hands off Iraq!" Some held portraits of Soviet dictator Josef
Stalin and sang communist songs.
Carrying toy guns filled with flowers and waving banners, anti-war
demonstrators marched through the glitzy streets of downtown Tokyo's
central shopping district in the first of a series of protests Saturday
against a possible attack on Iraq.
About 5,000 people -- a mix of young students and older union laborers
-- marched in the cold through the city's Ginza district. The event was
peaceful and no arrests were reported.
"We want to unite with people all over the world on the same issue,"
said Takashi Uchiyama, one of the organizers of the Tokyo march.
Protests on Saturday in the German cities of Hamburg and Cologne were to
coincide with similar demonstrations in Washington, San Francisco and
other U.S. cities, followed by one in Brussels Sunday.
German demonstrators also planned to gather in front of the European
headquarters of the U.S. Army in Heidelberg.
In the New Zealand city of Christchurch, Green Party legislator Keith
Locke told some 400 demonstrators that "pressure from around the world
can halt the war."
In Hong Kong, about 60 people "Inspections, yes! War, no!" and "Yankee,
go home!" as they marched through the financial district to the U.S. and
Protester Manoj Mathew, 25, said there's no reason for war even if U.N.
inspectors find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. "It doesn't mean
(you can) attack normal people," he said.
Many protesters say a war on Iraq without United Nations approval would
be illegal and immoral.
"It is illegal because under current circumstances there is no U.N.
mandate for war," Gabriel Carlyle, a spokesman for the London-based
lobby group Voices in the Wilderness, said Friday.
"It is immoral because hundreds and thousands of innocent people will
die and it is not about human rights and democracy but replacing Saddam
Hussein with a more U.S.-friendly dictator," he said.
In the Middle East the protests sounded a more ominous note as thousands
of demonstrators in Beirut carrying Palestinian and Iraqi flags chanted:
"Sign your name on a suicide attack on U.S. interests, so we can fight
an American attack along with Iraq."
The Maverick British politician George Galloway, who joined the march,
said: "A peaceful solution must be found, or we're all going over the
cliff in the Middle East and all of us will be damaged in the fall."
Tens of thousands of Syrians marched through the streets of Damascus,
blocking traffic for hours, to protest against what they saw as a
pre-set U.S. plan to attack a fellow Arab state.
About 1,000 demonstrators protested in central Cairo against any
U.S.-led strike on Iraq, security sources said. The demonstrators called
on the Egyptian government to prevent U.S. and British warships from
using the Suez Canal en route for a possible assault on Iraq.
Hundreds of anti-war demonstrators marched through the streets of
several Pakistani cities Saturday, urging the United States and its
allies to find a peaceful solution to the crisis in Iraq.
About 200 people -- a mix of young students and human right activists --
marched in the eastern city of Lahore, while 150 gathered in the
southern city of Karachi to express concern over the increasing danger
of a U.S.-led attack on Iraq.
"Don't impose war on Iraq," Farrukh Sohail Goindi, the organizer of the
anti-war rally, said while addressing protesters in Lahore.
The demonstrators, who were waving banners carrying anti-war slogans,
wanted to march on the U.S. Consulate, but police stopped them.
About six activists were later allowed to go to the consulate to hand
American officials a resolution calling on Washington not to attack
At a peace march near Islamabad, hundreds of children, women and men
formed a "human chain" and chanted slogans against an attack on Iraq.
They held banners that read: "No blood for Oil" and "U.N.: Stop America
from attacking Iraq."
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with (lots of) photos
In the contradiction lies the hope.
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