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 Search Beat > Society and Culture > History > War > Twentieth Century > 2003 Anti-War Protests





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2003 Anti-War Protests..
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Global protests against war on Iraq

Thousands of small and large global protests against war in general or war on Iraq were held in 2003, voicing popular opposition to war on Iraq.

On January 18, demonstrations against war in general or the expected war in Iraq in particular took place in villages, towns, and cities around the world, including Tokyo, Moscow, Paris, London, Dublin, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Cologne, Bonn, Gothenburg, Florence, Oslo, Rotterdam, Istanbul and Cairo. NION and ANSWER held anti-war protests in Washington D.C. and San Francisco, California. In San Francisco, between 150,000 and 200,000 people attended the demonstration. The San Francisco police had originally estimated the crowd size at 55,000, but admitted later that they had badly underestimated the number and changed their estimate to 150,000.

February 15 protest attendance  Barcelona 1,300,000  Rome 1,000,000  London =750,000  Madrid =660,000  Berlin =500,000  Sydney 250,000†  Seville =200,000  Damascus 200,000  Montreal 150,000  San Francisco 150,000†  Melbourne 150,000†  Paris 100,000  New York =100,000  Oviedo 100,000  Dublin 100,000  Glasgow 80,000  Oslo 60,000  Brussels 50,000  Bern 40,000  Stockholm 35,000  Copenhagen 25,000  Vancouver 20,000  Helsinki 15,000  Vienna 15,000  Toronto 10,000  Amsterdam 10,000  Austin 10,000  Tokyo 5,000  Cape Town 5,000  Johannesburg 4,000  Quebec City 3,000  Dhaka 2,000  Ottawa 2,000  Kiev 2,000  Chicoutimi 1,500  †: 14th or 16th February  Source: The Globe and Mail and others 

Much larger protests in over 600 cities on February 15 drew millions of protesters in total. In Rome one million people were on the streets in one of the Italian capital's largest ever mass demonstrations. In London, estimates of the number of marchers varied from 750,000 to over 1.5 million, the largest demonstration in the city's history. In Berlin there were half a million in the largest demonstration for some decades. There were also protest marches all over France as well as in many other European cities, drawing attendance figures in the tens of thousands per city. In Ireland, one hundred thousand turned out in Dublin, for a parade that was originally expected to draw one fifth that number. Protesters demanded that the Irish government ban the United States military from continue to use Ireland's Shannon Airport as a trans-atlantic stop-off point bringing soldiers to the Middle East.

In Spain, Barcelona city hall and the Guardia Civil cited 1.3 million protesters, marching from the Passeig de Gràcia to the Plaça de Tetuan[1], though the Delegación de Gobierno said 350,000. Government sources estimated protests at 660,000 in Madrid. The small Asturian city of Oviedo (pop. 180,000) had a turnout of 100,000. [2]

Protests were held in Australia (the previous day), South Africa, Syria, India, Russia, South Korea, Japan, Canada, and the USA, among many other countries. Hundreds of thousands turned out in New York City, near the United Nations Building. More than one hundred thousand people protested in Montreal despite wind-chill temperatures of below -30°C.

In Baghdad several thousand Iraqis - many carrying Kalashnikov rifles - also joined with the global protests.

Protests continued on February 16 in Australia, with 600,000 demonstrating in cities around the country.

February 15 protest attendance
Barcelona1,300,000
Rome1,000,000
London≥750,000
Madrid≥660,000
Berlin≥500,000
Sydney250,000†
Seville≥200,000
Damascus200,000
Montreal150,000
San Francisco150,000†
Melbourne150,000†
Paris100,000
New York≥100,000
Oviedo100,000
Dublin100,000
Glasgow80,000
Oslo60,000
Brussels50,000
Bern40,000
Stockholm35,000
Copenhagen25,000
Vancouver20,000
Helsinki15,000
Vienna15,000
Toronto10,000
Amsterdam10,000
Austin10,000
Tokyo5,000
Cape Town5,000
Johannesburg4,000
Quebec City3,000
Dhaka2,000
Ottawa2,000
Kiev2,000
Chicoutimi1,500
†: 14th or 16th February
Source: The Globe and Mail and others

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