February 15th, 2003
collated from StopNATO
Here are a small selection of reports on anti-war demonstrations from around the world as posted by StopNATO:
1] 150,000 demonstrate against war in Melbourne
AP. 14 February 2003. At least 150,000 demonstrate in Melbourne to
protest possible war with Iraq.
MELBOURNE -- At least 150,000 people packed streets in Melbourne on
Friday to protest against the looming war with Iraq and Australia's
possible involvement in a U.S.-led assault.
Police estimated 150,000 people participated, while organizers put the
crowd at 200,000, making it the biggest peace protest in the country
since marches 30 years ago against the Vietnam War in which Australian
troops fought alongside U.S. forces.
Friday's march was the first in a series of demonstrations planned in
Australia in the coming days. Similar peace rallies were scheduled
across the world over the weekend.
Greens Senator Bob Brown said the size of the crowd showed Prime
Minister John Howard did not have a mandate to take Australia to war
"This is a huge statement by the people of Melbourne, and the people of
Australia to John Howard: that he's gone the wrong way and should turn
around," Brown told the crowd. "The people of Australia don't see this
as our war."
The Melbourne rally started with the eerie sound of mock air raid sirens
symbolizing air attacks on Baghdad.
Protesters gathered outside the State Library waving placards with
slogans including: "No War for Oil" and "Howard's End," a reference to
the potentially damaging political fallout for Howard of joining a
U.S.-led strike on Iraq despite widespread public opposition to any
Australian involvement without a U.N. mandate.
"It is an amazing scene here with you today in a show of solidarity to
send a strong message to Prime Minister Howard and the Australian
government that Australians don't want war," Democrat Sen. Natasha Stott
Despoja told the huge crowd.
The protest, organized by student groups, unions and churches, was to
end later Friday with a music concert in central Melbourne.
There were no reports of trouble in the large crowd.
2] Anti-war rally in Sarajevo
AP. 14 February 2003. Bosnian anti-war group protests outside U.S.
SARAJEVO -- Mindful of the ravages of war, up to 500 protesters
demonstrated peacefully Friday in Bosnia's shell-scarred capital against
a possible conflict on Iraq.
Carrying banners reading "Disarm U.S.A!," "OILympic Games!" and others,
the protesters gathered in downtown Sarajevo and marched in the frigid
winter air to the U.S. Embassy, where they stood quietly for half an
hour as dozens of police officers stood by.
"This is a peaceful demonstration against war and violence in general,"
said Fedja Stukan, 28, a local actor who organized the march, adding
that no political groups or organizations were involved.
"This is not a protest against Bush or Saddam, but anti-war,
anti-fascist demonstrations of Bosnians who want to say 'no' to war
which they themselves have experienced," Stukan said.
Senad Pecanin, the editor-in-chief of the local independent news
magazine Dani, carried a banner that read "For Bush or for Saddam?
Neither for one or the other!"
"We want to say that any war means destruction and all the people here
know how many innocent civilians may die," Pecanin said, referring to
Bosnia's 1992-95 war between the country's Muslims, Croats and Serbs
which killed more than 200,000 people -- mostly civilians.
The protest came a day before scheduled anti-war rallies all around the
3] Anti-war rally in Manila
AP. 14 February 2003. Thousands of Filipinos join anti-war march to U.S.
MANILA -- Chanting "U.S. imperialist, No. 1 terrorist," thousands of
protesters marched to the U.S. Embassy in Manila on Friday in a rally
against a possible U.S. attack on Iraq.
About 5,000 marchers led by the leftist alliance Bayan and 1,000 more
from the left-wing group Sanlakas marched to the seaside embassy from
opposite directions. Hundreds of riot police prevented them from
occupying the area directly in front of the compound.
There was a brief scuffle as the demonstrators tried to break through
the police line. Earlier in the day, a small group of women protesters
also scuffled with a group of pro-U.S. demonstrators who had occupied a
park in front of the embassy. There were no serious injuries in either
Riot police were backed by several fire trucks and SWAT teams, plus a
police special forces contingent that has been stationed at the embassy
since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States.
The demonstrators, many carrying banners and placards saying "No to U.S.
war on Iraq" and "Make love not war," sharply criticized President
Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
"This is one of those rare issues that has united rich and poor, radical
and moderate, Muslim and Christian. And yet, President Gloria Macapagal
Arroyo refuses to listen," said Bayan secretary general Teodoro Casino.
Before dispersing, the demonstrators burned a mock U.S. missile.
Organizers scheduled a peace concert at a park later in the evening.
4] Kiev, Sofia, Moscow
AP and AFP. 15 February 2003. Thousands of Ukrainians protest against
possible U.S.-led attack of Iraq; Communist Party stages anti-war
protest in Moscow.
KIEV, SOFIA, MOSCOW, ALMATY -- Braving biting cold and snow flurries,
some 2,000 people waved banners and chanted at a protest in Kiev's
central square Saturday as part of worldwide demonstrations against a
possible U.S.-led war on Iraq.
Anti-globalists backed by musicians led a peaceful "Rock Against War"
protest joined by Communists, Socialists, Kurds, pacifists and
rank-and-file Ukrainians who chanted "No war against Iraq."
Hundreds of protesters wore stickers and carried signs depicting a dead
body lying before a gas pump with '50,000 dead' registered on the meter
saying 'No blood for oil'."
"We're against all wars, Chechnya, Palestine, everything," said Fedir
Lynov, 21, who described himself as an anti-globalist.
Other people carried posters reading "U.S.- Evil Empire" and "American
Imperialism: Yesterday Vietnam, Today Iraq, Tomorrow Ukraine."
Natalya Mostenko, 45, was one of several people carrying a portrait of
"He opposes American dictatorship and so do I," she said.
Protesters planned to conduct a "peace march" of some five kilometers
(three miles) through Kiev to the U.S. Embassy.
Earlier, hundreds of people laid flowers at a memorial statue to Soviet
Ukrainian soldiers who died in the Afghan War.
Elsewhere, bout 2,000 demonstrators rallied in Sofia, the Bulgarians
In Moscow, Hundreds of Communist protesters unfurled red flags before
the US embassy, shouting slogans against the United States and a
possible war in Iraq.
The demonstrators held up banners reading: "Bush, hands off Iraq," "By
attacking Iraq, the US is attacking Russia," and, in English: "Bush go
away, you are Hitler today."
Loudspeakers fitted on a truck blared out revolutionary songs, as
Communist Party speakers took ot the stage alongside representatives of
Iraq, Cuba and the Palestinians.
The rally drew close to a thousand people, according to organisers.
"A US war against Iraq would be a war against the Arab world, against a
united Europe, against the whole world but above all against Russia,"
said the head of the Russian Communist Party, Guennady Zyuganov.
"By seizing hold of the world's energy resources, the United States will
push the price of oil down to 15 or 16 dollars per barrel, which would
drive Russia to default on its debt, impoverish its people and destroy
its industry," Zyuganov charged.
Alexander Kuvayev, first secretary of the Moscow branch of the Communist
Party, hit out at what he called Washington's "state terrorism" and
"President Putin poses for the cameras during his trips abroad as he
slides down the ski slopes but he is powerless when it comes to saving
the world," he jeered.
A second anti-war demontration, called by Green and radical activists in
Pushkin square in central Moscow, drew fewer than 100 people.
"No war for oil" and "The world is not merchandise," read some of the
banners brandished by militant from anti-globalisation movement Attac,
the Greens and trade unions militants.
Some 50 people rallied in Almaty, Kazakhstan.