Global protests against Iraq war
Washington, January 19 
Thousands of people from all walks of life rallied here against preparations for war against Iraq.
The police said 30,000 protesters, part of a much larger crowd that packed the east end of the National Mall and spilled onto the Capitol grounds, marched through the streets.
“We stand here today, a new generation of anti-war activists,” Peta Lindsay from International Answer, the main organisers of the protest, told marchers shivering in biting cold. “This is just the beginning. We will stop this war.”
The Bush Administration appears to think that if it is a short war with not many casualties, the protests will die down. If the war lasts long and there are too many soldiers arriving in body bags, the mood will change.
Polls show that though 62 per cent of Americans are for war, the number reduced to 42 per cent if the USA goes to war without the sanction of the United Nations.
The White House did not seem to be worried about the demonstrations. “Protests are a time-honoured American tradition,” White House spokeswoman Jeanie Mamo said while press secretary Ari Fleicher said the protesters did not represent the majority of the Americans.
“We don’t want this war and we don’t want a government that wants this war,” anti-war activist Brenda Stokely said.
Civil rights activist Jesse Jackson said: “We march today to fight militarism and racism, sexism and anti-semitism and Arab-bashing.”
Those who supported plans for war, said the protesters did not understand the threat of Saddam Hussein. “It is a war of liberation for people,” they claimed.
LONDON: In the biggest day of protests the world has seen so far against a possible US-led war on Iraq, hundreds of thousands of demonstrators across the globe took to the streets.
There were a series of anti-war demonstration yesterday in the UK, including a two-hour protest outside the permanent Joint Headquarters of the British Armed Forces in north London. There were anti-war rallies or vigils in Bradford, Bristol, Hereford, Liverpool and Glasgow.
There were similar demonstrations across France and Germany, Russia, Ireland, New Zealand, Japan, Pakistan and in the Middle East. One of the largest was in the Syrian capital, Damascus. PTI Top