Millions demonstrate for PEACE
Date: Sunday, February 16 2003
Topic: Canadian Politics
LONDON -- Millions of protesters - many of them marching in the capitals of
traditional allies of the United States - demonstrated yesterday against U.S.
plans to attack Iraq.
In a global outpouring of antiwar sentiment, Rome
claimed the biggest turnout - one million police estimated - while organizers
claimed three times that figure.
In London, at least 750,000 people demonstrated in what police called the city's largest demonstration ever.
In Spain, several million people turned out at antiwar rallies in about 55 cities and towns across the country, with more than 500,000 each attending rallies in Madrid and Barcelona.
Spanish police gauged the Madrid turnout at 660,000. Organizers claimed nearly two million people gathered across the country in one of the biggest demonstrations since the 1975 death of dictator Gen. Francisco Franco.
More than 70,000 people marched in Amsterdam in the largest Netherlands demonstration since anti-nuclear rallies of the 1980s.
Berlin had up to a half a million people on the streets and Paris was estimated to have had about 100,000.
In New York City, rally organizers estimated the crowd at up to 500,000 people. City police provided no estimate of the crowd, which stretched 20 blocks deep and two blocks wide.
"Peace! Peace! Peace!" Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa said while leading an ecumenical service near UN headquarters.
"Let America listen to the rest of the world - and the rest of the world is saying: 'Give the inspectors time.' "
Bitter temperatures didn't cool the tempers of more than 100,000 peace activists in Montreal, who flocked to the city's core to get their message across.
The huge march wound from Dorchester Square to Complexe Guy Favreau, the city's main federal building.
In Vancouver, organizers estimated as many as 20,000 marched through the downtown core, at one point packing both lanes of Robson Street for about 10 blocks.
The cheering crowd made its way to the lawn of the Vancouver Art Gallery, where young people and longtime activists stood shoulder-to-shoulder jamming the grassy area and surrounding streets.
In Toronto, about 10,000 people hit the pavement in a peaceful march that snarled afternoon traffic.
The call for peace was echoed in about 70 other Canadian cities and hundreds of others around the world yesterday, called an international day of action by peace organizers.
In Ottawa, some demonstrators wore costumes and carried signs ranging from the curious to the comical. They started in Gatineau, marching across the Ottawa River to the capital.
A march in Quebec City attracted approximately 3,000 people, police said.