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Solidarity protests around the world

Published Sep 29, 2005 1:16 AM

With a protest march in London on Sept. 24, the anti-war movement in Britain showed it, too, was challenging Bush’s junior partner in aggression and occupation in Iraq. Calling it “a great day,” the Stop the War Coalition website said “up to 100,000 people marched on Saturday in London for peace and liberty. The march took two hours to move into Hyde Park. ... There was a wonderful mix of people on the march: trade unionists, large numbers of Muslims, a lot of young people, pensioners, Woodcraft Folk, campaigners against climate change, for civil liberties—united in their demands above all for troops out of Iraq. The march was led by Military Families Against the War.”

While the movement around the world did not attempt to hold the kind of coordinated actions that happened on Feb. 15, 2003, in a number of countries the anti-war and anti-imperialist forces did hold protests at U.S. embassies and similar sites to protest the continued occupation of Iraq. This was done first of all in solidarity with the Iraqis, but also as a sign of solidarity with the opposition to the war in the U.S. and Britain.

In Istanbul, Turkey, some 300 people attended a media conference and demonstration at Taksim Square. Anti-war and anti-capitalist activists were there for a European Social Forum preparation meet ing, so representatives from Greece, England, Germany, Cyprus, Macedonia, Belgium, Spain and Poland were among those speaking. People shouted slogans such as “End the occupation,” “Incirlik [the U.S. base in Turkey] should be closed” and “The Iraqi people will win.”

In Brussels, the headquarters of NATO, on Sept. 23, some 250 activists formed a human chain right in front of the U.S. Embassy. They circled it in solidarity with those encircling the White House on Sept. 24, in protest against the war on Iraq and against the Bush administration’s attitude in the Katrina disaster. A giant puppet depicting Bush in full battle gear was the favorite target of the protesters.

U.S. citizens abroad demonstrated in Paris, Rome and Florence and joined local actions in Madrid, Dublin, Shannon airport and Berlin. Similar protests took place in Manila, Tokyo, Mexico City and many cities in Australia and Canada, as well as other parts of the world.