Global Antiwar Protests, February 15-16, 2003

Reports on February 14-16 antiwar demonstrations

22 February 2003

The World Socialist Web Site is continuing its coverage of the historic international demonstrations held last weekend to protest the US war drive against Iraq. Today we are posting reports from demonstrations in Portsmouth, Ohio and Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Reports on February 14-16 antiwar demonstrations

21 February 2003

The World Socialist Web Site is continuing its coverage of the historic international demonstrations held last weekend to protest the US war drive against Iraq. Today we are posting reports on demonstrations in Uruguay, Argentina and Sweden.

New Zealand antiwar protestors condemn Bush and Blair

By John Braddock, 21 February 2003

The WSWS spoke to some of the 7,000 participants in the antiwar protest in Wellington, New Zealand last Saturday. The large turnout caught the organisers from Peace Movement Aotearoa by surprise. They abandoned plans for a rally at the undersized Midland Park and headed to the parliament building instead, where police and parliamentary security guards hastily erected barricades.

Reports on February 15-16 antiwar demonstrations

20 February 2003

The World Socialist Web Site is continuing its coverage of the historic international demonstrations held last weekend to protest the US war drive against Iraq. Today we are posting reports sent in by readers from Brussels, rural Oregon and California.

Murdoch’s Sun dismisses million-strong London march as “nothing”

By Chris Marsden, 20 February 2003

The Sun is the flagship publication of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation in Britain. It specialises in sleaze, bare breasts, celebrity scandals, attacks on welfare recipients, asylum-seekers and encouraging every possible variety of jingoism.

Australia: Protestors express deep disgust with US war plans

By our correspondents, 20 February 2003

WSWS correspondents in a number of Australian cities spoke to participants at the anti-war rallies last weekend. Altogether around a million people marched in all the capital cities as well as in many smaller regional centres and towns across the country.

Reports on February 15-16 antiwar demonstrations

19 February 2003

The World Socialist Web Site is continuing its coverage of the historic international demonstrations held last weekend to protest the US war drive against Iraq. Today we are posting reports sent in by readers in New York City; Seattle; Wilmington, North Carolina; Texas; and Bern, Switzerland.

Letters on global antiwar protests

19 February 2003

The following is a selection of letters to the WSWS on the international antiwar protests held February 15-16.

Discussions with Paris antiwar demonstrators

By David Walsh, 19 February 2003

An overwhelming majority of the French population is hostile to the US war against Iraq. According to a poll done by the IPSOS global research firm for French television and released February 17, nearly 9 in 10 French men and women (87 percent) are opposed to such a military intervention. Opposition has grown by 10 percent since the beginning of January alone.

Tens of thousands march in South Africa against Iraq war

By Eric Graham, 18 February 2003

On Saturday, tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets across South Africa to voice their opposition to the US drive for war against Iraq. Demonstrations were held in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban and Bloemfontein.

London: antiwar protesters denounce Blair’s support for Bush

By a WSWS reporting team, 18 February 2003

The World Socialist Web Site is continuing its coverage of the historic international demonstrations held last weekend to protest the US war drive against Iraq. Today we are posting a further report, with interviews, on the massive London march, as well as an on-the-spot report on the rally held in Cape Town, South Africa. We encourage our readers to send in further reports from last weekend’s rallies, as well as comments on the demonstrations and the statement that was distributed in six languages from the World Socialist Web Site Editorial Board entitled, “The tasks facing the antiwar movement”.

Copenhagen: 30,000 march past US and British embassies

By a WSWS reporting team, 17 February 2003

The demonstration in the Danish capital of Copenhagen was attended in sub-zero temperatures by some 30,000 people, dwarfing last autumn’s antiwar demonstration, which involved 2,500 protesters.

Thousands join protest in Wellington, New Zealand

By John Braddock, 17 February 2003

New Zealand saw its biggest political demonstrations in over two decades when thousands turned out to protest the planned war against Iraq in 18 urban and provincial centres—from Whangarei in the north to Dunedin in the south. The Clark Labour government has indicated that it would support a war on Iraq if it received UN endorsement.

Despite police march ban

Massive New York City rally spills into streets

By Bill Vann, 17 February 2003

Hundreds of thousands of people rallied on Manhattan’s East Side February 15. Many of them, unable to reach the official rally sites, staged spontaneous protest marches that brought traffic to a standstill throughout much of the city.

Sydney: Australia’s largest ever demonstration

By James Conachy and Laura Tiernan, 17 February 2003

The antiwar protests throughout Australia last weekend, in every major city and many smaller regional centres, were the country’s largest-ever political demonstrations. The turnout far exceeded the expectations of the organisers and expressed the hostility of broad layers of the people—from all walks of life, all ages and a wide array of ethnic backgrounds.

Melbourne: 200,000 take part in antiwar protest

By Margaret Rees, 17 February 2003

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Montreal antiwar demonstration the largest in Canadian history

By Jacques Richard, 17 February 2003

Braving freezing temperatures of -25 Celsius, 150,000 people marched through downtown Montreal Saturday to condemn US-British plans for war on Iraq. The protest was one of the largest political demonstrations in both Montreal and Canadian history, if not the largest.

Tens of thousands march in Dublin

By Patrick Walsh, 17 February 2003

The Dublin antiwar protest was a massive affair, with a rough estimate at over 200,000 participating. The march initially proceeded along O’Connell Street, a broad boulevard in the city centre. It took just over one and a half hours to pass.

Three million take to the streets in Rome

By Marianne Arens and Peter Schwarz, 17 February 2003

Italy experienced one of the biggest demonstrations in history, when, according to the organizers, more than three million people flooded the streets of the historical city on Saturday. The police gave no figures. It was not possible, they said, to arrive at any concrete estimation of the huge crowd that brought large parts of the city to a standstill for the entire day.

Protesters rally on Chicago’s North Side

By Joseph Kay, 17 February 2003

In Chicago, some 5,000 people braved bitter cold temperatures to demonstrate at Rogers Park on the city’s north side, in a mainly Pakistani community. Protestors included large numbers of youth and high school students, as well retirees, workers, immigrants and families, including infants in strollers. Buses brought demonstrators from around Illinois, as well as from Iowa and Indiana.

Amsterdam protest confirms widespread antiwar sentiment

By our correspondent, 17 February 2003

Some 75,000 people from all over the Netherlands and neighbouring regions took to the streets of Amsterdam on Saturday to join the international demonstrations against a war on Iraq. The huge protest march lasted several hours and included people of all ages and many national origins. It confirmed that the overwhelming majority of the Dutch are strongly opposed to any military action against Iraq. Official opinion polls recently revealed that 89 percent of the Dutch population reject the war drive of the US government and its allies.

3,000 march in Tel Aviv

By David Cohen, 17 February 2003

Some 3,000 people, both Arabs and Jews, demonstrated this weekend in Tel Aviv to protest the US-British war drive against Iraq. The demonstration was held by a coalition of peace organizations, political parties and alternative media groups, including the Communist Party, the National Democratic Assembly, the Democratic Arab Party, the Independent Media Center, the Alternative Information Center, the Jewish-Arab Partnership Group (Ta’ayush),the Peace Block movement (Gush Shalom), and the Organization for Democratic Action. The Zionist left, including Meretz and Peace Now, decided to boycott the demonstration.

200,000 march in Paris against Iraq war

By a WSWS reporting team, 17 February 2003

Some 200,000 people marched in Paris on Saturday to protest the impending US war against Iraq. The procession, which gathered protesters from every region of France, took several hours to march from the Place Denfert-Rochereau in the south of Paris to the Place de la Bastille in the central east.

100,000 demonstrate in Belgian capital

By a WSWS reporting team, 17 February 2003

Some 100,000 people demonstrated Saturday in the streets of Brussels to oppose the impending war against Iraq. The demonstration was called by two umbrella organisations, “Stop USA” and “Anti-guerre Irak.” As a result, the protest ended with two separate rallies at different locations.

Tens of thousands protest in cities throughout California

By Rafael Azul, 17 February 2003

More than 100,000 protested in San Francisco on Sunday. The protest took place the day after other protests worldwide so as not to conflict with the traditional Chinese New Year’s parade in the city.

Protests in Perth, Brisbane and other Australian centres

By our correspondents, 17 February 2003

Antiwar protests took place last weekend in all of Australia’s major cities.

Thousands join rallies in Pittsburgh and nearby cities

By Paul Sherman, 17 February 2003

A number of rallies, vigils and demonstrations took place in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and the smaller cities and towns in the surrounding tri-state area. People gathered at county courthouses and in public parks to show their opposition to the impending war in Iraq.

Young marchers predominate in Toronto

By our correspondents, 17 February 2003

An estimated 80,000 people marched through Toronto Saturday in a colorful and spirited demonstration, despite temperatures of 13 degrees below zero Celsius. Compared to the last antiwar rally on January 18, when about 10,000 participated, this march was not only far larger, but much younger, more working class and diverse.

Glasgow: 100,000 protest against Blair and Iraq war

By Robert James, 17 February 2003

Some 100,000 people marched through the streets of Glasgow, Scotland on Saturday against war in Iraq. ScotRail reported that even though they had doubled the number of trains, it had not been possible to cope with the huge numbers, particularly those who wanted to travel from Edinburgh to join the march.

An event of world historical significance

World Socialist Web Site Editorial Board, 17 February 2003

The mass demonstrations that unfolded simultaneously across the globe on the weekend of February 15-16, 2003 will live in history. What occurred on these days was an unprecedented manifestation of international human solidarity against war. In the face of the militaristic frenzy of the most ruthless imperialist regime in the world, more than 10,000,000 people have spoken out against the plans for an invasion of Iraq.

Mass demonstrations inaugurate international antiwar movement

By Chris Marsden, 17 February 2003

The events of the past weekend constituted the largest single political protest and the first truly global demonstration against war. More than ten million people marched and rallied in over 60 countries and over 600 cities, with demonstrations taking place on every continent—including Antarctica, where scientists and others at the US McMurdo Base held a rally—in an historically unprecedented international movement against the Bush administration’s planned war against Iraq.

Thousands march in Detroit

By Shannon Jones and Lawrence Porter, 17 February 2003

Braving sub-freezing temperatures, close to 5,000 demonstrators marched through downtown Detroit on Saturday to oppose the threatened war against Iraq. The protest was sponsored by the Michigan Emergency Coalition against War on Iraq, and culminated in a rally at the Cobo Hall convention center.

London: a massive rebuttal of Blair’s support for war

By Julie Hyland, 17 February 2003

Up to two million people took part in the London demonstration to protest war against Iraq. The exact figure was difficult to calculate due to the sheer weight of numbers, but the demonstration stretched across the capital—From Hyde Park past Buckingham Palace, to the Houses of Parliament and beyond.

Berlin: Largest demonstration in post-war German history

By a WSWS reporting team, 17 February 2003

According to official police figures, which generally underestimate the size of such demonstrations, more than a half million people gathered in Berlin on Saturday for the main protest in Germany against a war on Iraq. Demonstrators assembled in both the east and west of the city, and because of the huge numbers in attendance, the marches were forced to leave for the central rally earlier than planned. In the early afternoon the entire centre of Berlin, on both sides of the historic Brandenburg Gate, was teeming with protesters.

Antiwar marchers defy large police presence in Seoul

By our correspondents, 17 February 2003

Some 2,000 people assembled in Ma-ron-i-ea Park in downtown Seoul on Saturday afternoon to protest against the planned US invasion of Iraq. After speeches and entertainment, the protesters marched to Jong-Myo Park, a couple of kilometres away. The proceedings were peaceful despite a large police presence throughout the protest.

Vienna demonstration draws 30,000

By our reporting team, 17 February 2003

An estimated 30,000 took to the streets of Vienna on Saturday to register their opposition to a war against Iraq. The protest was called by the Austrian Social Forum (ASF) and was supported by a wide array of groups and political parties.

Spain: more than 2 million march in Barcelona and Madrid

By Paul Bond and Vicky Short, 17 February 2003

Antiwar demonstrators mobilized in 57 Spanish cities on Saturday as part of what El Mundo described as “the first global protest in the history of humanity.”

Antiwar protest grows in Britain

By Tony Hyland, 17 February 1998

Public meetings and demonstrations opposing a renewed military attack on Iraq and calling for an end to economic sanctions have drawn greater numbers than anticipated by their organizers.