Antiwar protests sweep the world
Day of protest opens in Asia, moves to Mideast, Europe, U.S.
LONDON, England --Thousands of protesters around the world have taken to the streets to demonstrate against a possible war in Iraq.
Some of the biggest demonstrations on Saturday are taking place in Japan, Russia, Pakistan, Germany and London, all protesting the buildup of U.S. military hardware and personnel in the Gulf region.
A volley of protests has opened in Washington, where thousands of people have converged on the Mall, which lies between the Capitol and the Washington Monument. Events are scheduled across the United States on Saturday. (Full story)
In Paris, antiwar protesters shouted in English, "Stop Bush! Stop war!". The 6,000-strong march is the third nationwide demonstration since October, The Associated Press reported.
"You can see people are waking up (to the issue) when they see us marching," said Flore Boudet, a 21-year-old demonstrating with her classmates from the Sorbonne University.
In Moscow, Russians chanted "U.S., hands off Iraq!" and "Yankee, Go Home!" at a march outside the U.S. Embassy. One banner read: "U.S.A. is international terrorist No. 1."
Others held banners with slogans such as "Iraq isn't your ranch, Mr. Bush."
Elsewhere in Europe, a demonstration in Goteborg, Sweden, gathered 5,000 peaceful demonstrators, while a few hundred people marched in the German cities of Cologne and Bonn.
Protesters in London also gathered outside the Permanent Joint Headquarters of the British Armed Forces to voice their opposition.
About 100 people from Turkey's Greens Party demonstrated in Istanbul, symbolically throwing toy guns into a trash can. Some 1,000 activists marched in Cairo, while several Pakistani cities had small antiwar demonstrations.
Demonstrations had earlier kicked off in Christchurch, New Zealand, where about 400 people attended a rally organised by the Green Party, but an estimated 4,000 students and union members attended a concert and march in Tokyo, police told Reuters.
More than 1,500 citizens waving placards and banners marched in the Bahraini capital of Manama on Friday saying "No!" to war with Iraq and calling on their pro-Western leadership to expel U.S. forces from the kingdom.
The small Persian Gulf state is home to the U.S. 5th Fleet and hosts about 1,000 U.S. military personnel who would be among the forces used in any American-led attack on Iraq.
About 120,000 U.S. troops are expected to be in the Gulf region by mid-February, while a task force has set sail from Britain.