Protests Worldwide Against War on Iraq (2003)
Demonstrations follow divided day at United Nations
Sunday, February 16, 2003
NEW YORK (CNN) -- Huge crowds of anti-war demonstrators jammed into midtown New York on Saturday as protesters in dozens of U.S. cities joined large crowds worldwide in voicing opposition to war with Iraq.
...Besides protests in large cities such as Chicago, Illinois; and Los Angeles, California; rallies were held across the United States in smaller towns such as Gainesville, Georgia; Macomb, Illinois; and Juneau, Alaska, according to the anti-war group United for Peace and Justice.
In New York on Saturday, a giant puppet depicting President Bush holding buckets of blood and oil towered over the cheering crowd that was pressed against police barricades near U.N. headquarters. The main demonstration stretched 20 blocks down First Avenue, and overflowed onto Second and Third avenues as more people tried to reach the rally.
Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu and actors Susan Sarandon and Danny Glover were among the speakers at the New York demonstration.
Bundled in a heavy coat and scarf against the freezing cold, Tutu told the cheering crowd, "We are members of one family, God's family, the human family."
"How can we say we want to drop bombs on our sisters and brothers, on our children?" the South African bishop asked.
After leading the crowd to cheer "No!" as a response to "What do we say to war?", Tutu urged Bush to listen.
"President Bush, listen to the voice of the people, for many times the voice of the people is the voice of God," Tutu said. "Listen to the voice of the people saying, 'Give peace a chance.'"
CNN's Maria Hinojosa said the crowd was diverse, with older men and women in fur coats, parents with young children, military veterans and veterans of the anti-war movement.
Adele Welty, whose son, a firefighter, was killed in the attacks of September 11, 2001, said she believed Saddam Hussein was a ruthless dictator but that the United States should work with the United Nations to find a peaceful solution.
"Timothy was at the World Trade Center on September 11 to save lives," she said. "I don't feel that he would sanction innocent lives either in this country or in Iraq being shed in his name."...
Europe sees largest crowds
...Police in London, England, said turnout Saturday was 750,000, the largest demonstration ever in the British capital. The organizers put the figure at 2 million. In Germany, 500,000 protested, and 300,000 gathered in 60 towns and cities across France.
The biggest demonstrations seen in Europe in years were part of marches by millions across the globe, from the Antarctic to Iceland. (Full story)
The demonstrations followed a pivotal day for the United Nations in which a stark division between members of the Security Council was pronounced.
After presentations from top U.N. weapons inspectors, France, Germany, China and Russia suggested giving the inspectors more time, which drew cheers from the chamber. The United States, Britain and Spain said Iraq was not complying with Security Council Resolution 1441, which calls on Iraq to disarm itself of weapons of mass destruction and cooperate with weapons inspectors. (Full story)
Protesters took to the streets in towns and cities across France, and police said that as many as 300,000 are participating in protests in Berlin, Germany.