Anti-war demonstrators were out in force in a number of world
capitals over the weekend, calling on their governments to reject any US-led
military action against Iraq. Perhaps the largest demonstration was held in
Munich, Germany, where up to 20,000 protesters demonstrated peacefully Saturday
while a massive force of 3,500 police protected a security conference attended
by US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other prominent defense and security
officials. (Getty Images)...
Protesters reject US military action against Iraq
Police protect Rumsfeld and other officials at conference in Munich
Demonstrators in capitals around the word voice same message
Compiled by Daily Star staff
Anti-war demonstrators were out in force in a number of world capitals over
the weekend, calling on their governments to reject any US-led military action
Perhaps the largest demonstration was held in Munich, Germany, where up to
20,000 protesters demonstrated peacefully Saturday while a massive force
of 3,500 police protected a security conference attended by US Defense Secretary
Donald Rumsfeld and other prominent defense and security officials.
Demonstrators opposing war with Iraq carried signs through the snowy city saying
“Rummy, go home” and “Welcome to Cuba” a reference to Rumsfeld’s
remark lumping Germany in with US adversaries Cuba and Libya over their
resistance to war.
Police closed a large section of downtown Munich for two protests, one called by
church and labor union leaders and another by anti-globalization protesters and
other radical groups.
More than 10,000 demonstrators joined a peaceful protest endorsed by Munich
Mayor Christian Ude earlier Saturday.
“Today Munich says yes to peace and no to war,” said
Roman Catholic Bishop Engelbert Siebler.
The sentiment was echoed Sunday in Jakarta, capital of the world’s most
populous Muslim country.
Indonesia’s official Antara news agency put the number of protesters, who
ranged from students to families with babies in arms, at “tens of
Other observers said the crowd was closer to 7,000 when it marched past the US
Embassy, pausing occasionally for speeches, songs and chants of “God is
“Bush’s war against Iraq equals state terrorism” read one sign. “Stop
war. Save peace and humanity,” said others, while a T-shirt slogan read: “No
more blood for oil.”
Some 1,000 Austrians also rallied under the motto “No blood for oil.”
The protesters gathered in Austria’s second-largest city, Graz, to demonstrate
against a possible war in Iraq and were supported 50 different organizations.
Organizers of the rally claimed that four-fifths of Europe’s population are
opposed to a war in Iraq.
In Hungary, meanwhile, 60 members of right-wing organizations protested outside
an air base being used by the United States to train Iraqi dissidents as
translators, guides and guards for deployment alongside US troops in an Iraq
Speakers for the Hungarian Interests Party, the Conscience Group and the Iraqi
Historical Association accused the Hungarian government of complicity in
preparing for the war.
“We all know that this conflict is only about oil and world power,” Izabella
Kiraly, of the Hungarian Interests Party, told the protesters. “America used
to stand for democracy. Now it stands for aggression.”
The protest was held in a park, 300 meters from the base. Police prevented the
group from getting any closer.
Several hundred people braved chilly weather to stage an an anti-war rally in
Moscow’s Pushkin Square while across the seas in sunny Australia more than 700
women posed nude Saturday to protest against Australia’s likely involvement in
a potential war against Iraq.
Lying naked end to end on a grassy knoll in the Australian beach town of Byron
Bay, they formed a heart around the words “No War” for an aerial photograph
One middle-aged woman had the words “Bare it all for the boys Down Under”
written on her back.
In the Middle East, meanwhile, protests were held in Palestine, Jordan and
Around 500 Palestinians demonstrated their support Sunday in the southern Gaza
Strip town of Rafah. Demonstrators burned US and Israeli flags and chanted
slogans against Bush and in support of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. “You
don’t scare us,” and “Saddam, hit Tel Aviv,” the crowd shouted.
In Jordan, the country’s key opposition Islamic Action Front (IAF) urged
people to turn out in force for a pro-Iraq march next week and observe a
one-hour blackout to protest against any US-led war.
“Turn off the lights and your television sets in each and every town and
village across Jordan … and light candles instead and spend that hour praying
for the needy” in Iraq, the IAF said in a statement released in Amman.. “The
wolves are massing around Baghdad waiting for zero-hour and are threatening to
set ablaze everything in sight under false claims.”
It urged Jordanians to take part in a march on UN headquarters in Amman,
organized by Jordan’s opposition parties, on Feb. 15.
Meanwhile, several hundred Turkish women held a demonstration at the border with
Iraq, calling on the government in Ankara not to back any US military action
against Turkey’s southeastern neighbor, the media reported.
The protest, organized by a variety of nongovernmental organizations,
brought together some 300 civil activists from across the country and also
included Kurdish women.
“No to war,” the women shouted, some of them holding their babies in their
arms. “Remember your humanity,” one of the placards read.
“We are against Turkey taking part in this war,” said one of the protesters.
“We are against Turkey offering its air bases, ports and people to the service
of the Americans.”
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