Saturday, October 16
Tens of Thousands Throng London to Protest Iraq War
AFP, October 17, 2004
LONDON - Tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of central London to protest against the Iraq war as Prime Minister Tony Blair struggled to shake-off fierce criticism of the invasion back home.
Organisers said that between 65,000 and 75,000 protesters had taken to the streets for the peaceful march, which began at Russell Square, close to the British museum. Police put the figure at between 15,000 and 20,000.
Protesters from around the world clutched banners and blew whistles as they marched towards Trafalgar Square, where a mass rally was taking place.
"Troops out," screamed one of many placards being waved by protesters.
"Blair must go," said another.
Some of the tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of central London to protest against the Iraq war as Prime Minister Tony Blair struggled to shake-off fierce criticism of the invasion back home. (AFP/Carl De Souza)
Sunday's march was the latest in a series of demonstrations organised by the Stop The War Coalition before and after the US-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003 that was backed by Britain.
The march was arranged Sunday to coincide with the end to the three-day European Social Forum held in London. It comes also after a stormy week for Blair, who was accused in parliament last Wednesday of misrepresenting intelligence on Iraq to make the case for war.
"I am against the war and capitalism," one demonstrator, going by the name of Charkoo, told AFP. "I want to show we are willing to fight against the war," added the 31-year-student from South Korea.
The brother of Kenneth Bigley, the British hostage recently executed by his captors in Iraq, had urged people to turn out in force for Sunday's march.
"For Ken's sake and for the sake of everyone in Iraq I ask you to make your feelings known to our government, to protest and to join the demonstration," Paul Bigley was quoted as saying by the Press Association, Britain's domestic news agency. [...more]