"Earth to Bush" No war in Iraq

“Earth to Bush” No war in Iraq

By Joe Baker, Senior Editor

Editor’s note: For a list of U.S. cities that have voted against a war in Iraq and pictures of the Rockford protest, see pages 2, 10 & ll.

No one had seen anything as big, not even in the Vietnam War era. Across the globe, more than 6 million people took to the streets last Saturday to protest a war against Iraq.

Nearly every country had a large turnout of protesters. Even Iraq had its own demonstration involving a few thousand people.

People marched from Karachi to Chicago, Canberra to Cape Town, according to Reuters News Service. Heaviest turnouts were in Europe, where there is keen division among the leaders on this issue.

The streets of Rome saw 1 million march, in Barcelona there was more than 1 million and in Madrid, 2 million turned out. In New York, the anti-war crowd, estimated at more than 400,000, clogged several Manhattan streets.

London had almost a million marchers in its streets, and the country witnessed the largest peace demonstration in its history.

Half-a-million marched in Germany. Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said there was still time to disarm Iraq without war. “Let us take that chance as true internationalists,” he said.

France had about 300,000 demonstrators. Even Havana, Cuba, had a rally of 5,000 workers and students. In Australia and New Zealand, more than 600 cities and towns had at least three quarters of a million people involved in protests against the war. Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra were filled with anti-war marchers.

The Australians made it plain that if their Prime Minister John Howard continues to support Bush’s plans, they will remove him at

the next election. They also said if the war begins, they will turn out three times the numbers of last weekend.

One Iraqi woman living in Australia said: “This war is not about our rights as Iraqi people, this war is about oil—nothing more–and it has to be stopped.”

In Chicago, some 3,000 people paraded with signs reading: “No war for oil,” and “President Bush, will your daughters enlist?” In California, there were huge protests in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, Sacramento and many other states and cities. U.S. protests are estamated at more than 1.5 million people nationwide.

Film director Pedro Almodovar told the crowds in Spain: “We don’t understand the concept of a preventive war. The only preventive war is called peace.”

President Bush, despite such herculean peace efforts, said he intends to press for disarming Saddam Hussein and is ready to go to war. That eventuality may happen in a very short time frame.

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