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Protests against the Iraq War
This page reproduces some articles on demonstrations against the Iraq War.

News articles are reprinted below to document some of the demonstrations against the Iraq war.

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Sunday, March 23, 2003 in New York Times

Tens of Thousands in Asia Protest Iraq War

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Tens of thousands took to the streets in Asia on Sunday voicing strong opposition to the war in Iraq as the State Department said the conflict had increased the chances of anti-American violence in Indonesia.

Large crowds staged protests in many Australian cities, while in Pakistan more than 50,000 gathered for a ``million man march,'' which fell far short of expectations.

Thousands also staged protests in mainly Muslim Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

In Australia, whose special forces are deep inside Iraq, up to 30,000 people chanting ``No war, no war,'' blowing whistles and thumping drums brought traffic to a standstill in Sydney, the nation's largest city.

In the capital Canberra, about 5,000 people gathered in front of parliament to scatter flower petals in the shape of giant peace signs and to wave signs urging drivers to ``honk for peace.''

``Who's next? Pakistan, India, North Korea? A Pandora's box could be opened, I'm just hoping I'm wrong,'' artist Charles Arnet, 52, wearing a bandanna and skull earring, told Reuters.

A life-sized papier-mache figure of President Bush leading a dog wearing a face mask of Australian Prime Minster John Howard towered above the Sydney crowd.

Australia has deployed around 2,000 military personnel to the Gulf including fighter jets, warships and 150 special forces. The majority of Australians oppose the country's involvement in the conflict, polls show.

``Australia is invading a country for the first time. We are the aggressors, this will increase terrorism, make the world a less safe place and castrate the U.N,'' said protester Arnet.

That view was echoed by the State Department, which said the attack against Iraq had increased chances of anti-American violence in Indonesia, where hundreds of protesters outside the U.S. embassy on Sunday denounced Bush as a terrorist.

FEAR OF ATTACKS

``As a result of the military action in Iraq, Indonesia's frequent political demonstrations may escalate, increasing the potential for anti-American violence and for terrorist actions,'' the State Department said in the warning issued late on Saturday.

``The U.S. Embassy in Jakarta has received credible information that extremist elements may be planning ... attacks targeting U.S. interests,'' it added, and urged U.S. citizens in Indonesia to consider leaving the country.

It was a repeat of a warning in October after bombings in Bali which killed more than 200 people, most of them foreigners.

About 400 members of the hard-line Islamic Defenders' Front gathered outside the embassy, held up signs, listened to speeches, and signed up volunteers to go and help defend Iraq.

In Lahore in eastern Pakistan, tens of thousands of protesters gathered in a demonstration called by right-wing religious parties.

The crowd burned effigies of President Bush and denounced what it called American terrorism.

But what organizers billed as a peaceful ``millionmarch,'' the third in a series of countrywide protests, fell well short of the promised number.

``War will continue till America's destruction,'' the surging crowd shouted as it set fire to effigies of Bush.

``Hate Bush, Love Saddam,'' read one placard, as dozens of young men milled about, wearing white head-bands inscribed with ``Allahu Akbar'' (God is Greatest) on their foreheads.

``Axis of evil -- Bush and Blair,'' read another.

Pakistan, a critical ally in the U.S. war on terror but a strong critic of the war on Iraq, has canceled its prime minister's visit to Washington next week.

Nearly 10,000 Islamic activists in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, called for an immediate halt to the conflict and urged Muslims around the world to unite against ``Bush's war against humanity.''

Protesters carried black flags and placards reading ``Stop War, resist crime against humanity,'' and burned effigies of Bush.

In Afghanistan, where thousands of U.S. troops are hunting Islamic militants, several thousand protesters chanted slogans and burned U.S. flags.

The chief cleric of India's biggest mosque, the Jama Masjid in New Delhi, led more than 4,000 Muslims in a march through the capital. They shouted anti-American slogans and called for an immediate end to the U.S.-led assault on Iraq.

``Stop this war now'' and ``Down, Down America,'' shouted the men who held placards that read: ``Last chance, Wake Up Muslim World, Wake up'' and ``George Bush is world's biggest terrorist.''

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Date Added: 3/23/2003 Date Revised: 3/23/2003 5:57:40 PM

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