Socialist Worker

Millions on the march

Issue No. 1894

ANTI-WAR campaigners around the globe protested on 20 March after a call went out at this year's World Social Forum in India. The example set by Spain's anti-war movement inspired marchers in Italy. Two million filled the streets of Rome chanting 'Berlusconi's next!'

'All of the left parties and the unions were there but there were also a lot of young and old ordinary people,' says Brun Seban. 'The demonstration was against Silvio Berlusconi's right wing government which has sent troops to Iraq. Two days before the protest Berlusconi's Forza Italia party organised a demonstration against terrorism. Some of the left parties went, but no one else did. The response of the movement was that the only way to oppose terrorism is to oppose the war. The events in Spain made our march bigger. The left wing Rifondazione Comunista newspaper had the headline 'Spain Today, Italy Tomorrow'.

'There is general strike set for Friday of this week against the government's attacks on pensions.' The demonstrations in Bush's back yard were also impressive.

Some 100,000 marched in New York. It was so big that it filled 45 blocks through Manhattan and the start of the march almost merged with the people at the end of demonstration. Sue Niederer, whose son was one of the US soldiers killed in Iraq, told the New York rally, 'What did he die for? For a country that hates us, that doesn't want us there. We should bring the troops home and topple Bush.'

There were some 50,000 marching in San Francisco, 20,000 in Los Angeles and 10,000 in Chicago in the regional demonstrations. Half a million marched in cities across Spain, in the wake of the anti-war vote that drove out Aznar from government. The marches included 300,000 in Barcelona and 100,000 in Madrid.

In Latin America there were marches in Central and South America including Argentina, Chile, Brazil and Venezuela. Across Japan around 100,000 people joined marches. There were protests in Canada, Greece, Germany, India, Australia and across the Middle East.

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Sat 27 Mar 2004, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1894
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