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World says No

This article is over 18 years, 9 months old
Protests broke out across the globe last Thursday, the day Bush and Blair launched their war against Iraq. Here are just some of the reports we've received.
Issue 1843a

Protests broke out across the globe last Thursday, the day Bush and Blair launched their war against Iraq. Here are just some of the reports we’ve received.


TENS OF thousands of protesters in Greece took to the streets hours into the war. Thousands of school and university students marched to the US embassy in the early afternoon. It was an amazingly vibrant and militant march. Later many joined a bigger protest that surrounded the embassy with more trade unionists.

The Greek equivalent of the TUC held a general strike on Friday. Workers in the public and private sectors took part. The main union federation struck for three hours, more left wing unions struck for 24 hours.
Panos Garganas, Greece


MILLIONS OF people took part in protests which swept Italy. At 10am in Milan 70,000 people gathered, just two hours later the numbers had swelled to 200,000. There were 60,000 marching in Bologna, 40,000 in Genoa and 20,000 in Turin.

Tens of thousands marched in Rome. Students occupied the railway station, shutting down the network for 15 minutes. In Naples demonstrators occupied government buildings.
Tom Behan

The three main trade union federations immediately called a general strike when war began.

The biggest strikes were in Milan involving public sector workers and engineering workers for four hours. There were strikes of car workers, metal workers. The unions have now called an eight-hour strike for this Saturday.
Luciano Muhlbauer, Italy


STUDENT PROTESTS took place in several universities in Istanbul. A rolling student boycott closed down a section of Istanbul University. In the evening around 3,000 people gathered in Taksim Square for a protest.

At the end of the demo the majority of the crowd marched towards the US consulate. Police attacked the marchers with truncheons and gas. In Ankara students from Hacettepe and Middle East Technical University blocked the main road to Eskisehir.
Anti-war activists, Turkey


THERE WERE demonstrations in at least 40 towns and cities throughout Poland. They ranged in number from a couple of dozen to 1,500 in Krakow and 3,000 in Warsaw. The Warsaw protesters sat down on the road in front of the US embassy, blocking one of the capital’s main roads for almost an hour before being attacked by riot police.

Poland is one of the few countries to actually send troops to the Gulf.
Andy Zebrowski, Poland

SOME 2,000 people took part in a militant anti-war demonstration in Prague and marched to the US embassy.
Socialisticka Solidarita, Czech Republic


ABOUT 10,000 people demonstrated in Finland. There were demos in six cities. The biggest was in Helsinki where 7,000 protested.
Juhani Lohikoski, Finland


LARGE PROTESTS took place in Madrid, Malaga and cities across Spain. In Barcelona 20,000 students blocked a motorway. There were 13 miles of traffic jams.

Even more spectacular was Barcelona Central University, where around 70,000 people blocked the main highway into the city. Students besieged the US consulate and the head office of the PP, the right wing party that governs Spain.
En Lucha (In Struggle), Spain


THERE WERE actions in more than 25 cities. In Rotterdam, 1,500 school students demonstrated. At the American consulate in Amsterdam, there was an action of 700, and 500 took the streets in the Northern town Groningen.
Pepijn Brandon, Netherlands


There were spontaneous student strikes across the country. In Copenhagen, 1,500 school students, college and university students were out on the streets and held several road blockades. The students broke police chains and went on to the parliament and the US embassy.

In the evening there were demonstrations in 23 cities, with up to 20,000 in Copenhagen.
Ida Jakobsen, Denmark


SOME 80,000 people marched through the centre of Berlin. There was a fantastic atmosphere and the demo included thousands of school students.

Over 15,000 school students demonstrated in Stuttgart. There were also demos in Cologne, Frankfurt, Munich. Rostock, Leipzig and Hanover. Young workers also joined the anti-war protests. These included workers from the Airbus factory in Hamburg who walked out.
Linksruck, Germany


ANTI-WAR demonstrations swept France on Thursday, with over 100,000 taking part. In Paris around 80,000 people joined an evening protest, after a day of marches and protests which had seen large numbers of high school and university students take part.

Elsewhere in France, 2,000 protested in Lyons, 2,000 in Grenoble, 4,000 in Rennes, 5,000 in Toulouse, 1,500 in Marseilles, 3,000 in Bordeaux and in many other cities.

Thousands marched in Austria and Switzerland, and 10,000 students marched in Luxembourg.

Around 5,000 marched in the Belgian capital Brussels. Sweden saw some 7,000 protest in Stockholm and at least 5,000 in Gothenburg.


THOUSANDS OF workers walked out across the country at 12 noon. Workers in government departments walked out, including the Department of Enterprise Trade and Employment. In Waterford the workforce of the huge Waterford Glass factory downed tools.

There were work stoppages and protests in hospitals and among local authority workers. There were protests and sit-downs in the universities and colleges of Dublin, Belfast and Waterford.

Schools in both the north and south of Ireland walked out. In Belfast workers, students and school students marched to the city centre and sat down, before marching to the US consulate.

Later in the day, thousands joined protests. In Dublin 5,000 people converged on the US Embassy.
Socialist Worker, Ireland


Police wielding batons arrested over 1,100 people in San Francisco on the US west coast. Thousands of people joined protests that caused chaos from the morning rush hour right through the evening. The assistant police chief described it as ‘absolute anarchy’.

In both Boston and Pittsburgh around 4,000 people joined protests. In Chicago thousands demonstrated, blocking traffic and several times breaching lines of riot and mounted police.

Demonstrations began in New York at midday when people rallied in Union Square. Some had walked out of school or work, or had just taken the day off. This started a day of continuous demonstrations around the city and 5,000 came together at Times Square.
Brian Campbell, US


IN TORONTO between 15,000 and 30,000 besieged the US consulate. An earlier student demo took over the main intersection in the city grinding traffic to a halt. Student walkouts took place across the country.

Dockworkers in Saint John, New Brunswick, on the Atlantic Coast, members of the International Longshoremen’s Association, voted to halt military goods headed to the Gulf.
Paul Kellogg, Canada


SOME 3,500 marched against the war in Montevideo in Uruguay on Thursday. The rally was called by the workers and students unions, the social movements, the left and Globalise Resistance.
Marina Rivero, Uruguay


THOUSANDS OF people spontaneously walked out of class and out of work to join protest rallies in town and city centres. More than 40,000 people flooded onto the streets in Sydney and more than 50,000 in Melbourne on Thursday night-an incredible achievement given we had only three hours notice after the bombing began.

Elsewhere, 5,000 rallied in Brisbane, 3,000 in Canberra and 1,500 in Perth, as well as hundreds in smaller towns. On Friday the Victorian Trades Hall Council held a lunchtime rally in Melbourne. Thousands of workers stopped work to join it.
Jarvis Ryan, Australia

South Africa

In Johannesburg we had a continuous picket outside the American Consulate office, which started within an hour of the first bombs being dropped. There has been a stream of people coming to stand on the picket, most cars hoot in solidarity against the war.
Alan, Johannesburg anti-war coalition


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