Protests around the world

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On the second anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, hundreds of thousands demonstrated in some 40 countries to protest the continuing war and occupation. Following is a small sampling:

Britain: Up to 100,000 people marched through London to Trafalgar Square. Two soldiers who had resigned from the British army left a cardboard coffin outside the U.S. Embassy, inscribed with the legend, “100,000 dead.”

Italy: As many as 100,000 — among them a contingent of 75 U.S. citizens — marched in Rome to call for immediate withdrawal of Italian and other occupying forces. Demonstrations also took place in Milan, Cagliari (Sardinia), Venice, Rimini, Turin, Pisa and other cities.

Belgium: 100,000 from throughout Europe gathered in Brussels to call for jobs, free education for youth and an end to the war.

Turkey: A demonstration organized by the unions brought some 20,000 protesters to Istanbul from all over the country. Some carried signs reading: “Murderer Bush, get out.”

Denmark: Up to 1,000 mainly young people gathered at the U.S. Embassy in Copenhagen before marching past Parliament to demand immediate withdrawal of Danish troops.

Cyprus: Hundreds of Greek and Turkish Cypriots joined with members of the Syrian and Palestinian communities in Nicosia’s central square for a march to the U.S. Embassy. There, they held a musical event and Turkish Cypriot activists performed street theater.

Brazil and Argentina: Thousands marched in Sao Paulo, and in Buenos Aires some 10,000 protested.

Japan: Over 4,500 demonstrated in Tokyo during a visit by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Marchers called for immediate withdrawal of Japan’s Self-Defense Force from Iraq and an end to the occupation.

Greece: Thousands of trade unionists, members of peace groups and students shut down the city center for about three hours as they marched to the U.S. Embassy.

Protests were also held in Nicaragua, India, Puerto Rico, Vietnam, South Korea, Pakistan, Poland, Sweden and many other countries.

Marilyn Bechtel