Antiwar rallies across the world
LONDON, England -- Antiwar demonstrations are taking place across the world Saturday, as the chances of a diplomatic solution to the Iraq crisis appear to fade.
Thousands of protesters are expected to converge on the White House in Washington.
Organizers at International ANSWER, a coalition of groups that have banded together to oppose a possible war, said they were expecting tens of thousands of people from more than 100 U.S. cities.
The coalition's past protests have drawn tens of thousands to Washington.
The protests come as the leaders of the U.S., Britain and Spain prepare to meet Sunday in the Azores to discuss their next moves. (Full story)
Around 10,000 people gathered in central Tokyo Saturday to protest against U.S. plans and the Japanese government's support for military action, organisers said.
With some wearing traditional Japanese robes and others carrying placards bearing messages such as "Stop the foolish attack," protesters filed through the capital's streets to applause from passers-by.
Two thousand South Koreans threw paper doves into the evening sky in downtown Seoul, while some of the 300 protesters in Hong Kong wore mock oil barrels -- suggesting that oil, not Iraqi disarmament, is behind the war drive.
In Thailand, about 1,000 people protested outside a U.N. office in Bangkok, listening to speeches from a makeshift stage that was later turned over for karaoke singing.
Tens of thousands of Yemenis heeded President Ali Abdullah Saleh's call to turn out for anti-war rallies that were held amid tight security measures. Jordanian activists were to march to the U.N. offices in Amman.
Some 3,000 Greek Cypriots marched to the U.S. Embassy and hung cloth banners with anti-war messages on the barbed-wire barricades.
Thousands also took to the streets in cites and smaller towns across Australia and New Zealand.
More than 4,000 people marched in southern New Zealand's main cities of Christchurch and Dunedin chanting "give peace a chance."
In Dunedin about 1,000 protested against a possible war against Iraq, while in Christchurch more than 3,000 marched to the city's central square.
In Australia several thousand rallied across the state of Victoria. The largest turnout was at Traralgon, where organizers said 1,500 people turned out.
In Melbourne, antiwar protesters held vigils, picnics, education sessions and marches.
In the UK, marches were taking place in London, Portsmouth, Leeds, York, Exeter and Newcastle.
Muslims were also marching through London on a route designed to take in the embassies of prominent Islamic countries.
Russia's communists and leftist radicals rallied Saturday carrying red flags and signs saying: "U.S.A. -- Terrorist," "Hands off Iraq," and "Hang Bush."
Part of the crowd stood across from the Russian Foreign Ministry shouting "No to war in Iraq" and "The U.S. is a toilet, the victory will be ours."
After an hour, the demonstrators, ringed by police, marched from the Foreign Ministry to the U.S. Embassy carrying a large Iraqi flag, and joined another group of protesters already in place.
Police estimated the full crowd at 1,000.
Polls show almost 90 percent of Russians oppose a war in Iraq, but there have been few anti-war demonstrations.
The communists and radicals are more motivated and use the opportunity to express their anger not only against the war, but against capitalism, the end of the Soviet Union, U.S. dominance in the world and other grudges.
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