So, how'd the anti-war rally in YOUR town go?

The one here in Dublin was unbelievable. The forecast had been 20,000 - 40,000; instead anywhere from 80,000 to “a few hundred thousand” (TV3 News) turned up. This is bound to have an important effect on the Irish Government’s response to the war (if not to the war itself), coming as it does on the heels of two separate opinion polls - one showing a majority opposed to the use of Shannon Airport for American troops, the other showing a sharp decline in support for the Government in general. I’m absolutely delighted.

How’d it go elsewhere?

Wow! I have no figures from the Montreal protest yet, but despite being %!!#%^&&! cold, it was MASSIVE. Rilly, rilly big. I mean, the front end of the protest started off at 1 and by 2 the back end still wasn’t moving. I’ll have to wait for tomorrow for an estimate.

Rome had a million people. :eek: This is definitely bigger and more global than the anti-Vietnam war movement, and the war hasn’t even been declared yet.

Around one million in London. I couldn’t go, dammit, thanks to work.

The news here reported three million in Rome.

Wow, I feel like we Chicagoans are slackers…I just got home from ours half an hour ago, and my feet are frozen solid. We probably only had a few thousand (my best guess would be about 3,000 at the peak), or about 3-4 city blocks’ worth. It was the usual rag-tag assortment of lefties; it didn’t seem terribly cohesive. Is it just me, or do rallies of this sort end up being a forum for all sorts of only tangentially related causes to get a word in edgewise?

I don’t know why we just can’t seem to summon the numbers in Chicago. Today’s lack of attendance is probably partly because of the cold, and partly because the rally was held in what is really primarily a residential neighborhood with a decent-sized commercial district. But even the ones downtown at peak hours have been sparsely attended.

I haven’t been to any rallies in other cities (except for getting tear-gassed in Paris in 1994, but that’s a whole other story) to get a feel for why they seem more cohesive and manage to attract more people. Any theories? Or are Chicagoans still freaked out by the spectre of the '68 Democratic convention?

It went pretty well, but that third guy was FAST.

Protest? Oh yeah, there was supposed to be a bunch of… protests… around the world… today…

London was fine; I managed to fit in 3 major sporting events alopng the march at various bars (F.A. Cup 5th round, 3.10 from Ascot, England vs. France).
Most of the speakers at Hyde Park were dull, Jesse Jackson turned into John Lennon by yelling 'Give Peace a Chance" too often, and the Mayor of London was upstaged somewhat by another protester grabbing the mic to complain at volume about the new congestion charges.

At least it seems to be getting a good press…

I posted this in another thread yesterday, but our rally/march in Melbourne on Friday afternoon/evening was astounding. Official figures put the crowd somewhere between 100-200,000, but I think the numbers were higher. The organisers and the police were completely unprepared for such a turn-out, but there was no trouble. And unlike demos I have attended in the past, this one had a greater assortment of people: instead of just the usual hippies/students/trade unionists, this one included people from every strata of society.

Yeah, it was great. I felt proud to be part of it. :slight_smile:

Friends tell me that the London march was spoiled somewhat by predictable hijacks from other groups – e.g. the group who claimed that it was “1.5 million people marching for a Free Palestine”, somehow forgetting that it, er, wasn’t.

Hey guys, well I’ve just been to the one in Hyde park, I didn’t particulary like Jesse Jacksons speech though.

Yeah, It did kinda piss me off that there was alot of Palestine flags going about…and not enough English flags, I mean it is us going to a possible war with Iraq:rolleyes:

(I’m not anti-Palestinian, but I do like to see at least some English patriotism though, come on somebody reassure me here of my country:( )

The London protest was really quite a remarkable experience. I hadn’t realised that so much of the city had simply been shut down and cleared for the march. To see so many vast, empty streets, utterly deserted, in a city which is normally so chaotic and congested, was just surreal.

I was impressed by how well organised it was. We’ll never know how many people too part (somewhere between 750,000 and 1.5 million) but more or less everyone knew where to go, and everyone followed the correct routes. The police, love 'em or hate 'em, also seemed to fulfill their role very well. I saw them dealing with one or two ‘situations’ very tactfully and with great good common sense. Mind you, I also think many of them were secretly panicking inside, realising that even though every available officer had been deployed, they were still VASTLY out-numbered by a very purposeful, good-natured and yet determined crowd.

I felt sorry sorry for any poor sods who, many months ago, had settled on Feb 15th for their wedding, or a shopping trip to London, or a brief holiday weekend in the city…

I found more to be impressed by in Hyde Park. Everyone could hear, everyone could see, and the organisers kept it moving. Given that it was such an important event, and that we were ‘making history’ (as just about everyone kept telling us) it was a shame that so many of the speakers couldn’t be bothered to think of anything much to say. I like Mo Mowlam and respect her integrity, but her ‘speech’ was an absolute shambles.

It was just an amazing experience, and being a part of it was quite something. Such a MASSIVE turnout, and no problems to speak of.

It’s true that a few of the many factions involved tried to ‘hijack’ the event a little, but that’s usually the case with something like this, and I don’t think they were fooling anyone but themselves. Whatever the merits of the Palestinian cause, that’s not what got everyone out on the streets of London today.

Before I saw the march and the numbers involved, I took the rather resigned view that it wouldn’t have much effect - that Blush and Bair would do whatever they decide to do, march or no march. Now I’m not quite so sure. The sheer darned scale of the thing will be very hard to ignore, EVEN for Blair. It was the biggest demonstration ever seen in the country. Blair might try to be an ostrich about it, but - and here’s the point - his cabinet won’t and his back-bench MPs won’t.

Yeah, they won’t be in (the MPs) for the crucial decisions on the Iraq debate as they are on holiday.
Dammit why did Ms Dynamite have to go though! And Damon!
beware of the celebrities!:slight_smile:

I went on the London March, unfortunately I was meeting friends beforehand with the intention of joining the march as a group and everything got loused up and I couldn’t stay for as long as I wanted to. Shoulda gone on my own but man, for the 90 minutes I was there was amazing. I got totally caught up in the atmosphere and took some great photo’s besides. It was amazingly well organised and there was no animosity between the protestors in spite of the fact that the parade route was jam packed for most of the way and the ‘march’ hardly got above a crawl.

I wonder if we even had one here in Ann Arbor. It makes me sad that I don’t even know. It is very cold here, but if y’all in Montreal and Chicago could venture out, we should, too. I wish I were home in California this week instead of last; I am sure they are having an excellent rally in San Francisco as I type.

So’s Saddam. Does that bother you at all?

How’s it feel when you realize that you helped advance Iraq’s foreign policy? Proud of that, too?

You people are on the wrong side. I thank God you aren’t in charge of anything (except in France, Germany and Belgium).

This operation will proceed, and when it’s over, probably very quickly, you will be shown to have been very unwise, completely wrong on the merits of this.

Everybody that was out in the street today aided and abetted the greatest killer of Muslims in modern times. The Israeli Self Defence Forces could not hope to kill that many of its enemies, even if it were killing the helpless, like Saddam does.

There is no good reason not to proceed, NONE. The loss of life? It will SAVE life, and that is provable fact. The possible instability that will follow? What is Iraq now, and how nervous are his neighbors with Saddam in power? It will propel terrorists to attack us? They need no motivator, as should be obvious by now, and terrorism will actually decline in extent and depth with one less sanctuary to operate from, one less source of support and funding.

There is no downside, and all the fun you’re having being earnest about something you believe passionately in, BUT KNOW DAM’ LITTLE ABOUT, is just a huge negative drag on making this world a better place.

Go delight yourself with another march for the status quo, be proud of your activism toward a truly terrible current situation. I know what I’m talking about, because it’s my job. And you’re all very much mistaken about what you’re advocating, and what you’re against.

And methinks you might be in the wrong thread. Take your hijack to one of the many GD threads that discuss the pros and cons of an Iraq invasion.


My version is similar to Gomez’s – having to meet people at St Pancras station delayed my start on the march and the speeches were over by the time we got to Hyde Park (but it sounds like we didn’t miss much).

As well as being very big and very peaceful it was impressive to see such a wide cross-section of people among the marchers – several have been quoted on the news as saying they’d never been involved in a protest of any kind before. The organisers claimed 2 million but the police quote of 750,000 guarantees that there were many more than that at least.

It’s not a hijack. He is fighting your ignorance, the purpose of this board. But, hey, why should that stop you from patting yourselves on the back for being the patsies of a dictator…oops, I meant “progressive advocates of peace.”

Sometime you must look up the history of Charles Lindbergh and America First–you all have much in common.