March 15, 2008
Agence France Presse

Protesters Across the World Condemn Iraq War

Thousands of protestors marched against the Iraq war in Los Angeles on Saturday as part of a global day of action that drew huge crowds in London and smaller protests elsewhere in Europe and Canada.

Police said about 2,000 people marched through Hollywood, while organizers put the figure at 10,000. They carried banners denouncing President George W. Bush and urged an end to the conflict in Iraq, where 155,000 US troops are deployed.

Earlier, thousands of people gathered in London and the Scottish city of Glasgow ahead of the fifth anniversary of the US-led invasion of Iraq on March 20, calling for the withdrawal of British troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Police in London said there were 10,000 on the streets but organizers the Stop the War Coalition put the crowds at between 30,000 to 40,000. In Glasgow police estimated between 1,000 to 1,500 protesters at the height of the march.

In Los Angeles, Vietnam war veteran Ron Kovic, whose book "Born on the Fourth of July" was turned into a film with Tom Cruise, joined the march down Hollywood Boulevard in his wheelchair.

Shot and paralyzed in Vietnam 40 years ago, he told AFP he felt "sorrow" and "anguish" for the Iraqi people and for the US men and women fighting there "who are suffering, who are losing their arms and legs, who are being killed."

"But I feel more than anything, when I see what's going on in Iraq I feel determined, determined to fight with everything within us to stop this madness," he added.

Meanwhile in London, veteran left-winger and former Labour Party lawmaker Tony Benn said Britain's involvement in Iraq, where the country has 4,100 troops, and Afghanistan, where it has 7,800, had caused "devastation." . . .


VIDEO: Penny Coleman, "Winter Soldier: America Must Hear These Iraq Vets' Stories," AlterNet, March 16, 2008

Kristen M. Daum, "Protests mark Iraq war's 5th anniversary," Los Angeles Times, March 20, 2008


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