Anti-war protests demand withdrawal from Iraq
Opponents of the war in Iraq rallied in cities around the world Saturday to demand the withdrawal of U.S. and British troops.
The largest rally took place in Washington, D.C., where approximately 100,000 protesters demonstrated their opposition to U.S. President George W. Bush and the American military presence in Iraq.
Folk singer Joan Baez performed a concert at the foot of the Washington Monument. She said Iraq is already a mess and the troops should come home immediately. "There is chaos. There's bloodshed. There's carnage."
A crowd in London, estimated by police at 10,000, marched in support of pulling British troops out of Iraq.
In Toronto, several hundred people waved anti-war signs in front of the U.S. Consulate. Other demonstrations were held in Ottawa.
Protesters sang and marched and remembered the dead in Washington and other cities in the U.S.
Paul Rutherford, 60, of Vandalia, Mich., said he is a Republican who supported Bush in the last election and still does - except for the war in Iraq. "President Bush needs to admit he made a mistake in the war and bring the troops home, and let's move on," Rutherford said.
President George W. Bush was out of town - monitoring hurricane recovery efforts from Colorado and Texas.
A counter-protest defending the war in Iraq was scheduled for Sunday in Washington, D.C. Organizers said their demonstration would likely draw a far smaller turnout than Saturday's.
"We are preparing for as many as 20,000 people, just to be on the safe side," said Kristinn Taylor, a leader of FreeRepublic.com, one of the sponsors. "People have been fired up over the past month, especially military family members, and they want to be heard."
Organizers said the goal of pro-military rally is to honour the troops fighting "the war on terrorism in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere around the world."