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2003-01-20

From Washington, D.C. to San Francisco, Cairo to London, Tokyo to Paris to Antarctica, Hundreds of Thousands Demonstrate Against War, Many Invoking the Memory of Martin Luther King

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In Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Tokyo, Paris, Cairo, London and even Antarctica, hundreds of thousands demonstrated across the globe against war in Iraq this weekend. In the largest protests, organizers said up to 500,000 took to the streets in Washington with another 200,000 in San Francisco.

At the San Francisco rally, Congresswoman Barbara Lee invoked the memory of Martin Luther King, whose birthday is being celebrated today. Lee urged the crowd to help eradicate "the axis of evil–poverty, racism and war."

In Washington, former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark called for the impeachment of President Bush. Other speakers included the Rev. Jessie Jackson, former Congressman Cynthia McKinney, presidential candidate the Rev. Al Sharpton, Vietnam Veteran Ron Kovic.

While the large protest was held on Saturday, a smaller demonstration was staged at the White House yesterday. 16 people were arrested in an act of civil of disobedience. Among the arrested were Kate Berrigan, the daughter of the legendary anti-war activist Philip Berrigan who died last month.

In other protests, some three dozen people formed a human peace symbol on the icy tundra of Antarctica. In Canada, tens of thousands took to the streets of Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. Dozens of other protests were staged across the world.

Organizers said the massive protests shattered the myth of consensus for a war in Iraq.

The protests coincided with the release of a Newsweek poll that shows 60 percent of Americans now want the Bush administration to allow more time to find an alternative to war.

The protests garnered front-page headlines around the world.

The New York Times ran a color photograph of the protest on its front page, and an up-beat article describing the action in Washington. The Times was slammed for its inaccurate and biased reporting on the last major march in Washington. This time around, the paper quoted four anti-war protesters about protest strategy, but not once did the paper quote anyone explaining why they oppose war. In the same article, the paper quoted two people who were part of a pro-war counter-protest that drew fewer than a hundred people. The article ends with a pro-war demonstrator repeating the Bush administration1s justification for war.

Well today we1re going to take you straight to the protest to hear for yourself, why people oppose war.

Tape:

  • Rev. Al Sharpton, speaking at the anti-war protest in Washington, D.C., 1/18/03.
  • Rev. Jesse Jackson, speaking at the anti-war protest in Washington, D.C., 1/18/03.

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