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Millions Across the World Protest On Anniversary of Iraq War

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From Sydney to San Francisco, Tokyo to Santiago, New York, Madrid, London and Rome, millions take to the streets to mark the first anniversary of the Iraq war. We hear the sounds and voices from cities across the globe. [includes transcript]

Millions of protesters poured into the streets of cities around the globe this weekend to mark the first anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

From Sydney to San Francisco, Tokyo to Santiago, Madrid, London, New York and Rome, demonstrators took to the streets.

At least a million people streamed through Rome, in probably the single largest protest in the world. In London, two protesters evaded security to climb the landmark Big Ben clock tower at the Houses of Parliament, unfurling a banner reading “Time for Truth.” In Vermont, hundreds of silent protesters placed a pair of shoes on the Statehouse steps for each of the more than 560 U.S. soldiers killed in the war. In Fort Bragg, hundreds of family members and veterans groups gathered outside one of the biggest military bases in the country.

We’ll speak with a father who lost his son nearly a year ago in Iraq. But first we hear some of the sounds and voices of the protests around the world. We begin in Spain.

Of the roughly 250 anti-war protests scheduled around the United States, New York’s crowd was the largest with organizers estimating up to 100,000 people taking to the streets in midtown Manhattan.

In addition to Iraq, speakers talked about the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.

  • Mahdi Bray, Executive Director of the Muslim American Society (MAS) Freedom Foundation, and the President of the Coordinating Council of Muslim Organizations (CCMO).

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This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: Among these who spoke, the former British Member of Parliament, Tony Ben as well as Democratic Presidential Candidate, Dennis Kucinich, who we’ll hear from in a minute, as well, Mahdi Bray at the Muslim American Society.

MAHDI BRAY: We march because Palestine will be free with the right to self-determination and yes, with the right to return. We march. We march to tell John Ashcroft that my little Muslim son and millions of American Muslim youth will not grow up in America where they are profiled as terrorist suspects, but rather, they will live in a free America where they can control and reach their highest prospects, we march. And finally, we march to tell George Bush that that bible that he reads does not say blessed are the oil barons or blessed are the military industrial complex or blessed are the war mongers, but it says, blessed are the peacemakers, and Khan says that a larger man’s justice that you may arrest us, you may bomb us, and yes, you may kill us, but we bow only to the laws of the universe who wants justice for all of us, and George Bush, your arms are too short to box with god. We march, we march and say, lift every voice and sing, tell on heaven wings, ring with the arms of liberty, and face with the rising sons until our new day has begun. Let us march, march, march on until victory is won!

AMY GOODMAN: Mahdi Bray, head of the Muslim American Society, speaking in New York to more than 100,000 protesters on Saturday.

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