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Public Anger Over US-Led War Brings Out US, Worldwide Protests - 2003-03-21


Public anger over the U.S.-led war with Iraq is bringing people out into the streets in Washington and throughout the United States.

At midday Thursday, a small group of people braved chilly rain to gather on the edge of the park in front of the White House to show their opposition to the war.

Several of the protesters were high school students who had walked out of class. Others came from their jobs.

Protester Judy Bellin, who remembers the Vietnam War, said she and several of her office mates left work to take part in the demonstration. "I think it's important that the world know that not all Americans agree with Mr. Bush. So, that's why we're out here protesting," she said.

Around the country, hundreds of Americans were expected to take part in anti-war activities.

"We have an emergency response plan for the next seven days at the plaza outside the federal building and a march through downtown Seattle, [Washington]."
"We're going to, at 3:00 PM today, meet in a park in downtown Tucson, [Arizona] and have a funeral procession over to near the federal building and have a die-in."
"We have two rallies today in Boulder, [Colorado]."
"We are sponsoring a peaceful protest demonstration in front of the Broadhead Naval Armory in the city of Detroit, [Michigan]."

In San Francisco, about 175 protesters who had chained themselves to metal pipes were arrested after police used power saws to break the chains. In Philadelphia, police arrested about 100 people who had been blocking the entrances to a downtown federal building.

Meanwhile, tens of thousands of people demonstrated around the world against the U.S.-led Iraq war.

In Europe, anti-war demonstrators took to the streets in Athens, Paris and Rome. In Berlin, at least 50,000 people wound through the city center toward the U.S. embassy near the Brandenburg Gate, where security reinforcements stopped them from getting any closer.

Protesters in the Middle East rallied in Damascus and Amman, while South Asian anti-war demonstrators came out in Dhaka, Islamabad and Srinagar, in Indian Kashmir.

The demonstrations were mostly peaceful. But there were violent clashes between police and protesters in Egypt and the Philippines.

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