Last updated at: (Beijing Time) Sunday, March 09, 2003
Thousands Rally Against War in Washington and Britain
Several thousand people rallied outside the White House Saturday against a possible US war on Iraq as President George W. Bush sought an imminent decision among UN Security Council members on the disarmament of Baghdad. At the same time, anti-war protests are taking place across Britain Saturday to coincide with the International Women's Day.
Several thousand people rallied outside the White House Saturday against a possible US war on Iraq as President George W. Bush sought an imminent decision among UN Security Council members on the disarmament of Baghdad.
District of Columbia police and organizers estimated the crowd at between 4,000 and 10,000 people. The rally at a park near the White House was organized by a group called Code Pink as part of the International Women's Day.
The protesters, many of them women, pledged to rally a nation of daughters, mothers and grandmothers in a push for peace. Policesaid 25 people were arrested on charges of crossing a police line in front of the White House.
Bush, who usually spends weekends at Camp David in Maryland, stayed at the White House as only days remained before the United States presses for a vote on a new resolution at the United Nations.
"As a last resort, we must be willing to use military force," Bush said in his weekly radio address. "We are doing everything we can to avoid war in Iraq. But if Saddam Hussein does not disarm peacefully, he will be disarmed by force."
Anti-war protests are taking place across Britain Saturday to coincide with the International Women's Day.
The organizers estimated about 20,000 people are marching in Manchester, northwestern England.
It is Saturday's largest street demonstration in Britain and is also believed to be the biggest one in Manchester for 180 years, according to a local report.
Organized by the Greater Manchester Coalition to Stop the War, marchers are demanding "no more blood for oil" in protest against war on Iraq.
In leaflets handed out to publicize the march, they said Prime Minister Tony Blair's determination over the conflict indicates he is showing the country's democracy "is just a sham."
Meanwhile, protests are also seen in Nottingham, Sheffield, Barnsley in south Yorkshire, Berkhamsted in Hertfordshire, Chichester in West Sussex and Bridgend in south Wales.
"It's women and children who are predominately the victims of war," said Stop the War Coalition spokesman Andrew Burgin.
The latest poll showed that British women are much more opposed to a war in Iraq than men and they strongly disapprove of Prime Minister Blair's handling of the crisis.
The gender gap is a consistent feature of all the polling over Iraq in the past months in the country.