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About 160,000 Moroccans marched in the streets of Casablanca Sunday to protest an eventual war with Iraq and what demonstrators called the “imperialist aggression” of the United States. (Getty Images)...







Anti-war protesters take to streets in their thousands

Demonstrators march in Casablanca, Karachi, Sanaa

Compiled by Daily Star staff

CASABLANCA, Morocco: About 160,000 Moroccans marched in the streets of Casablanca Sunday to protest an eventual war with Iraq and what demonstrators called the “imperialist aggression” of the United States.

It was the biggest protest in the North African region since the start of the crisis over Iraq.
Sympathizers of Muslim parties, who helped organize the demonstration, made up half the protesters, organizers said.

Protesters denounced Washington’s hard-line approach to disarming Iraq of weapons of mass destruction. They carried signs reading “Enough of War, America is the Enemy of the People” and “Halt to Busherie” ­ a play on words, using the name of US President George W. Bush and the French word for butcher.

Tens of thousands of people, some chanting “America is the terrorist,” marched in the southern Pakistan city of Karachi to protest a possible US-led war on Iraq as a heavy police contingent kept security tight.
The demonstration was the largest so far in this predominantly Muslim nation.

Women, some riding in horse-drawn carriages, and men paraded in separate lines as the protest began peacefully in Karachi’s city center.

“It’s a mammoth crowd; this is impressive,” said deputy police chief Tariq Jamil.

Some marchers burned an American flag, while others shouted “This is the time for the destruction of America.”

Organizers stretched banners along the road with slogans such as “Protest strongly to deter America from war.” Protesters shouted “The international terrorist is America  not the Muslim world,” some using loudspeakers mounted on pickup trucks.

“Like people around the world, masses of Karachi citizens will fill the streets today to express their opposition to the war and to American designs,” said Maulana Shah Ahmed Noorani, head of the religious coalition Mutahida Majlis-e-Amal.

In Yemen, more than 20,000 students chanted anti-American slogans as they rallied under tight security to protest any attack against Iraq.

“We are here to express our solidarity with Iraq and say that we are ready to go there and fight the American aggression,” student Mohammed Abdulqader told The Associated Press.

Chanting “Death to America!” the students marched from Sanaa University toward the US Embassy, but changed direction on orders from security forces.

Abdulmajid al-Zindani, a senior leader of the Islamic-oriented Reform Party who was among the protesters, urged young Arabs to resist what he described as “US schemes.”

“Our youth must resist the American occupation of the Arab world that aims to dominate oil resources,” Zindani told students.

In recent days, Yemen has witnessed several anti-war demonstrations. The biggest was on Saturday, drawing more than 200,000 participants.

In Bahrain, about 300 university students marched hand-in-hand saying “No War!” and urging their pro-Western leadership to expel US forces from the kingdom.

“Listen to what your people are saying,” the students urged their king, Sheikh Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa. “Expel the American forces from Bahrain.”

On Saturday, about 2,000 people marched toward the US Embassy in Lebanon, chanting anti-American slogans and burning US and Israeli flags to protest against American war threats against Iraq.


Anti War Protests in Morocco, Japan, Pakistan, Yemen

Monday, March 03 2003 @ 06:19 AM GMT 

Marking the ongoing international popular opposition to a U.S. aggression on Iraq, thousands of people in different countries took to the streets on Sunday, March 2, to protest U.S. threats of war against Iraq.

In Morocco, around one million people took to the streets in Morocco's commercial capital on Sunday to protest at U.S. threats to wage war on Iraq, Agence France-Presse (AFP) said. "We are all Iraqis," was the slogan on armbands worn by most of the protestors, who carried banners denouncing the policies of U.S. President George W. Bush as they marched through the center of Casablanca, Morocco's largest city.

The demonstrators also chanted slogans attacking “the fearful reaction of Arab countries to U.S. preparations for war.”

The organizers of the march estimated that as many as one million people were taking part. The protest in this Atlantic port city of some four million people was organized by the National Iraqi Support Committee, an umbrella group of political and union movements. The protest was "a message to George Bush to tell him not to go to war with Iraq because such a war would be a war on all Arabs," Khalid Soufiani, one of the organizers of the march, told AFP.

Many of the marchers were from Islamic organizations such as Al Adl Wal Ihssane or were supporters of the main political opposition, the Justice and Development Party. Tens of thousands of people marched through the center of the capital Rabat last Sunday to protest at U.S. threats to wage war on Iraq. That protest come after the Moroccan press lambasted Arab countries for their relatively low turnout in global anti-war demonstrations on February 15.

Anti-war groups march on US Embassy

Police keep demonstrators away from compound

Hussain Abdul-Hussain
Daily Star staff

Some 1,500 demonstrators gathered at the US Embassy in Awkar Saturday afternoon to protest against a possible war against Iraq.  However, police in riot gear and fire fighters kept the protesters several hundred meters from the heavily fortified compound.

There were no clashes between the demonstrators and the security forces, unlike previous at Awkar protests.
The participating parties included Hizbullah, the Amal Movement, the Progressive Socialist Party (PSP), the Syrian Social Nationalist Party, the Baath Party, Palestinian factions and the Association of Islamic Philanthropic Projects.

A group calling itself the Popular Democratic Party displayed communist emblems.

Unlike their Feb. 15 anti-war protest, demonstrators didn’t raise any pictures of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.  Protesters, however, chanted slogans in support of the Iraqi regime.

“Oh, dear Saddam, hit Tel Aviv,” was one of the demonstrators’ slogans, in reference to the 39 Iraqi scud missiles that landed near Tel Aviv during the 1991 Gulf War.

A few Americans were among the protesters and held banners reading: “Americans in the Arab world must speak out: Hands off Iraq.”

A handful of Europeans also joined the demonstration upon the invitation of the PSP, which was the only party that didn’t raise any of its own flags.

One of the participating organizations, Humanity on Hold, chanted various anti-American slogans.
Fadi Madi, an official from the organization, said that the protest marked “the beginning of surrounding the headquarters of evil and the gang of the White House.”

Madi added that the demonstration was organized to defend “our people in Palestine and in Iraq.”

A number of Lebanese graduates of Iraqi universities also attended, with one saying they wanted to express their gratitude to “their second country, Iraq, which took care of their education at a time when they couldn’t find a decent education in Beirut.”

Demonstrators left the area at different times, with a few activists staying until the evening.


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