Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Global protests against war on Iraq (pre-war)

This entry informs about the global protests against war on Iraq before the 2003 Iraq war actually started with the US-led invasion on March 20. These protest are said to be the biggest global peace protests before a war actually started; the peace movement is compared with the movement caused by the Vietnam war. Popular opposition to war on Iraq informs about the reason why people are opposed to war.

Table of contents
1 January 16, 2002
2 October 26, 2002 protest rally
3 January 18, 2003 protests
4 February 15, 2003 protests
5 Beginning of March, 2003
6 March 15, 2003 protests
7 March 19, 2003 protests
8 Protests after the official start of the war
9 See also
10 External links

January 16, 2002

Protests were held worldwide in opposition to the war, including in Turkey, Egypt, Pakistan, Japan, Belgium, the Netherlands, Argentina, and the United States, where Americans attended a rally in Washington, DC. The U.S. Park Police, which oversees activities on the Mall, no longer provided estimates of crowd size, but said that protest organizers only had a permit for 30,000 demonstrators. According to rally organizers, 200,000+ Americans were in attendance.

October 26, 2002 protest rally

A protest rally in Washington, DC to express their opposition to war against Iraq, with 40,000+ Americans in attendance, according to rally organizers. (However, most major media organizations and the US park police have stopped making official estimates about crowd sizes years ago, after lawsuits by the organizers of the "million man march".)

January 18, 2003 protests

January 18 peace protest in Washington, D.C.
January 18, demonstrations against war in general or the expected war in Iraq in particular took place in villages, towns, and cities around the world, including Tokyo, Moscow, Paris, London, Dublin, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Cologne, Bonn, Gothenburg, Florence, Oslo, Rotterdam, Istanbul and Cairo. NION and ANSWER held anti-war protests in Washington D.C and San Francisco, California. In San Francisco, between 150,000 and 200,000 people attended the demonstration. The San Francisco police had originally estimated the crowd size at 55,000, but admitted later that they had badly underestimated the number and changed their estimate to 150,000.

February 15, 2003 protests

February 15 protest attendance
New York≥100,000
Los Angeles100,000
San Francisco65,000†
Buenos Aires60,000
Sao Paulo35,000
Mexico City13,000
Cape Town10,000
Sao Paulo10,000
Colorado Springs4,000
Byron Bay3,000
Quebec City3,000
Tel Aviv3,000
Kuala Lumpur1,500
Hong Kong1,000
New Orleans500
San Salvador250
McMurdo Station50
(Total of above figures)≥10,180,590
†: 14th or 16th February
Source: The Globe and Mail and others

Much larger protests in nearly 800 cities on February 15 drew millions of protesters in total, in the vicinity of ten million people around the world, listed by the 2004 Guinness Book of Records as the largest mass protest movement in history.

In Rome one to three million people were on the streets in one of the Italian capital's largest ever mass demonstrations. In London, estimates of the number of marchers varied from 750,000 (by the police) to over 1.5 million (by the organisers, the Stop the War Coalition) and was the largest demonstration in the city's history. In Berlin there were half a million in the largest demonstration for some decades. There were also protest marches all over France as well as in many other European cities, drawing attendance figures in the tens of thousands per city. In Ireland, one hundred thousand turned out in Dublin, for a parade that was originally expected to draw one fifth that number. Protesters demanded that the Irish government ban the United States military from continue to use Ireland's Shannon Airport as a trans-atlantic stop-off point bringing soldiers to the Middle East.

In Spain, Barcelona city hall and the Guardia Civil cited 1.3 million protesters, marching from the Passeig de Gràcia to the Plaça de Tetuan [1], though the Delegación de Gobierno said 350,000. Government sources estimated protests at 660,000 in Madrid. The small Asturian city of Oviedo (pop. 180,000) had a turnout of 100,000. [1]

Protests were held in Australia (the previous day), South Africa, Syria, India, Russia, South Korea, Japan, Canada, and the USA, among many other countries. Hundreds of thousands turned out in New York City, near the United Nations Building. In Colorado Springs, 4,000 protestors were dispersed with pepperspray, tear-gas, tazers and batons. More than one hundred thousand people protested in Montreal despite wind-chill temperatures of below -30°C, and in Chicoutimi 1 500 people braved a -40°C wind-chill temperature including gusts of wind reaching 50km/hr, in what was surely one of the coldest marches on the 15th of February.

In San Francisco, a protest was held on February 16. Protest organizers and police agreed that the crowd count was 200,000. A San Francisco Chronicle photographic investigation, on the other hand, estimated that the number at the peak period was closer 65,000, although it did not say how many people attended during the entire time of the demonstration. [1] This dispute highlights the continuing debate over the accuracy of crowd estimates in large public demonstrations.

In Baghdad several thousand Iraqis - many carrying Kalashnikov rifles - also joined with the global protests.

Protests continued on February 16 in Australia, with 600,000 demonstrating in cities around the country.


Africa: Bloemfontein, Bulawayo, Cairo, Cape Town, Durban, Harare, Johannesburg, Kigali, Lagos, Lusaka, Nairobi, Niamey, Rabat, Reunion Island Asia/Middle East: Amman, Aligarh, Baghdad, Bahawalpur, Bangalore, Bangkok, Beirut, Bombay, Busan, Daegu, Daejeon, Damascus, Dili, Faisalabad, Gaza, Gojranwala, Gwangju, Hong Kong, Hyderabad, Islamabad, Istanbul, Jakarta, Karachi, Kharian, Kuala Lumpur, Kumamoto, Lahore, Larkana, Layya, Muharraq, Manama, Mandi Bahaudin, Manila, Matsumoto, Multan, Naha, Okara, Osaka, Otsu, Penang, Peshawar, Pune, Qasur, Rafah, Ramallah, Sahiwal, Sargodha, Seoul, Sheikhupura, Taipei, Tel Aviv, Tokyo, Wonju Europe: Aalborg, Aarhus, A Coruña, Aix-en-Provence, Agen, Akureyri, Albacete, Alcalá, Alfta, Algeciras, Alicante, Almería, Alta, Amsterdam, Andorra, Angouleme, Antwerp, Arendal, Arjeplog, Arosa, Arrecife, Athens, Ávila, Azuqueca de Henares, Bad Kreuznach, Baiona, Bagnols-Sur-Ceze, Bangor,

Barcelona, Belfast, Beoria, Bergen, Berlin, Berne, Bilbao, Bochum, Boden, Bodoe, Bodx, Bonn, Bordeaux, Bores, Borldnge, Bratislava, Briviesca, Brussels, Brxnnxysund, Brxnshxj, Bucharest, Budapest, Burgos, Cádiz, Castellón, Ciudad Real, Ciutadella, Clermont Ferrand, Cluj-Napoca, Coimbra, Copenhagen, Cordoba, Corinth, Cuenca, Darmstadt, Donosti, Dublin, Duesseldorf, Dülmen, Düsseldorf, Elche, Elesund, El Hierro, El Rosario, Elverum, Erftstadt-Lechenich, Erfurt, Erlangen, Es, Esbjerg, Eskilstuna, Euskal Herria, Évora, Falun, Faro, Ferrol, Florx, Fraga, Fredericia, Fredrikstad, Gagnef, Galicia, Gazteiz-Vitoria, Gällivare, Gdvle, Gelsenkirchen, Girona, Gislaved, Gjxvik, Glasgow, Gothenburg, Granada, Guadalajara, Halmstad, Hamar, Hammerfest, Hania, Harstad, Haugesund, Hdrnvsand, Hedemora, Heide, Heilbronn, Helsingborg, Helsinki, Hereford, Hückelhoven, Huelva, Huesca, Hjxrring, Honningsveg, Hudiksvall, Ibiza, Idar-Oberstein, Igualada, Ioannina, Irakleio, Iruña-Pamplona, Isafjordur, Iserlohn, Jaén, Joensuu, Jvnkvping, Jyväskylä, Kaiserslautern, Kalamata, Kalmar, Karlshamn, Karlskrona, Kavala, Kemi, Kerkyra, Kiev, Kirkenes, Kiruna, Kolding, Konstanz, Kragerx, Kristiansand, Kristiansta, Kundgebung, Kuopio, Lancaster, Landau, Landshut, La Rochelle, Las Palmas, Leer, Le Mans, Levanger, Lillehammer, Limoges, Lingen, Lisbon, Ljubljana, Lleida, Lloret de Mar, Logroño, London, Longyearbyen, Ludvika, Lugo, Lulee, Lund, Luxembourg, Lyon, Macapá, Madrid, Mahón, Mainz, Málaga, Malmö, Malmv, Mandal, Mariehamn, Marl, Marseille, Mataró, Melilla, Menden, Meppen, Moers, Mo i Rana, Molde, Monforte de Lemos, Montluconm, Moscow, Motala, Moulin, Mundaka, Murcia, Mytilini, Nantes, Narbonne, Narvik, Navplio, Ndssjv, Neuwied, Nice, Nimes, Nokia, Nordhorn, Norrkvping, Nxrrebro, Ockelbo, Oslo, Ostrava, Otta, Oulu, Ourense, Oviedo, Paderborn, Palencia, Palma de Mallorca, Pamplona, Paris, Patras, Pecs, Peiraias, Perpignan, Piedralaves, Pitee, Ponta Delgada, Pontevedra, Porsgrunn, Porto, Poznan, Prague, Puertollano, Randers, Ratingen, Ravensburg, Rethymno, Reykjavik, Risør, Rissa, Risxr, Rodos, Rognan, Rome, Roros, Roskilde, Rovaniemi, Rxrvik, Saint-Gaudens, Salamanca, Sandnessjxe, Sandviken, San Sebastian, San Sbtián. de Gomera, Santa Coloma, Sta. Cruz de la Palma, Sta. Cruz de Tenerife, Santander, Stgo. de Compostela, Saone et Loire, Sarpsborg, Savolinna, Schwäbisch Hall, Segovia, Seinäjoki, Sevilla, Shetland, Siegen, Siero, Silkeborg, Simrishamn, Skelleftee, Skien, Skopje, Sofia, Soria, Sortland, Sparti, Stavanger, Steinkjer, Stockholm, Stokmarknes, Strasbourg, Struer, Stuttgart, Sundsvall, Svderhamn, Svolvfr, Sykkylven, Tampere, Talavera de la Reina, Tallinn, Tarragona, Tavagnacco, Teruel, Thessaloniki, Toensberg, Tomelilla, Toledo, Tornee, Tortosa, Toulon, Toulouse, Tours, Tripoli, Tromsoe, Tromsx, Trondheim, Turku, Txnsberg, Uddevalla, Ulvik, Umee, Valby, Valence, Valencia, Valetta, Vdsteres, Vdxjv, Vegan, Vege, Viborg, Vichy, Vienna, Vienne, Vigo, Villingen, Vilnius, Visby, Vitoria, Volos, Voronezh, Voss, Vstersund, Warsaw, Wetzlar, Wroclaw, Wuppertal, Xrsta, Zagreb, Zamora, Zaragoza Latin America & the Caribbean: Aguascalientes, Bahia, Bariloche, Bauru, Bermuda, Bogotá, Buenos Aires, Caracas, Caxias do Sul, Chihuahua, Ciudad Juárez, Cuernavaca, Goiania, Guadalajara, Havana, Kingston, Lima, Martinique, Mexicali, Mexico City, Monterrey, Montevideo, Outre-Mer Guadeloup, Quito, Rio de Janiero, Rio Grande do Sul, San Cristóbal, San Jose - CR, San Juan - PR, San Luis Potosí, San Miguel, San Salvador, Santa Cruz - Bol., Santiago, Santo Domingo, Sao Paulo, Tijuana, Veracruz, Xalapa   USA and Canada: Akron, Amarillo, Anapolis Royal, Antigonish, Arcata - CA, Armidale, Asheville, Ashland, Athens, Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Barrie, Beavercreek, Bellingham, Billings, Biloxi, Binghamton - NY, Birmingham, Bisbee, Blacksburg, Bloomington, Boise, Boulder, Brampton, Brandon, Burlington, Butler, Calexico, Calgary, Canmore, Canton, Canton - NY, Cape Cod, Cape Girardeau, Capt. Cook, Carbondale, Castlegar, Cedar Rapids, Charleston, Charlotte, Charlottetown, Charlottesville, Chatanooga, Chicago, Chico, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Coburg, Colorado Springs, Columbia - MO, Columbia - SC, Columbus, Comox Valley, Concord, Cornwall, Corpus Christi, Cortez, Corvallis, Cranbrook - BC, Croton-on-Hudson, Cowichan, Cumberland - MD, Dallas, Dayton, Daytona Beach, Deland, Denton, Detroit, Dubuque, Durango, Edmonton, Ellensburg - WA, Elkins - WV, Encino, Erie - PN, Eugene, Fairbanks, Farmington, Fayetteville, Fillmore, Findlay - OH, Flagstaff, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Smith, Fort Wayne, Fredricton, Fresno, Gainesville - GA, Galesburg, Galveston, Geneva - NY, Grand Forks - BC, Grand Junction, Grand Prarie, Grand Rapids, Guelph, Hadely, Halifax, Hamilton, Hilo, Holland, Honolulu, Houston, Hull, Huntington, Huntsville, Indianapolis, Ithaca - NY, Jasper, Jefferson City, Jersey City, Johnston - NY, Juneau, Kamloops, Kansas City, Kelowna, Kezar Falls, Kingston, Kitchener, Knoxville, Lafeyette, Lancaster, Lansing, Las Cruces, Las Vegas, Lawrence - KS, Leavinsworth, Lethbridge, Lexington, Lilloet, Lincoln, Little Rock, London, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Louisville, Macomb, Madison, McAllen, Meadville - PA, Medicine Hat, Medford - OR, Melbourne, Memphis, Minneapolis, Miami, Midland, Milwaukee, Minden - NV, Mobile - AL, Moncton, Montague Center, Montpelier, Montreal, Mount Vernon - OH, Nanaimo, Naples, Nashville, Nelson, New Britain, New Carlisle, New Orleans, New York City, Newark - DE, Niagra, Norfolk - VA, North Bay, North Newton, Olympia, Orange, Orangeville, Orillia, Orlando, Ottawa, Palm Desert, Parker Ford - PA, Parry Sound, Pensacola, Penticton, Peoria, Peterborough, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsboro, Plattsburg, Portland - ME, Portland - OR, Port Perry, Portsmouth, Powell River - BC, Prince Albert, Prince George, Qualicum Beach, Quebec City, Racine - WI, Raleigh, Red Deer, Regina, Richland Center, Riverview, Rockford, Rolla, Sackville, St. Augustine, St. Catherines, St. Charles, St. Joeseph, St. Louis, St. Paul, St. Petersburg, Saguenay, Salem, Salmon Arm, Salt Lake City, Saltspring Island, Sacramento, San Antonio, San Diego, Sandpoint - ID, San Francisco, San Jose, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, Santa Fe, Santa Monica, Sarasota, Saskatoon, Sault Ste. Marie, Savannah, Seattle, Sherbrooke, Silver City, Sioux Falls, Sitka, Sonora, South Bend, South Haven, Spokane, Springfield, Starkville, St. John's, Sudbury, Summertown - TN, Sydney - NS, Tacoma, Tallahassee, Taos, Tehachapi, Temple, Thornbury, Thunder Bay, Tofino, Toronto, Trois-Rivières, Truro, Tulsa, Tucson, Uxbridge, Valdosta - GA, Vallejo, Vancouver - BC, Vancouver - WA, Victoria, Vineyard Haven, Watertown, Wausau, Waterloo, West Palm Beach, Westbank BC, Whitehall, Whitehorse, Wilkes-Barre, Williamsburg, Williamsport, Williamstown, Wilmington, Windsor, Winnipeg, Wolfville, Yakima, Yarmouth, Yellowknife, York - PA, Youngstown Oceania: Adelaide, Alice Springs, Armidale, Auckland, Bellingen, Brisbane, Bundaberg, Byron Bay, Cairns, Canberra, Central Coast, Christchurch, Dannevirke, Darwin, Dunedin, Forster-Tuncurry, Geelong, Gisborne, Greymouth, Hamilton, NZ, Hastings, Hobart, Kelowna, Kempsey, Launceton, Lismore, Maroochydore, Melbourne, Motueka, Nambucca Heads, Nelson, Newcastle, Noosa, Opotiki, Palmerston North, Perth, Rockhampton, Rotorua, Saint Helens, Strahan, Tasmania, Sydney, Takaka, Tamworth, Taree, Tauranga, Thames, Timaru, Ulladulla, Wagga Wagga, Wanganui, Wellington, Westport, Whakatane, Whangarei, Wollongong Antarctica: McMurdo Station  TOTAL: 794 locales [1]

Beginning of March, 2003

On March 3 (2003-03-03) more than a thousand readings of Aristophanes' anti-war comedy Lysistrata were held in 59 countries as part of the Lysistrata theater project [1].

Students held protests and walk-outs against the war in a number of countries, including Canada, Sweden, Spain, Australia, Bangladesh, Egypt and the USA, on March 5. [1]

On March 8, 40,000 people protested in Hibiya, Tokyo. Other Japanese cities also had demonstrations. [1]

March 15, 2003 protests

March 15 peace protest in Montreal
Another round of protests took place on
March 15. Once again, Spanish and Italian cities showed some of the largest turnouts against their governments' pro-war stance. More than 400,000 protested in Milan. More than 300,000 protested in Barcelona, forming a mile-long human chain [1]; more than 120,000 marched in Madrid [1]. Marches also took place in Seville, Aranjuez, Palencia, and in the Canary Islands. [1].

Many of the protests were smaller than those in the same cities a month ago; an exception was that in Montreal, which upped its turnout to 200,000 people, one of the largest in the world and by far the largest in Canada. The turnout may have been related to solidarity against American anti-French sentiment, which was a common theme for many of the protesters.[1] A further 15,000 protested in Quebec City. [1] 55,000 protested in Paris, and 4,500 to 10,000 in Marseille. [1]

100,000 protested in Berlin, some 20,000 protested in Athens, close to 10,000 people marched in Tokyo, and tens of thousands in Washington DC. Organizers claimed between 30,000 and 45,000 people turned out, while The Oregonian and the Associated Press estimated between 20,000 and 25,000 people attended, closer to the number in Portland who participated in the January 18 protest. [1] Thousands more marched in cities worldwide including Bangkok, Seoul, Hong Kong, Amman, Calcutta, Melbourne, Christchurch, Dunedin, Paris, London, Portsmouth, Leeds, York, Exeter, Newcastle upon Tyne, Frankfurt, Nuremberg, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Nicosia, Moscow, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Vancouver, Halifax, Ottawa, and Toronto, as well as cities in Yemen, Turkey, Israel, and the Palestinian territories.

[1] [1] [1] [1] [1]

More than 6,000 candlelight vigils for peace were held on March 16 in more than a hundred countries. [1]

March 19, 2003 protests

A "Walkout" happened in many schools in the United Kingdom where students walked out of school, some risking expulsion and detention, in order to protest at Westminster.

Protests after the official start of the war

For more information on protests after the official beginning of the 2003 Iraq war, see Global protests against war on Iraq.

See also

External links

February 15 marches

March 15 marches