Organisers estimated that 100,000 had marched from Hyde Park to Trafalgar Square for the event, although the police say the numbers were nearer 15,000.
(Note to protest organizers: Plan your marches, sit-ins, and traffic obstructions on WEEKDAYS instead of Saturdays. That way a lot of students will cut class to join the fun, regardless of your issue, and help your numbers tremendously. And, from what we’ve seen over the past couple of years, your numbers are in serious need of some tremendous help.)
Many protesters waved placards reading “Stop the War” and “Not in My Name” and a number of British Muslims held prayers for peace on mats placed on the ground.
Marches have taken place in Glasgow, Australia, western European capitals and even the US since the Allies’ bombing campaign began.
The war being protested was the Afghanistan campaign in November of 2001. That’s right, folks. Less than ten weeks after the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, these types were “out in force.”
And everything they and their kind said back then has come to pass, right? Waves of terrorist attacks across the globe? Thousands of dead Allied troops? Slaughter of tens of thousands of innocents. Installation of draconian governments even more feudal and oppressive than those we deposed? Rape and pillage of the countryside?
I mean, we haven’t even added any stars to the US flag yet.
One prediction, though, turned out to be more or less accurate.
“Our campaign will not end until the war ends and Britain and the US stop the bombing.”
Although the greater war goes on, the bombing DID stop.
Kaplan points out
[The earlier protests are] Just something to keep in mind when media commentators solemnly explain that the anti-Bush demonstrations we are going to see in London this week are the result of George W. Bush squandering the world’s post 9-11 sympathy for the U.S. by going to war with Iraq.
Apparently, not everyone was sympathetic to begin with. Also apparently, those that make the decisions didn’t care. Good.