More than 100,000 demonstrators marched in Washington DC on Saturday in protest of the US-led war in Iraq, while thousands of others gathered in London, Copenhagen, Damascus, Helsinki, Paris, Rome and Seoul calling for an end to the war.
The US demonstration was the largest since US campaign in Iraq began. Smaller marches also took place across the US in Los Angeles, Seattle and San Francisco, according to Reuters. Eyewitnesses at the Washington demonstration and its organizers put the number of participants at more than 300,000. Government officials refused to confirm the reports.
Anti-Bush sentiment in the United States has spiked in recent weeks as a result of continued attacks against US troops in Iraq as well as the poor handling of rescue efforts in the wake of hurricane Katrina by the Bush administration.
Anti-war protester Cindy Sheehan, whose son was killed in Iraq, called on Americans to unite. "We need a people's movement to end this war." she said. Protesters included young activists, nuns, parents who had lost children fighting in Iraq, and many others.
On Sunday, a counter rally of supporters of the Iraq campaign was also held in Washington, drawing a smaller number of protesters who felt that the nation's anti-war sentiment was a blow to troop morale in Iraq.
One 22-year-old, however, who had recently returned from fighting in Iraq, expressed his opposition to the war, saying, "People join the military to defend their country, not lies".