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Last Updated:  Saturday, 8 March, 2003, 21:04 GMT
Thousands march against war
Activists hang flag on tank near Salerno, southern Italy
Some of the strongest protests are in states backing military action
Thousands of people opposed to war with Iraq attended rallies across the world one day after the United States and Britain suggested giving Baghdad a 10-day deadline to disarm.

Tokyo saw the biggest rally as at least 30,000 people gathered in a city park to reject US-led military action.

Italy and Britain also saw large rallies, with women often predominating as they celebrated International Women's Day.

The numbers were nothing like those at massive rallies across the world on 15 February, but the protests spanned the globe and reached Washington itself.

Placards in Tokyo carried messages such as "Don't kill innocent people" and "World Peace now", and one speaker mocked Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, suggesting he was tacitly agreeing to military action.

There were also smaller protests in the Japanese cities of Osaka, Nagoya and Naha, and 16 demonstrators in the village of Shari, Hokkaido, staged a peace walk on an ice floe.

'Isolating the military'

In Italy, Tuscan riot police ejected protesters who managed to cut a hole in the wire fence of Camp Darby, the biggest US military base in the country.

At least 20,000 anti-war demonstrators had marched to the base near Pisa, combining peace banners with mimosa flowers, used in Italy to celebrate Women's Day.

Protesters in Sao Paulo, Brazil
Women led Saturday's rallies
"We're here to join a march aiming to symbolically isolate the military base," said a deputy for the Green Party, Paolo Cento.

Many of the other anti-war protests on Saturday were also women's events:

  • Several hundred women including author Alice Walker gathered at a park in Washington DC for a march to the White House

  • In Cork, Ireland, 1,000 people marched behind giant banner which read "Women against war"

  • A total of about 8,000 people attended anti-war demonstrations across Germany, including in the eastern city of Dresden

  • About 1,500 women marched through Santiago, Chile, under slogans such as "No to War in Iraq" and "No to the Yankee imperialist war against the Iraqi people".

The BBC's Richard Forrest
"Taking their protests to the president"

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