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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 March 2003, 17:04 GMT
War protests: Your verdict

Anti-war protestors in London
Anti-war protesters are planning to take to the streets en masse throughout the world again this weekend as demonstrators continue to voice their opposition to conflict in Iraq.

The Stop The War Coalition in Britain is co-ordinating protests targeting Labour MPs "who broke their word to constituents never to support a war without UN authority", the group's chairman Andrew Murray said.

You sent us your latest anti-war protest images

Anti-war movements in the US and UK have kept pressure up on US President George W Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair since the outbreak of hostilities in Iraq.

More of your photos from the anti-war protests

Do you think the protests still serve a purpose? Are you taking part in any of the marches? If you have any pictures please send them in jpg format to yourpics@bbc.co.uk.

If you are in the UK and have decided not to watch or listen to any televison or radio coverage of the war, use the postform to email us with your reasons.

The following comments reflect the balance of views we have received

In theory, I support the removal of Saddam. However, the unilateral use of force to achieve regime change is not a good method of ensuring global stability.
Dave, UK

The reason of the protest stems from people's anger re the arrogance and selfish motivation of US
Catherine, Hong Kong
I think anti war protesters are making a valid case at any point of time (before, during and after war). The reason of the protest stems from people's anger re the arrogance and selfish motivation of US to start this war. The determination of US government to launch this war makes me seriously doubt in the first place their real intention to use peaceful, civilised means to disarm Iraq.
Catherine, Hong Kong

Polls show that 76% of Americans support Bush and are for liberating Iraq! The anti-war protesters can waste their time if they want. Funny how people who are saying they are for peace are attacking police officers and skipping school. Great example to lead!!! Stop wasting out time and get behind our soldiers who are fighting for the freedoms you have taken for granted.
Gretchen , Florida USa

Protesting against killing the innocents is still our little bit of freedom.
Mrs Mary Cox, England

Anti-war protesters do not understand the necessity to use force. Those protesters should take a lesson from history - communism was not won by kindness, but by sheer power of the US and the West. The anti-war movements did much to damage the US's war plan in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, and gave communists there support. Protesters may have a right to protest, but they sure don't have a right to be ignorant.
Xu Min-xiang, Hong Kong

The case is more valid than ever. The precedent that this has set is that pre-emptive strikes are justified in response to a perceived threat. How many other countries will now feel free (and why shouldn't they?) to follow this course of action with the obvious consequences for world peace.
Steve, UK

If there are mass protests the soldiers will understand
Yusuf, UK
Those that are against the protests because it is unpatriotic and demoralises our soldiers are mistaken. Many of our troops have a view of the war but they are professional enough to fight when instructed to do so. If there are mass protests the soldiers will understand.
Yusuf, UK

Now our troops are in, all British Citizens have a clear choice - you either support your own kind or you are with Saddam. All those with Saddam please assemble at Heathrow airport - your leader needs you.
Roger Morgan Freedlan, England

I don't think anyone's protesting because they think they can stop the war - but it's important to have our voices heard, now more than ever. To just give up because the bombs are already flying is undemocratic. As long as my so called elected representatives aren't representing my views, I will shout as loud as I like.
Rhodri, UK

Who are these protestors to decide who should and should not be liberated? ALMOST A MILLION have died in Iraq fighting for freedom over the decades. Where were these protests then.
Tim, USA

There are definitely some alternatives for anti-war protests. Boycotting US and their allies' goods, striking are perhaps more effective when one is facing such inhuman governments obsessed with greed. And such cynical ones...
Alec, Norway

Protests are fine and good, if anyone is willing to listen. But it won't bring out troops home sooner, sway any undecided, or change reality. We'll have a chance in November of 2004. I hope to see the kind of turn out then instead of now.
Christopher Magee, USA

People around the world protesting against the war are not really anti-war but ant-American
Tom, USA
Just from an American stand point I find my self and many others growing more and more supportive of the war the more protests there are. While our troops are in combat I find people around me seem to feel that people around the world protesting against the war are not really anti-war but ant-American.
Tom, USA

Is it so easy to be coerced into believing propaganda? First, Saddam is the same thug he was in the 1980s, when the US gave him the green light to attack Iran, use chemical weapons, slaughter Iraqi minorities, and even sold him weapons. Liberating the Iraqi people was unheard of. Dictators are only bad if they do not support the US view on things.

The idea that Iraqis wish to be killed, maimed, bombed and the infrastructure of their country destroyed in the name of liberation is a bit naive. We must stand up and protest this brutal return to colonialism, and a senseless war for which the reasoning was about as weak as it gets. Defiance to the Vietnam War helped bring it to an end. Defiance to this war can also work.
Roxanne, Seattle, USA

Why didn't these protestors raise their voices when Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1991?
David Sanders, Singapore

Even though world's most important "leaders" are trying to convince us that war is the only option, its a relief to see so many people still believing that blowing up another country's capital, and putting the people of that country in danger, in order to kill one man, will not make things better for them.
Bhumii Bhatt, London, UK

I am very dubious of the claims that we see about majority supporting war in US and UK. The general sentiments and demonstrations suggest otherwise.
Ahmad, Pakistan

War has started; we all need without doubt support our troops. No one wants war, we all know the consequences however we need to get rid of this regime NOW.
Margaret Piddock, UK

"Terrorism is the war of the poor. War is the terrorism of the rich"
Gerhard Haarmann, Germany
As a teacher it is one of my most important tasks to teach and educate my pupils to strive for peaceful solutions to any kind of conflict and become fully integrated into the international community. How can I not join the protest when Richard Perle calls the UN "the chatterbox on the Hudson"? (Guardian, 21 March). I would like to invite everybody to think about what Sir Peter Ustinov said on German TV few days ago: "Terrorism is the war of the poor. War is the terrorism of the rich."
Gerhard Haarmann, Germany

People will be able to register their disapproval at the next general elections. Meanwhile, there should be a worldwide concerted effort to ensure that post-Saddam Iraq is given every opportunity to rebuild not just the infrastructure, economic and financial structures but also its communities and most important, its national dignity.
Tunji Akinsehinwa, UK

Many people do not attend protests, therefore it is a big misconception to think they support the war against Iraq.
Mary, USA

Protesters do not acknowledge the virtues of deposing Saddam, and consistently attempt to terrify people with exaggeration - "hundreds of thousands of civilian dead", "a million dead babies".
John, UK

I have a lot of sympathy for the war protesters because they are the ones who really care for their country and people!
Suzanna, New York /Bishkek

Basically, by protesting the war they are validating a regime that would shoot them for doing the same thing in Iraq. Go on protesting, the UN has for 12 years and that didn't change anything either.
Betsy Hamilton, United States

Think yourself extremely fortunate that you live in a country where you can protest on the streets, where you can vote a PM or President in or out then get back home and support some very brave men and women.
Mike, Yorks. England

While I certainly do not support the Iraqi regime, I will continue to protest against this war
Matt, London, UK
While I certainly do not support the Iraqi regime, I will continue to protest against this war until it either receives UN backing, or hear convincing evidence to show why the US and UK could not wait for the weapon inspectors to finish the job they were sent to do.
Matt, London, UK

I am quite happy for the freeing of Iraq to be done 'In my Name'.
Richard Austin, London, UK

Street demonstrations are part of democracy. Those who do support this war may also organize marches so that the whole world can see how many they are, and how they behave with cleverness and subtlety.
Denis Villotte, Paris, France

I do think the protests serve a purpose and people have the right to participate. I do not agree with the position of most of the protesters - but the freedom to do so is one of the benefits of democracy. I would prefer they protest against the genocide committed by Saddam.
P.F. Heller, USA

We know that Blair only listens to George Bush and ignores the will of the British people but how else can we make our voices heard? And how else can we protest against the disgusting bombing of innocent civilians in Baghdad?
Richard Cotton, UK

I doubt they could do the same in central Baghdad or Pyongyang
Jonathan Lieberman, USA
Let the demonstrators keep on protesting! After all they are driving home the point that they can have rallies supporting whoever they want without having their voices suppressed. I doubt they could do the same in central Baghdad or Pyongyang.
Jonathan Lieberman, USA

Having lived through Vietnam era where I was a student activist, I heartily believe that non-violent agitation should continue to take place. Without the voice of opposition we ourselves would be living in a dictatorship. Besides, this is not just about fighting in Iraq. Our dissent here is about the hypocrisy of our government in its motives.
Christine McCullough, USA

Ironically, if Saddam had seen a united world front, he might have caved in and abdicated. The Iraqi people would certainly have done something. But with protests our credibility is greatly weakened, forcing a military rather than a political solution. Congratulations.
John E. Fahey, USA

The demonstrations are required to reign in the any potential excess of the US forces. It is obvious that the war is being fought with one eye on public opinion (even if they ignored it to go to war and media ignores it). If this saves innocent lives then the protests are doing good.

I don't think we have a hope of stopping the war, as such. But if we reduce indiscriminate bombs it is better than letting the US run riot.
Mike Jones, oxon, UK

We know that protests can't change this situation, but it is the only way to voice our opinions
Ade and Claudia, Catalonia (Spain
We are two Catalan students and our schools stopped the traffic many times this week. This is our way of protesting. We know that these protests can't change this situation, but we think that it is the only way to voice our opinions. We disagree with the violent people in these protests, because they only create more tension and they give bad publicity to what we are trying to do.
Ade and Claudia, Catalonia (Spain)

I have just one word to describe these protesters "traitor"! You should be ashamed of yourselves. Our boys are being killed trying to free an oppressed people and you berate them for it. I am fully behind Mr Blair and Mr Bush and fully support our troops.
Colin, Scotland

Anyone condemning protests against the war must be brainwashed by anti-democratic propaganda. Supporting the troops has got nothing to do with the justification of the war. What we have is ignorance and obtuseness covered with "patriotism".
Karin, Uppsala, Sweden

The so called 'peace protesters' somehow think it is wrong for our governments to use violence as a means to help others, yet it is OK for them to attack our police and hurt our businesses. Just a little bit hypocritical!
Rob Lee, USA

Protest is fundamental in a free society but politicians are under no obligation to listen
Sean, Boston, USA
The right to protest is fundamental in a free society but politicians are under no obligation to listen. The right of Democracy only happens once every 4 years on election day and THAT'S when politicians are obligated to listen to the voice of the people. Everything in between is just noise.
Sean, Boston, USA

I can't help but ask where were all the anti-war protesters when Saddam Hussein was gassing and mass killing his own people without hindrance from any peace movement.
Bryan Sullivan, Malta

Let your voice be heard on the streets! It's too late to prevent this war - but it may shorten the occupation, derail the planned, plundering of Iraqis resources and possibly prevent the next war! That is what protests now may achieve.
Göran Nilsson, Sweden

Of course we have to go on protesting. For too long we've sat back and been passive; look what's happened to the world. No one has thought about the long term consequences of this illegal war. It has further destabilised the fragile world. Who will restrain George Bush?
Rob, Scotland

What gives Britain and America the right to invade another country, without provocation, and against the will of its people? Unless we protest, we are giving Bush and Blair a mandate to wage war as they choose - regardless of the cost.
Mel, UK

A complete waste of time and money all round
Sarah, Kent, UK
I will definitely not be participating in any marches. I fully back this war. I got caught up in the protest march last Saturday in London, and from what I witnessed, protestors were behaving like animals, rioting in the streets. What a complete waste of taxpayers' money - while the police are out in force controlling what's going on, in helmets and protective riot gear, surely this money could be better spent as aid going to needy victims of the conflict in Iraq? Never mind the way it's affecting our tourism. And the slump in trade to the businesses in the areas affected by the march routes must be severe. A complete waste of time and money all round.
Sarah, Kent, UK

To Sarah - you have fallen into a common trap of assuming that the actions and views of a small minority of violent protestors represent that of the vast majority of people marching. My husband was on the last march and returned utterly unaware of any problems - as far as he was concerned the march had been peaceful and friendly. Please don't paint the hundreds of thousands of concerned citizens with the same brush as a tiny number of mindless rent-a-mob members.
Katherine, London, UK

I don't believe that bringing the culture of peace and human rights into the street is useless or even wrong. History of the Balkans shows that the peaceful action and thoughts of politicians can greatly influence the course of history. Changing countries requires time and patience, I don't think you can export democracies through war. Iraq will probably again have dictators, but they will give oil to the US and nobody in the world will object.
Francesco, Sardinia

Whatever your opinion on this war, freedom of speech is a fundamental part of a democratic society and people have a right to make their voices heard
Katherine, UK

I am shocked and dismayed at the number of people who seem to think it unpatriotic or, worse, treason (!) to express views in our supposedly democratic society. How dare they assume that people who oppose this war somehow love their country less than anyone else? Whatever your opinion on this war, freedom of speech is a fundamental part of a democratic society and people have a right to make their voices heard.
Katherine, London, UK

I am not taking part in any marches, One should ask them what the alternative should be if we don't go to war, as Saddam is a dangerous man and should be punished.
Christian Simpson, Cumbria

As long as Iraqi civilians are perishing in a questionable war, victims of laptop bombardiers, operating with flawed intelligence and a blind disregard for the potential human carnage, we must keep up the protest. This is not "treason", but an obligation of democrats and - patriots!
Sexton Begg, Germany

Although I am against the war now it has started, it's time these people stopped harping on and supported those who really need it, i.e. the service personnel in Iraq. Bleating on about stopping the war isn't going to make it end any sooner
Jayson Flesher, England

These protesters do have a right to voice their opinion, but I think the saying "no point in locking the gate once the horse has bolted" springs to mind. The war has started and is not going to come to a dramatic end because protesters are swinging from bridges in Manchester, etc... Now the troops are out there risking their lives, I think the least we can do is give them our support, even if we don't agree with the politics of the war!
Mark Doherty, England

Around 2 million people have marched so far, which means around 56 million are either pro-war or simply don't care
Paul, England
I'm sick of people telling me the majority of this country is against war. I don't know one person who has attended any of these demonstrations. Nobody wants war if it can be avoided, but I am fully behind the action being taken. Around 2 million people have marched so far, which means around 56 million are either pro-war or simply don't care.
Paul, England

I will protest until this unjust and illegal slaughter on a country which has obviously no means to fight back is stopped, this was never about weapons of mass destruction.
SS Scotland

I don't follow the logic of some people claiming that protesting is useless as the war has already begun. Should we really be saying "OK, now that you've started, you may as well go on killing people for oil"? I don't think so.
Mark, Tampere, Finland

"Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel." The Nazis also employed patriotic propaganda tactic very efficiently. But when will people understand that one can support the troops and not support the war? Stop combining the two together.
James, Norwich, England

Personally, I think Mr. Bush is doing the best thing to liberate the Iraqis from a brutal dictator. Unfortunately his methodically approach is way out of context. Bush has made the UN dysfunctional, yet he is using Geneva conventions and other humanitarian rights.
Nana, India

I agree with one comment that "Not In My Name" is a bad slogan. Since this invasion will soon become an opposed occupation, I suggest we road test a new one: 'Troops Out Now!'
David Ayers, UK

I was in London over the weekend and was expecting to be swarmed by masses of demonstrators.... but nothing happened. Saturday was over in a matter of hours and when passing by the Houses of Parliament on Sunday there was a sum total of 5 people protesting! I can only assume the rest were out enjoying the sunshine. Come on chaps, if you intend protesting then do it properly, 5 people is pathetic.
Paul Robertson, United Kingdom

If the protests before the war didn't stop Blair, then are further ones when the war has started going to stop it?
Louise, England
I am sorry to say, but I think the planned War Protests for the weekend are pointless. I am totally against war but if the protests before the war didn't stop Blair, then are further ones when the War has started going to stop it?
I am proud to see the younger generation taking part and they shouldn't be criticised as much as they are. To me they cannot win. They are moaned at for sitting at home and when they do try and do something they are threatened with exclusions and even being expelled! Is this fair on them? I think this will discourage them in the future!
Louise, England

I will be protesting, because after our elected representatives ignored our views it is the only option. I do not think it is pointless - the anti-Vietnam war movement eventually forced the US to withdraw from that war, and for years the world benefited from the fact that America was then reluctant to use ground troops. A mass anti-war movement in this country could bring Blair down, and lead to British troops being withdrawn.
Joe Hartney, UK

Everyone has the right to protest, that is what democracy is all about. However, I wonder exactly what good it is doing, especially to the morale of our troops in Iraq.
Laura, Wiltshire, UK

I've been protesting for the past few weeks, and will continue in my local town and wherever I can get to. We suffer much abuse from people saying protesting won't get you anywhere, however what is the war? It is a protest over the rising price of oil. The difference being they are using army guns and bombs. So who are the worst protesters?
Nix, UK

I will be praying for the end of Saddam, and the safety of our soldiers. As all of us should be doing.
Shirley Booker, UK

Anti war protests are a complete waste of time. All they are achieving is disrupting industries. A lot of people do not understand the politics. Can these people live with themselves knowing that there will be more deaths under the Iraqi regime than under war.
Luke Scott, UK

Of course protests make a difference. Many countries have won their independence by protesting in a peaceful manner - the biggest example being India. What if Gandhi and his fellow fighters thought that the high-and-mighty British rulers were too strong to be taken on? We live in the 21st century and how much has man really progressed if he still chooses to use weapons for his own gain. The anti-war protestors are right to protest and make their voice heard over the loud noise of the dropping bombs and the tills cashing the dollars coming out of Iraq.
Sarah, UK

It is our moral duty to help the people of Iraq, they tried to help themselves, but were massacred by Saddam
Nathan Steele, UK
Anti-war protesters have a right to voice their opinions, however, do they not realise that over 7 million Iraqi people live in fear of their lives every day? Imagine living in a world where the food that you ate was rationed to you because the country's wealth is spent on weapons and research into weapons.
It is our moral duty to help the people of Iraq, they tried to help themselves, but were massacred by Saddam and his army.
Nathan Steele, UK

Am I right in thinking that the protestors are against bringing a democratic regime to the Iraqi people and liberating them from a tyrant? War is the only way that the Iraqis will be liberated.
Dr M R Jordan, England

Despite supporting the war, I DO believe that the protesters (when law abiding, and non-fanatical) serve a purpose. They act as a constant reminder to the government of the concerns that nearly all British people have - for example, we want to see promises kept involving the fair treatment of Iraqis and Palestinians AFTER the war.
Caroline Reeves, UK

I believe, coming from a background of oppression in SA under Apartheid, that there is definitely a point to continued anti-war protests. We really appreciated anti Apartheid protests held in Britain even when there seemed no hope because they helped keep alive the news of the oppression we suffered and defiantly made the point that what is wrong will ever remain so. The fact that war has broken out in no way lessens the fact that it is a wrong war, an illegitimate war. The protests show that despite all odds, against whatever it may be, there are people who will bravely keep the flag of justice held aloft.
I Malik, South Africa

I, like many other people, am horrified that the US/UK has set a dangerous precedent of pre-emptive strike. I will continue to voice my disapproval of this policy yet I also support the troops who are being used by the politicians to further their sinister goals. For those who think protestors are misguided, 'wrong' or unrepresentative, think about past protests that have secured rights in the West - e.g. civil rights, votes for women, etc. Do you think our forebears should have been quiet and obeyed the government? One last point - if you support the war, why not get off your arm chair and show YOUR support by organising a counter-protest?
GJ Merrill, UK

The anti-war¿ movement has been dishonest from the beginning. If they really cared about the Iraqi people and their suffering, they would listen to what the Iraqi people are saying about this liberation. The Iraqis who have escaped the brutality of Saddam's regime tell of their full support of the Coalition liberation and of their frustration with this so called anti-war movement. The protesters seem more motivated by self-righteous moral indignation and anti-Western sentiment than protecting the Iraqi people and understanding the truth of the situation.
Michael H., USA

Of course there is a valid case for protest. The US and UK governments have acted illegally in invading Iraq. Not only that but they have rejected the strongly held views of their own populations and in doing so have disproved their claims of being democratic countries. Those who say that protesters are living proof of 'free speech' should look at the mass arrests, beatings and general mistreatment of anti-war protesters; this is *not* democracy at work. Of course Saddam Hussein is a brutal dictator that needs to be removed; but as any child in the school yard is taught: "Violence is not the way to solve disputes". What message is this war sending to future generations?
Tracy, New Zealand

The only purpose that these protests have ever served is to show that we don't in fact, live in a democracy, for if we lived in a democracy our voices would be heard. It was clear from the time that the British and Americans began amassing troops in and around the Middle East that there was going to be a war - public opinion, European Union and United Nations be damned. What this will illustrate to a generation of children that have walked out and tried to make a difference, is that their voices are largely ignored by the few that are making the decisions supposedly for the many.
Angela, Canadian in Britain

I am an anti-war American, but I have not taken part in a protest. I feel that blocking traffic and such can be counter-productive to the anti-war cause. Instead I have chosen to express my opinion by placing a "No war on Iraq" sign on the back dash of my car. I returned to my car last night to find the tyres slashed and the car vandalized. I guess you don't have the right to an opposing opinion in America or at least not the right to express it without fear of attack.
Bryan, USA

As long as there is a war there will always be a need for vocal and public opposition. The government needs to be held accountable for its actions, not just within the setting of the House of Commons but also in the country at large. We are all aware that Saddam Hussein is an evil tyrant but the way this war has been appropriated and the way that it is being conducted is wrong, and those of us who believe that need to stand up and be counted.
Sarah Roberts, Britain

Shame should be felt by the protesters. Their men and women are already out there fighting for their country. They need to feel our support. They are doing a job that they are trained to do, protecting our country, our people. Protesters are also wasting the time of our police force to patrol the crowds. Do they not realise that our cities and towns need the police for emergencies? Is it more important to hear yourself than support and care for others?
Cindy, Florida

'Not in my name' has to be the most selfish and unpatriotic phrase ever thought of
Wendy Grimsdale, England
"Not in my name" has to be the most selfish and unpatriotic phrase ever thought of. It should be remembered that thousands of soldiers and civilians died over two World Wars to ensure freedom and democracy for you and to halt the march of dictators such as Hitler over Europe and much of the civilised world. You would do well to remember this as you feely march through the streets waving your unpatriotic banners!
Wendy Grimsdale, England

The protests have a message that is even stronger than before the war started. Public opinion against the war has increased even more, but I note with disgust that the powerful media continue to manipulate what views are shown. It is so shameful that journalists can find such joy in the war. How can anyone in their sane minds describe the bombing as "awesome and spectacular" when children and women are being injured?
Thandi, Zambian in Kosovo

It's obvious a large amount of people are strongly against this war as protests clearly show, but sadly I do not think they will prevent war as it has very much began. Of course the protests will send a strong message to the government. The people of Britain and the world have a right to speak out and people should respect that. As I am only 17 I feel it is important for my age group to have an input. I back and support all our troops out there in Iraq and my support goes out to the families of those men and women.
Nikola Tott, England

The start of a war doesn't make it any more right than the day before it began
Amy, Boston, USA
There is nothing more patriotic and democratic than to express your disagreement with your government if you believe what it is doing is wrong. To be told to do otherwise and threaten to arrest and expel is completely undemocratic and hypocritical. All the protestors are within their rights to express their continuing protest against a war they feel was entered into wrongly. The start of a war doesn't make it any more right than the day before it began.
Amy, Boston, USA

What I hope people in other countries realise is that the anti-war protesters here in the US are actually a very small minority and that over 70 per cent of the people here back President Bush and the war on Iraq. The reason the protests got started here are a result of some Hollywood actors that don't like President Bush and are still mad that Al Gore lost the election.
Kelly Davis, USA

Certainly there is no doubt that war is ugly, but to demonstrate against the war now is to send a strong message to thug dictators around the world that their repressive regimes are legitimate forms of government. We can vote Bush and Blair out of office tomorrow if need be, but can the Iraqis vote Saddam out of office to rid themselves of the thugs that they are ruled by? Sadly not.
Tom Schaefer, USA

So-called anti-war protesters who encourage children to leave the safety of their schools to wander the streets should be ashamed. Children too young to vote should not be making up the numbers at demonstrations by the misinformed minority of this country. Instead children should have the feeling of pride that men and women from their country have gone to Iraq to free the people from a monstrous dictator.
Mike, England

Even if our own president is not listening, the rest of the world needs to know that we do not all blindly support the unelected regime in the US
Catherine, USA
It is important to continue peace demonstrations in the US. Even if our own president is not listening, the rest of the world needs to know that we do not all blindly support the unelected regime in the US, nor the war it has promulgated.
Catherine, USA

The irony is the protestors out in the streets are actually condoning the use of force to solve a situation. Gather in groups in an orderly way and use your knowledge and diplomacy skills to prepare for the debates ahead. Practice what you are preaching and prove to your governments that there is a peaceful alternative to reacting with anger and force.
H Graham, USA

I am firmly convinced that the anti-war marches must go on until Bush and his cohorts cannot look anywhere without seeing worldwide demonstrations staring at them, morning and night, condemning them for their aggression against humanity.
Ibnu Badr, Malaysia

It is so easy to live in a country where freedom of speech is a right taken for granted. What horrors would the Iraqi regime apply to any who protested against their decisions?
Steve Morris, UK

I'm a student in secondary education and a number of students walked out of our school to protest but half of them were obviously doing it simply to miss lessons
Rachel, England
The protests are pointless, nothing can stop the war now it's already started and whether we believe in it or not protesting isn't going to stop it. We, as a nation, need to support the troops in Iraq who are risking their lives for us. I'm a student in secondary education and a number of students walked out of our school to protest but half of them were obviously doing it simply to miss lessons. The war is not a joke and I think going to a pointless protest in order to miss a lesson is appalling.
Rachel, England

The protests have even more relevance today! Seeing the numbers of civilian casualties and the numbers of US and British troops who have been killed, mostly due to accidents or "friendly fire", makes this nightmare even more horrifying.
Lani Reinhart, USA

The protests will not stop this war. But they serve as a powerful warning to our Government that they will not be able to support any future US military action against the other so called 'axis of evil' countries in the same way. We need to make sure that Blair tells Bush 'next time you are on you own'.
Julian Rowden, England

Now the war with Iraq has commenced why do these 'Peace Protesters' still persist with their actions? I would brand these people now as traitors, especially now the first casualties of British troops are coming in. The law is clear on traitors so let the police get on with sorting them out.
Gordon Lumby, Wales UK

Gordon Lumby suggests that I am a traitor for being against war when British servicemen are dying. If I had my way those service men would still be in the UK and still be alive. Gordon's attitude has sent them to Iraq to face the obvious dangers. Therefore, using his curious logic, if I am a traitor then he is a murderer.
Mike, England

It is ignorant to believe the situation could have been resolved peacefully
Matt Perry, UK
I really don't know what the protestors hope to achieve. The right decision has already been made to rid the world of an evil regime, and they should now support our troops and pray for a quick end to the war. It is ignorant to believe the situation could have been resolved peacefully. How would they feel if another atrocity on the scale of Sept 11th occurred as a direct result of Saddam handing over weapons of mass destruction to terrorists?
Matt Perry, UK

Whatever one's views during the build up to war, calls to stop the war now are simply irresponsible. A cessation at this stage would ultimately prove disastrous for the Iraqi people whom the peace protesters profess to care about. With Turkish forces now present in the north of the country, I would like to ask the Stop the War Coalition just what they think would happen if they got their way?
Sean Tudor, UK

Yes, the war protests do serve the purpose if the fact is upheld. I wish I could join any of these protests worldwide. It is supposed to be a protest against lies by the politicians to make a pretext for invading a country suffering for over 20 years in the hand of a dictator, partly created by the same group of people who are fighting him today. Let the voice be heard by millions around the globe.
AbuBakar Ahmed Syed, UAE

The Bush administration should realize that millions of people around the world, including the US, do not believe their reasons for this immoral war. Democracy is having the right to express yourself especially when you know your government is wrong.
Roseanne, USA

The voice of the antiwar movement will always have a point and they should remain vocal. This dissent is the essence of democracy. I say this, yet I support the war and personally believe that since the battle is joined we should pursue it with our full force leaving those who oppose freedom no doubt that our sword is sharp and our resolve is firm.
Donald Kircher, USA

I am appalled and ashamed we have adults and school children protesting
Tony, England
I am appalled and ashamed we have adults and school children protesting, and think they are misguided or simply fail to comprehend the situation. Iraq has a brutal dictator that murders, tortures and brutalises his own people, and has now revealed as seen on the attacks on Kuwait that he does have hidden weapons (ie scud and other long-range missiles). The war, now morally justified, is a force of good, to liberate and to give freedom to Iraq. Now that is worth celebrating, not protesting about.
Tony, England

As deeply as any war has to be regretted, it is dangerous and politically impossible to now to stop the campaign to destroy the terror regime of Saddam Hussein. The anti-war protestors should carefully consider that hundreds of thousands of Iraqis - civilians, Muslims! - have already been brutally killed not by the US-led war but by the barbarous dictator Saddam Hussein himself and his crowd in the past. By the way, violent "peace" protests are a contradiction in terms.
Tom, Germany

The invasion in Iraq is the tragic equivalent of the September 11 terrorist attack. It is important that the whole world continues to demonstrate its repulsion to the aggression being shown to Iraq. Even if this invasion cannot be stopped we can make sure the political price paid by Bush and Blair is so high they will think twice in future before repeating the same mistake.
Carlo, Italy

There are few things so bad as knowing one's best is not good enough. That all the letters, protests, vigils and debate have not made any difference. It is not time to stop, however - these protests were not about being able to say 'I told you so' or being 'right': these protests were about saving the lives of innocent people, and actually making a difference to the world.
Emily Holway, UK

I think they are probably psychologically useful to those who feel powerless
Kevin Sheerstone, Brit in Canada
I don't think demonstrations will change the policy of the warmongers, but I think they are probably psychologically useful to those who feel powerless in the face of this madness. Good luck.
Kevin Sheerstone, Brit in Canada

Protesting against this war must continue - it is the only effective way for any opposition to the pro-war spin of the British media and government to be heard. It is also ridiculous to support the war because "our boys" are now involved. We should all be demanding that they be withdrawn from this illegal, unjustified war and be brought safely home.
Steve, England

Yes. I will join anti-war demonstration, It is the only peaceful to make myself heard. As a member of the global village, I have the responsibility to show my disapproval of an unjust war.
Icy, Hong Kong

The protests never served a purpose, other than make some of our troops feel like no one supported them. Men have now died in order that you can protest against the war - ironic? Remember your brothers and sisters in Iraq have no such freedom, that's one reason our troops put their lives on the line.
Colin, UK

I am appalled at the protestors. My husband is serving in the gulf and it is a worry and difficult time for the families. Our troops need our backing not this show of opposition. You should be ashamed of yourselves. We are trying to liberate these people not conquer them.
Sue, Essex, UK

Complacency is the worst course of action
Elizabeth, USA
War protests always have a point. Complacency is the worst course of action those in opposition can take. Please know that the US does not support our president's actions, and those of our government. The media in the US is trying desperately to paint a picture to the US and abroad that everyone is in support of this war. The more people who can get out, demonstrate, gather together, and engage in conversation, the more impact we can hope to achieve.
Elizabeth, USA

Of course they can serve a good purpose. They can help to stop the further killing of innocent people.
Pom, Thailand

Any country that purports to be a true democracy has to listen to its protests - otherwise, what are they fighting Saddam for?
Vivek Jain, India

The anti-war demonstrators are fundamentally naive
Mike, UK
The anti-war demonstrators are fundamentally naive. What are they expecting? "Let's sit down in Trafalgar Square and Tony Blair will ring up George Bush and say 'George we've made a big mistake let's pull all the troops home, I've just seen the light, someone has sat down in the street in London!'" Get real and grow up!
Mike, UK

I understand the beliefs and views held by the anti-war protesters, but I have to ask: where were you in 1991? Did you protest vehemently against the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait? Are your noble intentions being manipulated?
Tim, Belgium

The protests certainly have a purpose, to stop this humanitarian disaster. Reports out of Baghdad on the BBC about the city in flames tells us we have much work to do.
Stephen Philion, Minneapolis, USA

Pretending to change the course of history through street protests is both useless and anti-democratic
Pablo Carcavallo, Argentina
In essence, pretending to change the course of history through street protests is both useless and anti-democratic. Street protests do not reflect accurately the opinion of the whole society (in fact, the majority of people stay at home).
Pablo Carcavallo, Argentina

The anti-war protests will obviously not stop the Iraq war now. But the strength of opinion displayed in the demonstrations may make Blair think twice about the next war, which could be launched against Iran, Syria or North Korea. Unless we demonstrate against war, then peace can never be assured.
Daniel Brett, Cambridge, UK

As the vast majority of people in both the UK and the world are opposed to this war for oil, all decent people should protest against it.
Julie, Hampshire, England

The Stop the War Coalition do not represent the majority as they claim. They are acting inappropriately and in an extreme arena.
Janet Horton, England

The strongest anti-war protest will be the exclusion of the rogue state Britain from the European Union.
Ilse, Austria

Protests now are simply negative whether you agree or disagree with the war
Laura Wakeford, England
Very selfish actions by the students who are simply glad to have an opportunity to skive off school. They should be supporting our troops. The time for this type of protest has past. How will our troops feel when they hear people back home are against the work they are risking their lives for, and their fellow service personal have already died for? Protests now are simply negative whether you agree or disagree with the war. Now is the time to be supporting our troops.
Laura Wakeford, England

I take comfort in knowing that my friends and neighbours care even if my "democratically" elected representatives do not.
Maggie Schaefer, US

Protests no longer serve any purpose! The war has begun! Yes the people protesting may feel they're only expressing their discomfort and want to be heard, but when over 50% of the country is feeling the same way doesn't it all seem a little pointless? Who are they protesting to? The government made their decision a few days ago. The protest to take place on the 22nd of March is simply a protest for those who missed the last one, people who simply want to be a talking point and don't want to be left out; if they'd been that bothered they'd of gone to the first protest before the war started!
Matty B, Stafford, UK

Unfortunately I cannot get to London today, but I will be participating wherever possible, as despite the fact people are disgusted by traffic delays and minor civil disobedience, I am disgusted with the attempted levelling of an entire city/country to justify the US defence budget. Dead civilians can't and won't be able to celebrate their "liberation".
Phil, England

People are entitled to an opinion, and as long as they stay within the law they should be allowed to express it
Michael Woodvine, England
People are entitled to an opinion, and as long as they stay within the law they should be allowed to express it. We appear to believe democracy is the preferred form of government, and as the decision to participate was made by our elected representative we need to let them get on with representing us; at the same time legally expressing our opinion and doing what we can for the "innocents".
Michael Woodvine, England

I believe it to be grossly irresponsible of 'peace' organisations to encourage school children to truant from school in order to take part in protests. Children are too immature to understand the issues, and see it purely as 'permission' to revolt against authority. They don't understand the law and order issues involved and some may get seriously hurt.
Noel Payne, England

Protesting might not change anything now, but it will go down in history and hopefully encourage future generations to never keep silent. We have a voice and the right to use it. If news of the protests reach the Iraqi people, it will show them we do not support what is going on and we stand by their side, even if we are being ignored. Governments might represent countries, but people are their true essence.
Yara Romariz Maasri, Beirut, Lebanon

The people going to demonstrations make me sick. They seem to have the mistaken view that a lot of people support their twisted sense of reality; independent polls that show the majority of UK people are behind the government. Anyone who goes to demonstrations is thinking of themselves and giving no thought to the people of Iraq. People in Iraq will be better off without Saddam, it only takes a small amount of effort to realise this war is necessary. For matters of this magnitude people should trust the government because they have the information to make the correct decision. The average member of public does not have the knowledge to make informed decisions.
Martin Piper, UK

I strongly believe that such vigorous protest is a healthy symptom of liberty
Cuthbert, USA
Though I disagree with the views of the protesters, I strongly believe that such vigorous protest is a healthy symptom of liberty. I only have one gripe; while in London on business I noticed hostility toward police officers who were being remarkably restrained. Please be nice to these kind officers who are only doing their job. Yell at Parliament but give the officers a break.
Cuthbert, USA

Two million Britons marched against the war in February this year. That means that fifty six million from this country didn't. Anti war support is not high in this country and I for one don't appreciate the vocal minority telling me what the silent majority think.
Simon, England

An ancient city is in flames, with who knows how many civilians dead and injured. If we don't protest this is just going to keep happening. Democracy - what democracy?
Eric Bogart, Belgium

most of the protesters are simply protesting for the sake of having some rebellious fun
Jane McDougall, UK
After viewing the broad cross section of protesters taking part in the anti-war protests, it is apparent that most of the protesters are simply protesting for the sake of having some rebellious fun at the public's expense. The same sort of people always pop-up at times of controversial events and should be seen for who they really are. Jane McDougall, UK
Jane McDougall, UK

What the protesters seem to forget is they have the right to protest at all. In some parts of the world their actions would earn them a bullet through the back of the head or a knock on the door at 2 am. Freedom is not a right - it has to be fought for it and some die in that fight. There will always be someone who wants to take your freedom off you. We would do well to remember the sacrifice of those who gave us the freedom we exercise today.
Cliff, United Kingdom

I went to the protest in Edinburgh yesterday and I will be protesting again tomorrow. Just because the war is happening does not mean those who strongly disagree with it and who find it a sickening travesty should suddenly stop showing what they think.
Allie, Scotland

I haven't been protesting so far, but I shall be tomorrow
Lynn, UK
We should be protesting. What we are seeing in Iraq tonight is not the targetted bombing of government buildings we were promised, it is beginning to look as if Bush is determined to raze this ancient city to the ground and destroy its people. I haven't been protesting so far, but I shall be tomorrow. If Bush and Blair survive with their jobs after this, it will be travesty of any decent values we lay claim to in our alleged liberal democracies.
Lynn, UK

I am organising a protest and letter writing campaign. We need to have a mass outcry from the public. They can't ignore a flood of pleas to bring our people home.
Maria Harrell, USA

We, the young people, are trying peacefully to get our voice heard and will continue to do so. We are trying to put up a banner for peace in every single window of our school. Today we painted a large dove in art class and hung it outside.
Sophie, Austria

How can we bring democracy to Iraq when we don't even have a democracy in this country?
Elizabeth Bond, Bristol, England
If we did truly live in a democratic society, the absolute backlash against war would mean that Tony Blair should have backed out long ago. Instead, he has been persistently telling the people who voted for him and his party (I did not, I'm not old enough, but I wouldn't anyway) why we are, no matter what anybody says, going to war. However, he has done as he pleased and has been behaving, in my opinion as though he can do what he pleases. How can we bring democracy to Iraq when we don't even have a democracy in this country?
Elizabeth Bond, Bristol, England

Have you seen how protesters in San Francisco strip naked? I am sure that show has mightily strengthened an anti-war coalition.
Mirek, USA

I find it odd even that there have not been huge protests in Iraq against this war. Perhaps they want Saddam to go and are willing to fight and die for their freedom. Please keep protests non-violent.
Alvin, USA

They did not have a valid case to start with. They were perfectly happy to ignore the suffering of the Iraqi people a year ago, the only thing that has changed is that it is on the news now.
Michael Pearce, UK

Those of us who protested bitterly against this war are slightly discouraged but not deterred. I wonder if those people who chant "Democracy for Iraq" realise that part of democracy is the right to offer a voice of dissent.
Olivia, Canada

I am distressed that protestors are targeting minors. Protests are volatile and they take place in large cities which are dangerous areas for unaccompanied children.
Joy, USA

I think that although the number of people participating in organised war protests has increased since February '03, the chances of either the Bush or Blair administrations taking them seriously are very low. Unless turnouts for these demonstrations increase several fold, I think it's time we came up with a more effective means of making an impression on Blair and Bush - our current strategy is clearly quite inadequate.
Nehanda, Indian in US

I believe protestors are within their rights but have an obligation to act responsibly. Yesterday in San Francisco, they became violent towards police and over 1,000 were arrested. In New York, they blocked busy streets at rush hour while chanting "No war for oil". The actions in San Fran are inexcusable for obvious reasons. But at a time when we need our police to be on high alert all over the US, I found even the New York protest objectionable.
Jim, USA

I've been swayed by Blair over the last week or so
Jula, UK
I went on the first big anti-war march in London but will not be protesting again. I remain very concerned about going to war outside of a clear UN mandate but I've been swayed by Blair over the last week or so. I believe he has demonstrated real leadership and whilst I cannot say I am pro-war I am no longer anti.
Jula, UK

Absolutely, the anti-war protestors serve a very useful purpose. While I believe this military action is justified and will lead to the liberation of millions of our fellow human beings - people who have had to live in constant fear, some for all their lives - I certainly do not have all the answers and I may very well be wrong. Not that the protestors have much chance of changing my mind, but they might change someone else's, and if nothing else, they have a right and a personal need to be heard.
Chris, US

If protests serve no other purpose other than to bring communities together, to show the world that we're not all for this, than they still serve a valid and meaningful purpose in my mind.
Cameron, USA

It is probably just as important to protest now
Bob Harvey, Lincs, UK
Of course protests still serve a purpose. If people want to express themselves, they must. No-one asked if the anti-Vietnam protests served any purpose while the war was in progress. It is probably just as important to protest now as before the fighting started, for now there is a sort of 'gung ho' feeling produced by apparent success, and also a real feeling of standing behind the troops. I am proud of our servicemen and women, but I still do not think they should have been sent to do this nasty job.
Bob Harvey, Lincs, UK

It strikes me as odd how many student protesters there are. Considering we don't allow our youth to vote until they are 18, , why should we take their political views any more seriously than we do their domestic opinions ?
Shauna, UK, Norwich

I wonder if these people who are going on these 'peace' marches tomorrow know how it feels when you have a relative fighting in Iraq? When they shout and scream against a war that your husband, son, brother, daddy is fighting maybe giving their very lives for? It is so hurtful. Please can they think again, whether they agree with war or not now is the time to show support for all our troops out there, not make a political stand.
Esther, UK

After watching the "peace" protestors in San Francisco injure two policemen, block all traffic, vandalise several businesses beat up a motorist and destroy his car, all I can say is that the only purpose these protestors serve is to fill me with disgust.
Inna Tysoe, USA

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