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Last Updated: Saturday, 19 March, 2005, 20:45 GMT
Thousands at UK anti-war protests
Coffin carried by protesters
A fake coffin was placed outside the US embassy
Protesters in the UK have been marching against the war in Iraq - two years after the US-led assault began.

Police say about 45,000 people joined a demonstration in London, while organisers put the figure at 100,000.

There was also a protest in Glasgow and demonstrations took place in over 30 cities across the world as part of an international day of action.

Protesters placed a coffin outside the American Embassy in London with the words "100,000 dead" written on it.

The coffin had been carried at the head of the march by two soldiers, George Solomou and Ray Hewitt, who left the army in protest at the war in Iraq.

"The Army have to understand that people in this country are saying no to this war in a big way. It's illegal, immoral and unjust and I won't be any part of it," Mr Hewitt said.

Anti war marchers give their views.

"I disagreed with it to start with because I was suspicious of the weapons of mass destruction claims - I saw the Iraqi army in 1991 and we destroyed it. The 45-minute claim was a lie."

The 34-year-old, from Bracknell in Berkshire, was a full-time lance corporal with the Royal Signals and served in a chemical reconnaissance vehicle in the first Gulf War before becoming a reservist in 1992.

Vigils were also held in Falkirk, Dumfries, Ullapool and Kirkwall.

Speaking of Italy's plans over troops in Iraq, Tony Blair told the House of Commons on Wednesday that security would be taken over by the Iraqi forces over a period of time.

"We've always said we should leave as soon as possible once the Iraqi forces are in the position where they are capable of dealing with their own security," he said.

On Saturday, Stop the War Coalition chairman Andrew Murray told the crowd: "We have tried to deliver a letter to the American Embassy. We have not been able to do that.

"It is in the name of the thousands of people demonstrating here today and we are going to tape a copy of the letter to this coffin."

'Last chance'

Coalition co-founder John Rees said: "There is a very intense sense among people here that this is the last chance they will get before the general election to show what they think."

The Bring the Troops Home march, organised by the Stop the War Coalition, wound its way from Hyde Park past the American Embassy, in Grosvenor Square.

The occupation of Iraq should be stopped
Ken Takada, a member of civic group World Peace Now, in Tokyo

It ended in Trafalgar Square where speakers, art and entertainment were on hand at a so-called peace camp.

Members of the coalition, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) and the Muslim Association of Britain took part in the rally.

Kate Hudson, of CND, said: "We will be marching because we reject warmongering foreign policy as well attacks on our civil liberties at home.

"We are calling for an end to the occupation of Iraq but we are also asking the question - where next Mr Bush?"

In Glasgow, the names of some of the UK, US and Iraqi victims of the war were read out, along with a "name and shame" list of MPs who backed the war.

The coalition said the protest had been "hardened" by the nomination of Paul Wolfowitz - widely thought to be an architect of the war - as chairman of the World Bank.

Watch demonstrations across the world

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