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Wednesday, 1 May, 2002, 16:39 GMT 17:39 UK
Activists in May Day rallies
Middle East protesters
The Edinburgh March focused on the Middle East
Hundreds of people have taken to the streets of two Scottish cities for peaceful May Day rallies.

Protesters in Edinburgh demonstrated against the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories and were joined by MSPs Lloyd Quinan of the Scottish National Party and Scottish Socialist Party Leader Tommy Sheridan.

Campaigner Aamer Anwar said: "We are aiming for a peaceful march against violence shown by Israel and the West."

The protesters held a rally outside the American Consulate and then marched to the Scottish Parliament on The Mound.

Tommy Sheridan
Tommy Sheridan joined the protesters
There was strict security and a minor confrontation with police when demonstrators tried, unsuccessfully, to march through parts of central Edinburgh.

Officers told them they could not do so for safety reasons.

In Glasgow, demonstrators staged a carnival-style march.

A colourful array of demonstrators gathered in Buchanan Street at noon and they then marched past Glasgow City Chambers, the council's headquarters.

A senior police officer with the march said the Glasgow event had traditionally remained jovial and trouble-free.

The parade passed through the streets where shoppers and city workers stood and watched.

In a witty exchange, office workers peering from open windows were urged to "resign" by the anti-capitalist activists below.

The protest ended with a rally at Kelvingrove Park.

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