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Last Updated:  Saturday, 29 March, 2003, 18:25 GMT
Thousands join anti-war march
Anti-war protesters march through Edinburgh
The protest started in the centre of Edinburgh
Thousands of anti-war protesters have taken to the streets of Edinburgh to register their opposition to military action in Iraq.

Police estimated that about 5,000 people took part in the protest in the Scottish capital on Saturday afternoon.

However, organisers put the figure at more than 10,000.

Protesters marched along Princes Street before heading for a mass rally in the city's Meadows area.

They were led by Labour MSP John McAllion and Scottish Socialist Party leader Tommy Sheridan, marching behind a banner reading Stop the Invasion.

The demonstrators included Brian Quail, the joint secretary of Scottish CND.

This brings to the attention of the government that people are still concerned
Walter Davis
He said: "We have to nail this nonsense that because the war has started we just have to accept it.

"I was opposed to this war before it began and I'm even more opposed to it now, and I'm sure I'm speaking for most people when I say that."

Walter Davis, 67, from Aberdeen, said: "I'm an old-age pensioner and I've always been against the war.

"This brings to the attention of the government that people are still concerned."

Mr Sheridan told the rally that he supported the Allied troops.

"I don't want any Armed Service personnel killed or maimed in the same way that I don't want any innocent Iraqis killed or maimed," he said.

Mother's Day

"The best way to support the troops is to bring them home immediately, that's the way to support them."

Iraqi citizen Susan Karim reminded the crowd that women throughout Britain would be receiving flowers and presents on Sunday for Mother's Day.

"But the Iraqi mothers are burying their sons and daughters, the Iraqi children are burying their mothers and some Scottish women are burying their sons as well, needlessly," she said.

The vast majority of the crowd were good natured and followed police instructions
Assistant Chief Constable Malcolm Dickson
The crowd also heard a prayer written by Leith Academy pupil Ailsa Nicol, 16, and her school friends.

Lothian and Borders Police said the demonstration had been peaceful and no arrests were made.

"The vast majority of the crowd were good natured and followed police instructions which ensured that the march went well," said Assistant Chief Constable Malcolm Dickson.

"There was a small minority which tried to disrupt traffic but they were persuaded to move on after a short period of time."

Police in Fife said that an anti-war demonstration in Kirkcaldy also passed without major incident.

Officers estimated that about 100 took part in the protest.


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