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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 November, 2003, 19:10 GMT
Scotland stages anti-Bush protests
War protests
Protesters wearing Bush and Blair masks in George Square
Demonstrations have been held in Scotland's largest cities to voice opposition to George W Bush's state visit to the UK.

Thousands of people took to the streets of Glasgow and Edinburgh on Wednesday to make their protest.

Many will then travel to London to take part in the main UK demonstration, which is planned for Thursday.

Motions have also been lodged in the Scottish Parliament stating opposition to the visit by the US president.

Mr Bush began the first full day of his state visit on Wednesday after arriving in London the previous evening.

In Glasgow, 300 students and activists gathered in George Square at lunchtime in an attempt to bring the city centre to a standstill.

Later about 2,000 people took part in a candle-lit march to St Enoch's Square to protest against the visit.

American Consulate

The rally was addressed by MSPs Tommy Sheridan, Roseanna Cunningham and Patrick Harvie, along with representatives from Scottish CND and the Muslim Association of Britain.

In Edinburgh, about 700 people marched from Bristo Square to the US Consulate on Wednesday afternoon.

People playing drums and blowing whistles led chants of "No blood for oil" and "Bush, Blair, CIA, how many kids have you killed today?".

Anti-war protesters, led by the Stop The War Coalition, carried effigies of Bush and banners reading "Wanted: Bush and Blair for war crimes" and "Bush is the real terrorist".

Then at 1800 GMT an estimated 3,000 protesters gathered in Charlotte Square for a march to the embassy.

It's time for to Tony Blair to dump George Bush and to bring an end to their so-called special relationship
Isabel Lindsay
Scottish Coalition for Justice Not War
Protesters, who periodically sat down on the roads, brought rush hour traffic in the capital to a standstill as they headed along South Charlotte Street, Princes Street and The Mound.

Coaches were also due to leave Glasgow at midnight bound for the protests in London.

Isabel Lindsay, chair of the Scottish Coalition for Justice Not War, said: "People in this country will be coming out onto the streets to reject George Bush and his dangerous policies.

"It's time for Tony Blair to dump George Bush and to bring an end to their so-called special relationship."

Rosie Kane, Scottish Socialist Party list MSP for Glasgow, told crowds: "We will have a democracy when people say no to war."

She said: "This war is not in our name, get out of our country, you are not wanted."

'Peace and justice'

Green Party list MSP for the Lothians, Mark Ballard, also spoke to the crowds.

He said: "I want to thank Mr Bush because he has made it absolutely clear what the corporate agenda of America is.

"They have shown they do not care about anything.

"They have shown they do not care about human rights by the fact that America is allowing Guantanamo Bay.

War protests
Protests took place in Glasgow and Edinburgh
"They have shown that they do not support fair trade across the world. Bush has shown that he does not have any concern for global peace by what he is doing in the Middle East."

Earlier, as people gathered in Bristo Square, SNP MSP Fiona Hyslop told the crowd they were marching for "peace and justice".

She said: "We marched before the war for peace and justice and we march now for peace and justice. Scottish voices will be heard.

"If we are going to have a world of peace and justice it has got to be one that is fair.

"When you march for the people of Iraq, for them to have control of their own country, you also march for those people across the world who also need peace and justice."

BBC Scotland's Isabel Fraser
"There were inflamed passions at today's protests"

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