Massive demonstrations have taken place in and around Trafalgar Square in London. A 17 feet-high statue of George Bush was toppled to huge cheers from the crowd at 17:22 GMT [ Video]. Estimates of today's attendance range from AP syndicating around the world the number of 50,000 (later amended), over the Metropolitan Police's official estimate of 70,000 (later updated to 110,000) to the Stop the War Coalition ever increasing estimate of up to 300,000 (a number to which Indymedia reporters on the scene agree). Whatever the numbers, today's event looks to be the biggest weekday demonstration of recent years.
Update: Indymedia UK received over a million hits on Thursday (1,119,801 to be exact) - not bad for a website run by DIY collectives all over the UK. We would like to emphasize that Indymedia exists by non-hierarchical organization and has no other resources than the commitment of people donating their time and talent.
To kick the day off activists unfurled a banner reading "Bush Free Zone" from Admiralty Arch, see report and press release and pictures. To read up on the events as they unfolded check the Full Timeline of the events in London.Photos: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | gallery
Wednesday was billed as a day of civil disobedience and direct action throughout the country. In London, amidst the massive security operation, people took to the streets with events and actions. The protests started early in the morning with the delivery of a Tarte au Citron to the Queen, courtesy of the Biotic Baking Brigade. Then actions kicked off throughout the day with a Critical Mass, an Alternative State Procession, Street Parties, a Women's Peace Picnic and other actions Across The UK - culminating in 2000 protesters dancing in front of Buckingham Palace on a Resist Bush Tea Party. Police proved to be still overreacting when policing during a head of state visit: When Jiang Zemin was around they turned placards of protesters away - with Bush they confiscated a small sound system singing anti-Bush songs.Multimedia
London: reports including the full London timeline with it's sections on the resist Bush teaparty, Critical Mass, alternative state procession, school students, street parties and the O.I.L women's peace picnic.
Aberdeen: About 80-100 people demonstrated against the Bush visit to the UK in St Nicholas Square at lunch time.
Bradford: Bradford saw a notable amount of Anti-Bush protest including a rally and the handing of a petition calling for the arrest of Tony Blair on war crimes charges to the police.
Cardiff: The whole city centre brought to a standstill.
Cambridge: 100 people demonstrated toppling the statues of Bush and Blair in the Market Square. No arrests were reported. Indymedia reports from people in the US were read out to the crowd.
Canterbury: About 100-200 people gathered outside the library at 6pm, after several chants lead by Mac someone produced a guitar and an African drum and started a song "We're going to war. Pay your taxes".
Edinburgh: A very peaceful, determined demo took place in the day followed by an evening protest that broke through police lines near the US Consulate. Pictures
Glasgow: In Glasgow reports estimate over 1,000 demonstrators gathered in George Square then took to the surrounding streets. Shawlands Academy pupils were among the striking school students involved.
Kent: A small but enthusiastic group from Ashford peace group,East Kent Greens and supporters from Folkestone etc gathered near Ashford Intl Rail station to demo against Bush with several colourful banners (some made by 10 year olds!) and whistles.
Nottingham: 'No-Bush' demo in Nottingham in Market Square.
Oxford: Around 1500 people turned out, protestors left Brookes University at 5.00pm to march to the city centre on reaching The Plain they found a large, enthusiastic and noisy group of friends, some dancing to the sounds of Oxford's new Radical Samba Band. People then marched enthusiastically up to Carfax where another group was waiting to topple the papier-mache effigy of George 'I-stole-the-presidency' Bush. A die-in and a staged wedding between Bush and Blair also took place during the afternoon. Oxford IMC Feature
Liverpool: 200 stand up scousers stopped the traffic outside Liverpool Town Hall for an hour.
Molesworth: A short vigil was held at the Joint Analysis Centre Molesworth to protest at George Bush’ UK visit.
Swindon: Shoppers and workers in Swindon town centre this lunchtime were slightly bemused to find George W Bush explaining his plans for global domination via a megaphone.
York: 300 people marched through York in the rain to protest about the visit of killer Bush. A statue of Bush, cash in hand, with Blair aside, was toppled.
After discussions late this afternoon The Metropolitan Police and the Stop the War Coalition have agreed the march route for Thursday that allows the march over Westminster Bridge, past Parliament and along Whitehall to Trafalgar Square, as expected after speculation in the press over the weekend (see also corporate media coverage).
Meanwhile last minute preparations are underway for the multitude of demonstrations and actions planned against Bush. Not just restricted to anti-war issues, the protests also deal with issues from GM to Climate Change to Globalisation (see reasons to protest). Wednesday 19th has been called as a day for civil disobedience and direct action. In London, amidst the massive security operation, wednesday will see people taking to the streets with events and actions running throughout the day including an alternative state procession, a critical mass, a street party, school walkouts, the Resist Bush Tea Party mass direct action and many more smaller actions (see London Listing + ResistBush.org). On Tuesday, the day Bush arrives, the Burning Planet climate protest will march via the ExxonMobil ("Esso") offices in Aldwych, through central London to the US Embassy.Read more >>
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