Archive | In 2003, the West was mobilizing for the International Day Against the War in Iraq
On February 15, 2003, rallies were organized in more than 600 cities around the world, including New York, to protest against the imminence of a war in Iraq.
20 years ago, on February 15, 2003, millions of protesters gathered in more than 600 cities around the world to express their opposition to a possible war against ;Iraq. As evidenced by our archives, Radio-Canada journalists and correspondents closely followed this historic day under the theme of peace.
This first International Day against the war in Iraq is organized while the American government pleads before the United Nations for a military intervention in Iraq. At the same time, it seeks the support of its traditional ally, Canada.
The President of the United States George W. Bush considers his country threatened by weapons of mass destruction possessed by the Iraqi government of Saddam Hussein. He wants to overthrow the leader of this authoritarian regime who has difficulty cooperating with the UN security inspections required since the end of the Gulf War in 1991.
Segment of the special program hosted by Marie-Josée Bouchard on the various demonstrations against the war in Iraq around the world.
On February 15, 2003, at 11:15 a.m., the continuous news channel RDI broadcast a special program to cover the demonstrations taking place throughout the day throughout the world.
Today, February 15, there are millions of people all over the planet who have given each other the word for peace to be on the agenda, says host Marie-Josée Bouchard. An unprecedented global movement for thirty years to pressure nations to avoid an attack on Iraq.
With journalists and correspondents stationed in various Western cities, the host begins a tour of these peace marches which draw record crowds.
In New York, the rally is to be held on 1st Avenue, a few blocks from the headquarters of the United Nations, explains journalist Daniel L'Heureux.
In London, correspondent Patrick Brown describes the huge protest which takes the form of a warning from the British people to the government of Tony Blair, who supports American military ambitions.
In Berlin, journalist Pierre-Luc Jodoin talks about the largest political demonstration in Germany since the Second World War, a peaceful march that took place calmly.
Report by journalist Pierre Michaud on the protest against the war in Iraq held in Montreal and others across Canada.
In Montreal, peaceful demonstrators do not hesitate to face the cold to make known their opposition to a military intervention in Iraq.
It usually takes a major sporting victory to attract so many people to Sainte-Catherine Street, declared journalist Pierre Michaud in his report on Téléjournal on February 15, 2003, but the imminence of a war has motivated tens of thousands to dress warmly and brave -20 degrees.
In this crowd with which many public and political figures mingle, we feel a certain wind of optimism, underlines the journalist. It is that the demonstration takes place the day after the filing of the report of the UN inspectors indicating that there is no proof that Iraq possesses weapons of mass destruction.
The report shows us images of the marches organized in Trois-Rivières, Moncton, Halifax, Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary. In all, nearly 75 Canadian cities have made way for this peace movement.
In Baghdad, correspondent Don Murray chronicles reactions in Iraq to the Western peace movement. The news bulletin is presented by Michaëlle Jean.
The day after this international mobilization, correspondent Don Murray goes to meet Iraqis to share their reaction to the Téléjournal of February 16, 2003.
In the streets of Baghdad, this is the first positive echo from the West in a long time. Iraqis relish this unexpected support.
The peace marches have bolstered the legitimacy of the United Nations, believes an Iraqi trader interviewed by Don Murray. The United States is acting like cowboys and people are saying to work with the UN.
On the side of the United States, the only reaction comes from Condoleezza Rice, National Security Advisor to President George W. Bush. She says the protests have not shaken the Bush administration, that time is running out for Saddam Hussein and that the game of diplomacy cannot last much longer.
A second international day of action against the war in Iraq is organized around the world on March 15, 2003.
On March 17, 2003, Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien takes position. In the House of Commons, he declares that – without a UN Security Council resolution – Canada will not participate in a military operation against the regime of Saddam Hussein.
Two days more Later, on March 19, 2003, American and British forces launched an offensive in Baghdad without obtaining United Nations approval. This war, in which the Pentagon has invested 770 billion dollars, will cost the lives of nearly 4,500 Americans and tens of thousands of Iraqis.
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