Not quite the head of steam they wanted

It was inevitable, I guess, that with the War’s third anniversary upon us, angry people would be marching like crazy (don’t these people have lives?). If you go to Drudge, you see a picture of what looks like just masses of people:

That looks pretty serious and, as an aside, I’ll just add that it’s amazing how the Palestinian issue gets mixed up with that Iraq war — although I find it hard to see how the two are related.

Be that as it may, what I found interesting was that, when I linked to the story referenced on Drudge, you find that the numbers were surprisingly small. For example, only about 500 people showed up in Sydney.

The numbers weren’t that much better in other communities:

The turnout also was lower than protesters had hoped in Britain, whose government has been the United States’ strongest supporter in the war.

Authorities shut down streets in the heart of London’s shopping and theater district for the demonstration, which organizers had predicted would attract up to 100,000 people, but police estimated the crowd was about 15,000 people.

Some protesters carried posters calling Bush a terrorist and other placards pictured Prime Minister Tony Blair, saying “Blair must go!” Britain has about 8,000 soldiers in Iraq but plans to pull out 800 by May.

“We are against this war, both for religious reasons and on a humanitarian basis, too. No one deserves to be bombarded,” said one march, student Imran Saghir, 25.

In Tokyo, about 2,000 people rallied in a downtown park, carrying signs saying “Stop the Occupation” as they listened to a series of anti-war speeches.

“The war is illegal under international law,” said Takeshiko Tsukushi, a member of World Peace Now, which helped plan the rally. “We want the immediate withdrawal of the Self Defense Forces and from Iraq along with all foreign troops.”

Japanese Prime Minister Junchiro Koizumi is a staunch supporter of the U.S.-led coalition in Japan and dispatched 600 soldiers to the southern city of Samawah in 2004 to purify water and carry out other humanitarian tasks. The Cabinet approved an extension of that mission in December, authorizing the troops to stay in Iraq through the end of the year.

It seems that, while many around the world love to bad mouth the war and America, they’re not so concerned as to be bothered to interrupt their usual Saturday morning activities. It’s a good reminder that marches and suchlike are usually from people hoping to create a majority appearance, rather than people with an actual majority.

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