- Title: MOROCCO: PROTESTERS OPPOSED TO WAR IN IRAQ MARCH THROUGH CASABLANCA.
- Date: 3rd March 2003
- Summary: (EU) CASABLANCA, MOROCCO (MARCH 2, 2003) (REUTERS) 1. VARIOUS: VARIOUS OF ANTI-WAR PROTEST (8 SHOTS) 1.23 2. MCU: (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) LAWYER ISSAM AL -IBRAHIMI SAYING: "We are here as members of the lawyers' association to express our support to the defenceless Iraqi people. And to denounce the Zionist and American aggression against an Arab and Muslim country. We also want to express our condemnation of the outcome of the Arab summit that wants the American and Zionist way." 1.53 3. GV/PAN: WHITE DOVES BEING RELEASED 2.04 4. MCU: (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) KHALID SOUFIANI, HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST AND ONE OF THE ORGANISERS OF THE MARCH, SAYING: "All the people of the world should express their opposition to the forthcoming war because it will be a catastrophe if President Bush goes with his terrorism and aggression against Iraq. It will be a catastrophe for the whole world." 2.22 5. MV/MCU: VARIOUS OF WOMEN AND CHILDREN IN PROTEST (5 SHOTS) 3.01 6. MCU: (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN DEMONSTRATOR SAYING: "We are all Palestinians, we are all Iraqis. We are all with Iraq and with its people until the end." 3.10 7. MV: VARIOUS OF MEN BURNING ISRAELI FLAG (2 SHOTS) 3.55 8. MV/GV: MORE OF PROTEST WITH LARGE PALESTINIAN FLAG (4 SHOTS) 4.26 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 18th March 2003 12:00
- Location: CASABLANCA, MOROCCO
- Country: Morocco
- Reuters ID: LVA1TMORPVYQ2AUZ7DZZZ5JDGF29
- Story Text: Anti-war demonstrators have marched through Casablanca
in Morocco's biggest protest against a possible U.S.-led war
against Iraq so far. The crowd shouted slogans in favour of
the Iraqi and Palestinian people and against U.S. and Israeli
Around 50,000 mainly Islamist demonstrators marched
through the Moroccan city of Casablanca on Sunday, protesting
a possible U.S.-led attack on Iraq and branding President
George W. Bush a "war criminal".
The peaceful protest was largely good-humoured and showed
no support for Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. The crowd
shouted slogans in favour of the Iraqi and Palestinian people
and against U.S. and Israeli policies.
The demonstration was also a show of strength by Islamist
groups ahead of local elections in June.
Islamists of the Justice and Development Party, the third
largest force in parliament, marched beside militants of the
more radical al-Adl wal Ihsane group (Justice and Charity),
which is banned from politics but allowed to do charity and
Organisers said all Islamist groups united in the protest.
Police said the march drew up to 50,000 people, more than a
similar protest a week earlier in the capital Rabat.
While many slogans had a religious tone, demonstrators
chanted "Iraqis are in our veins" and denounced Washington's
drive to attack Iraq, saying "Bush, butcher in Iraq".
Placards written in English said: "Bush war criminal",
"Bush and Hitler are the same" and "Life of children is more
expensive than oil".
Al-Adl wal Ihsane is seen as the main opposition political
force in Morocco and enjoys strong support in poor areas and
Its spiritual leader, Sheikh Abdessalam Yassine, was under
house arrest for almost 10 years until 2000 for challenging
the late King Hassan's political powers, including his status
as spiritual leader of Muslims.
Soon after the enthronement of King Mohammed in 1999,
Sheikh Yassine asked the young monarch to return billions of
dollars which he alleged were embezzled by the king's father
during his 38-year rule.
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