On the left below please find an article from CPNN, and on the right its discussion.
Please note that links to the discussion no longer work directly.
Instead, Use the following address
where xxx is the topic number in the failed address obtained when you click on the discussion.
If this doesn't work, click here.

Learn Write Read Home About Us Discuss Search Subscribe Contact
by program area
by region
by category
by recency
United Nations and Culture of Peace
Global Movement for a Culture of Peace
Values, Attitudes, Actions
Rules of the Game
Submit an Article
Become a CPNN Reporter

World Media Shaken by Millions of Anti-War Demonstrators on Feb. 15th
an article by David Adams

More than 10 million people took part in the worldwide peace demonstrations of February 15 (see upcoming event).

In the past peace marches have been downplayed by the commercial media, but thanks to independent media on the Internet, we have good coverage of this unprecedented participation. A good overview is published by Indymedia. This lists 11 million participants and provides links, mostly to local Indymedia sources, for further information on demonstrations in 82 cities around the world. The largest were Rome (2.5 million), Madrid (2.0 million), London (1.5 million) and Barcelona (1.0 million). Photos are circulating widely on the Internet: see, for example those on punchdown , the CNN gallery, and on the website of the Lake Merrit Neighbors . Film and audio reports are also available; see for example the report of Democracy Now from the New York demonstration.

Given the competition from Internet independent media, the commercial media was forced to provide extensive coverage. On the Internet the New York Times makes you pay to see their articles, but thanks to Voice4Change and their sources, you can read the Times articles for free from February 16, February 17 and February 23, as well as key articles from Agence France Presse and The Guardian of London. The CNN articles are available for free on the Internet for February 15 and February 16, as is the Associated Press article for February 15.

A comparison of independent and commercial media reveals some tendency for the commercial to minimize numbers, although in some cases there may also have been some exaggeration of numbers by the independent media. Also the commercial media describes some demonstrations not included in Indymedia (e.g. in Istanbul, Moscow, Toulouse, Kiev, San Juan, Cyprus, Dhaka and Damascus) and the first New York Times article mentions a figure of 350 cities. When all is taken into consideration, a figure of 10 million participants is probably an underestimate.


Question(s) related to this article:

What is the political significance of the February 15 demonstrations?,

* * * * *

Latest reader comment:

A very important shift has taken place in the geography of peace demonstrations as reported by Indymedia for the period March 24 to March 30 (see Indymedia archive.  A majority of the largest demonstrations took place not in the North but in the South and especially in countries with large Islamic populations.  These included Syria, Indonesia, Morocco, Algeria, India, Iran, Pakistan, Yemen, Bangladesh and Libya.  Notably absent were Egypt and Saudi Arabia (were there government bans on demonstrations there?)

This could have great significance for the peace movement of the next few years. There is likely to be great struggles to determine whether these states adopt a culture of war or a culture of peace in the face of the US-led war against Islamic states.  Solidarity with peace movements in the North and elsewhere in the South could be a major determining factor.

This report was posted on March 3, 2003.