- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 27, 2003

From combined dispatches
SYDNEY, Australia Thousands of protesters pelted Sydney police yesterday with bottles and chairs grabbed from street-side cafes in Australia's most violent demonstration against the war in Iraq.
Police in riot gear arrested at least 45 protesters, and one officer was injured when an object hurled from the crowd hit him on the head.
In South Korea, police arrested 30 protesters who scaled a wall at the U.S. Embassy and unfurled a banner reading "Stop the war."
The protests followed marches by hundreds of thousands of people in the Middle East on Tuesday. One demonstration in Damascus, Syria, attracted a half-million protesters.
About 10,000 demonstrators marched yesterday in Sydney, most of them college and school students who boycotted classes. They burned American flags, set off firecrackers and chanted "No war."
Australia has about 2,000 troops fighting alongside U.S. and British forces in Iraq.
The violence broke out after two separate groups of protesters merged outside Sydney's Town Hall and then streamed to Hide Park, where they chanted anti-war slogans and taunted police.
The protesters later headed to Prime Minister John Howard's office, where they again began hurling bottles at police.
In Melbourne, Australia's second-largest city, more than 1,500 rowdy students marched through the central business district. About 800 students carrying banners rallied in the southern city of Adelaide.
In France, vandals attacked a copy of the Statue of Liberty in the southern town of Bordeaux, spraying it with red paint and setting it on fire.
Vandals also cracked a plaque on the statue commemorating the victims of the September 11 attacks. Police have begun a probe into the overnight attack.
The 8-foot-high copy of the famous statue given by France to the United States in 1886 was erected in Bordeaux in 2000.
Tensions between France and the United States have been on the rise since Paris refused to support the U.S.-led attack on Iraq. There have been calls in the United States for a boycott of French products, such as wine and luxury goods. Last week, anti-war demonstrators in Paris smashed the windows of a branch of McDonald's, spraying obscenities and scrawling "boycott" on the building.
In Seoul, protesters wrapped steel chains around their bodies and chanted "We oppose war. We oppose deployment of troops." Three protesters, one armed with a toy rifle and wearing a mask of President Bush, climbed a 50-foot-high McDonald's sign and shouted anti-war slogans.
South Korea's government submitted a bill to the National Assembly last week asking for approval to send about 600 military engineers and 100 medical personnel to support the war effort. Voting was delayed Tuesday amid rising anti-war sentiment.
Demonstrators in Spain attacked the offices of the ruling party, throwing excrement and scrawling graffiti to protest its support for the war, officials said.
There have been more than 120 anti-war incidents across the country in the past eight days, Popular Party Secretary-General Javier Arenas said.
Polls show that an overwhelming majority of Spaniards oppose Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar's unflinching support for President Bush, and there have been street demonstrations against the war practically every day.
In Syria, schools, universities and government agencies closed in Damascus while an estimated 500,000 protested in the streets, holding banners that read "Stop this war" and labeling U.S. and British leaders "international terrorists."
Hundreds of thousands also rallied Tuesday in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, and about 10,000 demonstrated in Beirut.

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