Veteran anti-war activists are joined by people from all walks of life united in opposition to the war on Iraq.

The scale of the anti-war demonstrations that have taken place around the world has catapulted public opinion to the epicentre of politics.

What united these people was opposition to this war in these circumstances.

Dublin had not seen a march of this scale since the tax marches of the 1970s. Speaking to Prime Time, protesters say that a demonstration of this size cannot be ignored. 

David Begg, General Secretary ICTU, says that Saddam Hussein is "Universally regarded as an evil force" but people believe that means to end his regime could result in a worse horror than the horrors that exist in Iraq today. 

Former US Diplomat George Dempsey is a supporter of George Bush's policy on Iraq and is critical of the protests taking place in Dublin and around the globe describing the protesters as 

The misguided led by the lunatics.

His views are refuted by protesters arguing that their views against the bombing of Iraq are supported by the United Nations and the weapons inspectors.

For Mr Dempsey, these protests are being fuelled by anti-American sentiment rather than concern over the future of Iraq.


Most of those in favour of the war on Iraq deny that their reasons have anything to do with the region's vast oil reserves. Mr Dempsey questions the motivations of protesters chanting 'No Blood For Oil' an industry which he sees as fundamental to modern economies. He also says that Al-Qaeda will continue with their campaign of hatred for the west regardless of the war in Iraq. 


In London, over one million people turned out to march in protest at the UK's participation in the war and the outcome this will have. Cathal Courtney of the Unitarian Church and Professor Alex Callinicos of the University of York describe the level of fear that is rife in the UK. 

They see absolutely no justification for this war. It's that lack of moral imperative that's bringing people out onto the streets.

David Begg believes that if Europe is to be taken seriously it must develop a common foreign and military policy.

Europe, I believe, has the potential to be an ethical force in the world and a direct balance for the enormous military might and influence of the United States.

Another issue for protesters in Ireland is the continued use of Shannon Airport by the US military in the event of a war against Iraq.

This episode of 'Prime Time' was broadcast on 18 February 2003. The reporter is Donogh Diamond.