It is really difficult to think of these protestors as peace-loving--given the nature of their protest:
Protests Turn Violent in Australia and Spain
By BRIAN KNOWLTON,
International Herald Tribune
Protests against the war in Iraq continued around much of the world today, with demonstrators turning violent in Australia and Spain, and defacing in France a pre-eminent American symbol: a replica of the Statue of Liberty.
Some of the largest rallies and bitterest clashes have come in Australia and Spain, whose governments support the American-led war, though the recent number of protesters has not matched the turnouts just before or immediately after the outbreak of war.
A protest in Sydney, the latest in what has become a continuing series of demonstrations around Australia, left three police officers injured and more than 60 protesters under arrest, Agence France-Presse reported.
Demonstrators hurled chairs at police and pelted them with golf balls during what was described as a pitched battle. Protests halted traffic in other Australian cities, including Perth, where about 500 students hurled paint and tomatoes at the United States Consulate General, and a dozen were arrested.
More than 10,000 students demonstrated against the war in Madrid, at the central Puerta del Sol.
As the Spanish protests have turned bitter, even the normally popular monarch, King Juan Carlos I, has become a target. Some demonstrators in Madrid carried signs ("Straw King," one said) criticizing the king for what they see as his passive support of the government's pro-war line.
The Basque Nationalist Party spokesman, Inaki Anasagasti, suggested in the Spanish Parliament on Tuesday that Juan Carlos had made himself a "figurehead for ceremonies" by refusing to stand apart from the government line. This, Spanish news reports said, was an "unprecedented attack" on the king, who has limited himself to expressing "great concern" about the war and hoping for its quick end.
There were clashes in Barcelona, as well. An estimated 300 demonstrators tossed bottles, garbage and eggs at an official of the governing Popular Party, which supports the war in Iraq. Alberto Fernández, a mayoral candidate last year in Barcelona, accused the protesters of beating him.
The party, which alone among major Spanish political groupings supports the war, said 120 of its offices had been vandalized or attacked by demonstrators.
"We are talking about people throwing bottles and excrement, smashing windows, writing insulting graffiti," an exasperated Javier Arenas, secretary-general of the party, told reporters. "What type of pacifism are we talking about?"
In Bordeaux, France, vandals poured gasoline and paint today over a replica of the Statue of Liberty. Mayor Alain Juppe, a former French prime minister, condemned the attack. An earlier version of the statue had been melted down by German occupiers in World War II. The replacement was raised in 2000, and a plaque, added later, commemorated victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States.
Governments in several Middle Eastern countries have watched with concern as protesters have mixed anti-American messages with criticism of the Arab governments that have cooperated, more or less discreetly, with the American-led military effort.
In Jordan, where King Abdullah II has permitted American, British and Australian troops — reported to be mainly special forces — to operate from the eastern border region with Iraq, protesters chanted, "Shame, shame, they sold Ruweished," a border town, "for a dollar." Facing strong public opposition to the war, Abdullah has depicted the presence of coalition forces as defensive and has opened Jordanian airspace only to coalition supply planes.
Several hundred Palestinian writers, journalists and intellectuals marched today through Gaza City to protest the war and call on Arab leaders to speak out forcefully against the invasion of Iraq.
"We support the people of Iraq and their great resistance to the American and British aggressors," Tawfiq abu Hussa, vice president of a journalists union, told the crowd.
Also today, Egypt formally complained to Syria about demonstrations in Damascus in which protesters denounced President Hosni Mubarak as an American puppet.
Thailand saw its largest antiwar protest yet today, as about 20,000 Muslims rallied peacefully in the southern city of Songkhla. The Thai government has taken a neutral position on the war.
Several Pakistani cities saw new protests today. There was a protest in Srinagar, India, as well, where Muslim students shouted, "Iraqis will defeat infidels."
And in Ndjamena, the capital of Chad, riot police used tear gas today to disperse more than 100 students from Islamic schools who were protesting the war. Police said the march was not authorized. http://nytimes.com
Much of this seems more anti-American than anti-war. And some of it is more pro-Muslim than anti-war.
I think some of these sentiments may have nothing to do with the war, and the invasion simply gives them a reason to vent them in public.