More than 1,000 anti-war protesters marched through the streets of downtown Toronto Saturday, joining worldwide demonstrations marking the third anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.
Protesters waved placards as they marched from the U.S. consulate to the downtown core, condemning the war in Iraq and Canada's 2,200-strong presence in Afghanistan.
The Toronto protest was organized by the Coalition to Stop the War. Similar demonstrations were held in Halifax, Ottawa, Montreal and Vancouver, and in major cities around the world.
In London, organizers hoped to attract 100,000 people, but police estimated the crowd at about 15,000.
About 500 protesters in Australia chanted, "end the war now," while 2,000 marched in Japan and more than 1,000 paraded in Toronto.
Rent-a-crowd professional protesters and their weekend hobbyist friends are a dime a dozen in Toronto. You can call for a protest against the laws of thermodynamics in Toronto and get 10,000 people on Queen's Park the next day demanding their repeal.
If they could only scare up a thousand--and that being a generous estimate--despite throwing in every other issue imaginable to draw a crowd, then they've really dropped the ball here.
Or maybe even the rent-a-crowds are getting tired of the Iraq issue.
Or maybe they can't put together a half-decent crowd because the Hussein regime is no longer there to fund their protests through various front groups.
Whatever the reason, it's a sign that they can't plan a protest as well as they used to.