Thousands of Iraqis stage anti-U.S. protests
Families become human shields at presidential palace
November 10, 1997
Web posted at: 10:48 a.m. EST (1548 GMT)
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Thousands of protesters again took to
the streets of the Iraqi capital on Monday as U.N. officials
were considering their next step in the standoff with
Several thousand demonstrators attended a rally, chanting
"Down with America!" and "Long live President Saddam
At the presidential palaces, hundreds of Iraqi families
gathered to act as human shields in case of any U.S.
attack, the official Iraqi news agency INA reported Monday.
"Hundreds of Iraqi families have expressed their readiness
to stay in the ... presidential palaces in defiance of any
American military aggression against these sites," the agency
INA said the families had gathered in front of the
presidential palaces to confirm their readiness to "sacrifice
for their country and leader Saddam Hussein."
The Baghdad protesters marched to the local headquarters of
the ruling Baath party, not knowing whether their leader's
latest acts of defiance would lead the country into military
School children, some of them dressed in paramilitary
uniforms, joined the rally, and teachers helped stir up
A senior government official took to the stage, telling
observers that this was the unified voice of Iraq's people:
expressing support for Saddam Hussein and showing no fear.
|CNN's Ben Wedeman reports on the scene at the presidential palace as hundreds of Iraqis volunteer to be human shields
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Separately, several thousand Iraqi women demonstrated at the
U.N. Development Program office in Baghdad against what they
called U.S. threats against Iraq.
The government newspaper al-Jumhouriya urged France, China
and Russia to intervene and suspend U-2 flights until after
the U.N. Security Council meeting on Iraq on Monday.
Correspondents Brent Sadler, Ben Wedeman and Reuters contributed to this report.