"The weekend's vast protest shows that opposition is still growing, in spite of US and British government claims to have Iraqis' best interests at heart. It was the biggest demonstration since foreign troops invaded.
"Equally significantly, the marchers were mainly Shias, who poured in from the impoverished eastern suburb known as Sadr City. The Bush-Blair spin likes to suggest that protest is confined to Sunnis, and that these people are disgruntled former Saddam supporters. The fact that the march was largely Shia and against Saddam as much as Bush and Blair gives the lie to that.
"Some Sunnis attended the march, which too was an important sign. Moqtada al-Sadr, the Shia cleric who organised the latest march, recently joined forces with the National Foundation Congress, a group of Sunni and Shia nationalists, to affirm 'the legitimate right of the Iraqi resistance to defend their country and its destiny' while 'rejecting terrorism aimed at innocent Iraqis, institutions, public buildings and places of worship'.
"The key issue, now as it has been since 2003, is for the occupation to end quickly.