More than 20,000 protesters today joined Britain's biggest protest yet against military action in Afghanistan by the US and its allies.
The turnout was twice as big as that expected by Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament organisers and four times that predicted by police.
Demonstrators set off from Marble Arch at 1pm today and snaked towards Trafalgar Square, where the march culminated with speeches from the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and the Green party.
A one minute silence for victims of the conflict was broken by chants of "Allah, Akbar" (God is great) from Muslims attending the march.
Afterwards, the CND chairwoman, Carol Naughton, said: "Today has been incredible. We expected a lot of people, but this just shows that there really is a big upsurge of people who are opposed to the conflict in Britain.
"CND has said all along that killing innocent civilians is not the way to eradicate terrorism - we have to do it through the United Nations and international law."
Following the success of today's march, CND is planning an even larger protest next month.
Today's march was noisy but peaceful, with marchers banging drums, blowing whistles and chanting "No war!" and "We want peace!"
Protesters carried Socialist Worker party placards bearing messages such as "Stop this bloody war. Fight US/UK imperialism". Others read: "CND says not in my name" and "CND says peace and justice for all"
The Muslim Parliament of Great Britain had appealed to the Islamic community to give their full support to the event.
Before the march, the CND vice chairwoman, Kate Hudson, said: "We are sending a very clear message to Mr Blair and President Bush to say that we think they should stop the bombing now. They should take this opportunity to allow starving Afghan people to be fed."
This morning around 1,500 people also gathered in Glasgow for a rally against the allied military action in Afghanistan. The demonstrators, including representatives of organisations such as CND and Unison, assembled in George Square and the protest passed off peacefully.
Among the population as a whole, however, support for military action has grown since the attacks begin. A Guardian/ICM poll yesterday revealed that 74% gave their backing to the US-led attacks, while almost nine in ten people believed Tony Blair was handling the crisis either "very well" or "quite well".
There were other peace protests in other cities throughout Europe and the rest of the world. In Germany, more than 25,000 protestors from a diverse range of church and youth groups, as well as trade unions, took to the streets in cities across the country.
In Berlin, the biggest demonstration drew 15,000 people to the central square following several marches throughout the city under the banner "No war - stand up for peace".
In Sweden, the biggest demonstration took place in Gothenburg, where more than 2,500 people marched through the city in a rally organised by a coalition of left wing organisations.
Meanwhile, in Australia, thousands of people demonstrated in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide. The rallies had been planned for over a year as part of International Stop Star Wars Day, intended to protest against President Bush's missile defence plans. But the event also became a mouthpiece for people opposed to military retaliation by the United States against Afghanistan.