The movement that emerged in response to the U.S. invasions of Af-ghanistan and Iraq is perhaps the most varied transnational network ever to protest war. Although difficult to gauge, this fluid network has included thousands of groups mobilizing tens of millions on all continents and coordinating sustained campaigns to counter foreign bases and to stage civil society-led trials to expose the Bush administration’s and its allies’ war crimes. The reemergent peace movement has staged some of the largest national demonstrations ever recorded, in addition to unprecedented transnational days of action. The first was held on November 9, 2002, where nearly 1 million people flowed through the streets of Florence, Italy, on the closing day of the first European Social Forum (ESF). The next morning, several hundred activists gathered at a Social Movements Assembly and set February 15, 2003 as a global day
of mobilization. This call was reaffirmed at the World Social Forum (WSF) the following January in Brazil and was disseminated via activist listserves and websites. The “2/15” appeal was answered by as many as 30 million people in nearly 1,000 cities from more than 100 countries. An estimated half million marched in Berlin and New York City, 1 million in Barcelona and Madrid, nearly 2 million in London, and 2.5 million in Rome. So impressive was the global outpouring that even the mainstream U.S. press, which until that time had largely fallen into lockstep behind Bush, took notice. A New York Times op-ed pronounced the emergence of a new “superpower” of world public opinion “eyeball to eyeball” with the president and his policies (Tyler 2003).