BRITAIN: Thousands protest against war



LONDON — Around 20,000 people mobilised on March 2 in Hyde Park to march to Trafalgar Square for a rally called by the Stop the War Coalition — a broad movement of the left and trade unions.

The anti-war protest had three demands: stop the bombing, no attacks on Iraq, and justice for Palestine. Paul Mackney, the general secretary of the National Association for Teachers of Higher and Further Education (NATHFE), opened the rally by pointing out "although there are fewer people today compared with the 80,000 who assembled in the same spot last November, if the UK continues to support the US-led 'war of revenge', this rally will be the start of a bigger mass movement in Britain".

Mackney went on to say that the current policy of the Blair government was one being pursued "not in our name". He called for an end to the extension of military attacks on Iraq, that the UK stop backing Israel — and selling it arms — and insist that Israel abides by the 69 UN Security Council resolutions it stands in defiance of, and withdraws from the occupied territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, which works closely with the Stop the War Coalition, has called another rally for March 30.

From Green Left Weekly, March 13, 2002.

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