|Year 2001 No. 174, October 15, 2001||ARCHIVE||HOME||SEARCH||SUBSCRIBE|
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One of the main features of Saturdays national march and rally to Stop the War against Afghanistan was the diversity of its participants. Impressive in size, the developing clarity of the peace and anti-war movement and militancy of the march clearly amplified the voices in opposition to the use of force.
Assembling from early morning at Speakers Corner in London, it was clear that tens of thousands of youth, women, children, political organisations, peace groups, local trades unions branches, refugee organisations, religious organisations including Buddhists, Christians and Muslims, anti-globalisation protesters, local Stop the War Coalitions, and many others were united in condemnation of the military aggression against Afghanistan. The banners and placards, hand made, alongside others mass-produced reflected the widespread opposition to terrorism, to war and to the actions of the British and US governments.
Stop Killing - Please Talk; War is Bad; War is No solution; Think - Why did September 11 happen? United States Global Glutton, Global Bullies; There Never Was a Good War or a Bad Peace; People are always the Victims of War; Either You are With Peace of You are With the Terrorists; Stop bombing, You cant bomb people into Co-operation; Smoke out the Real Terrorists - Tony Blair and George W Bush; We are the agenda for the 21st century; End State Terrorism; For a Just and Peaceful Solution; Defend the Rights of All; A Different World Is Possible; Stop the War.
By these placards and slogans denouncing the war drive, state terrorism and stepped up racism, it was clear that many people have responded to the events of September 11 and refuse to be manipulated by news reports and analysis which have attempted to transform sorrow into vengeance-seeking and war. No War in Our Name was the sentiment of the demonstration, rejecting the action of the New Labour government led by Tony Blair.
Assembling after the two-mile march to Trafalgar Square the estimated 50,000 participants heard speeches from a variety of individuals and organisations united in their opposition to the War of Aggression against Afghanistan.
The spirit of the day was captured with a clear message to Tony Blair and the New Labour government from Salma Yakoob of the Stop the War Coalition in Birmingham: "If only the leftists had been here today people would have said we were all lefties. If only CND had been here they would have said it was the middle-class elite. If it was only Muslims they would have called us extremists. If it was only Asians and black people they would have said it was the ethnic minorities. Tony Blair, we are here united against this war. You cannot dismiss us all."
A very militant contingent of RCPB(ML) participated in the demonstration, marching on the demonstration with a contingent of NCP. Scores of the October 13 edition of Workers Weekly, which led with the call of RCPB(ML) to Step up the Struggle against State Terrorism and War! were distributed.
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