Historic Anti-War March in London
by Bob Wing
*Bob Wing is the editor of War Times. He is currently in
London in transit to Palestine.
London, Sept. 28
Tony Blair may be President Bush's only European ally in
his drive for war on Iraq. But the people of the UK
today forcibly demonstrated their opposition to forcible
This afternoon, at least 350,000 people from all over
the United Kingdom descended upon the corridors of power
for a massive and peaceful "Don't Attack Iraq/Freedom
for Palestine" march and rally.
As I file this report at 4 p.m., less than half the
march, which commenced at 12:30 p.m., has arrived at the
Hyde Park Rally.
The action was the largest of its kind in the UK in 30
years. It was dramatic, and so large that it was truly
impossible to guage its size. Certainly it numbered in
the hundreds of thousands of people of every ethnicity,
age and class.
Recent polls show that 70 percent opposed Britain
joining a U.S.-led military action. "There is not just
opposition to the prospect of war--there is boiling
anger," asserts Andrew Murray, chair of the Stop the War
The turnout was a shot across the bow of Prime Minister
Tony Blair and a preview of next weeks Labor Party
The demonstration was jointly sponsored by the Stop the
War Coalition and the Muslim Association of Britain. It
was endorsed by 12 national trade unions, numerous
Muslim and anti-racist organizations, Members of
Parliament and the Mayor of London.
Organizers have called for another massive "Don't Attack
Iraq Day" for Oct. 31.
"Opposition to this war in this country is the most
incredible coalition I have ever seen," says Jeremy
Corbyn, a Labor MP.
"Since Sept. 11, Islamophobia has spread across the UK
and activated the Muslim and South Asian populations,"
said Asad Rehman, national organizer for the Stop the
War Coalition and chairman of the Newham Monitoring
Project. South Asians are the largest group of color in
the UK, numbering about 15 percent in London alone.
"I didn't go on earlier demonstrations but I am now
because the countdown to war has started and I find it
terrifying," explained march Jemma Redgrave.
Robert "3-D" Del Naja of the pop group Massive Attack
says "I am marching because I feel very disheartened
about our government and the way it reacts to America
and American foreign policy."
Meanwhile, in Parliament, Labor Party members are
staging a revolt against Blair's Iraq policy. They warn
that the 56-strong rebellion of this week is just a warm
up. Blair also faces powerful opposition at next week's
national Labor Party conference.
Charles Kennedy, leader of the Liberal Democratic Party,
the third largest in the UK, declared his opposition to
what he called the U.S.'s "imperialist" policy.