Friday, 21 November 2003

Peace protest paralyses London

Popular anger at the occupation of Iraq spilled into the heart of London on Thursday, as hundreds of thousands of people protested in what organisers said was the largest ever weekday demonstration in British history.


Police estimated the numbers marching at 110,000. But Chris Nineham, a spokesman for the Stop the War Coalition, said that 350,000 had joined the protest.

"We've shown the warmongers that far from disappearing, were still growing," he said, "and we'll stay on the streets until we win".

The anti-war MP Alice Mahon said she thought a quarter of a million had taken part. "I've lived through the Vietnam demonstrations, the protests against Thatcher and the Poll Tax," she told Aljazeera.net, "and this is one of the biggest I've ever seen.”

Inevitably, the bombing of the British consulate and HSBC bank in Istanbul cast a pall over the carnival-like proceedings, but protestors were not deflected from their goals.

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