London: 100,000 demonstrate their outrage
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LONDON (5 August 2006) - 100,000 PEOPLE marched through London today to demand an unconditional ceasefire in the Lebanon and an end to Tony Blair's support for American and Israeli war policies. The march passed the US Embassy and Downing Street, where children's shoes were laid at the Cenotaph to draw attention to Tony Blair's complicity in the huge number of children killed in Lebanon. Lebanese and British kids carried four coffins and also placed them at the Cenotaph.
The protest ended with a rally in a packed Parliament Square, addressed by speakers including Walter Wolfgang, Bianca Jagger, speakers from Lebanon and Palestine, Tony Benn, trade union leaders and others.
John McDonnell, MP poured shame on Tony Blair for traveling to the USA as a guest of press baron, Rupert Murdoch and then takes off for his sunny holiday whilst children are being killed in the Middle East as a result of his support for the USA and Israel.
Diane Abbott MP demanded that there be a recall of Parliament and said that she was ashamed of the Prime Minister.
Dawn Butler, MP, supported a recall of Parliament and called for an immediate ceasefire so that the killing stops.
Louise Christian, human rights lawyer, said that what is happening in Lebanon is a war crime and we all have a duty to speak out against the slaughter of innocent civilians. You cannot stand by when children are being slaughtered. And Tony Blair's actions or 'non-actions' are as much a crime as the actual crime itself.
Walter Wolfgang, recently elected to the Labour Party National Executive Committee, said we were all at the demo to call for an unconditional ceasefire. He spoke, he said, as a Jew, and he commended those Jews who had fasted outside the Israeli Embassy on Thursday 3 August. He demanded that the House of Commons should be recalled because every day more people are being killed. End the occupation of Palestine, end the war in Lebanon.
Bianca Jagger said we want an immediate and unconditional ceasefire and led the crowd in a chant for a ceasefire. She said she had been watching the dead children on TV. How many more must be killed before Blair takes action to ensure this happens. She read from Human Rights Watch report indicating that the killings of civilians were not an accident but deliberate war crimes.
Ishmael Patel, Friends of Al Aqsa, said Bush and Blair say that if we are not with them with are with the terrorists. If being a terrorist is to be against murder and wars then he was a terrorist and all of us at this demonstration are terrorists and most of this country is terrorists. He called shame on those 'belly-dancing' Arab leaders who remained 'in bed' with Bush and Blair whilst children and innocent civilians are being killed. Our Prime Minister is not a leader, not a real politician; he is a terrorist in the true and real sense of the word. Ex UK-ambassador, Craig Murray, said he was ashamed that his country was led by such a man as Tony Blair. The demonstration still stretches up Whitehall and that is because all of us are appalled by the situation. Tony Blair is complicit in war crimes and it was time for him to b..... off the world stage. US out of the Middle East, Israel out of Lebanon and Blair out of Downing Street.
John Rees, national Sec of Respect. This war was not planned in Tel Aviv. It was planned in Washington and London. This is an extension of the war which started in Afghanistan, moved to Iraq and is now on its way to Iran via Lebanon. If we don't stop this now there will be a general Middle East War. A battle between David and Goliath, Apache helicopters and F16 jets against Katusha rockets. We are in solidarity with the 'David' resistance against the Goliath warmongers. We have a Prime Minister who is undisturbed by the death of many children. We must act against him and all be at the Labour Party Conference demonstration in Manchester on 23 September.
Manuel Hassassian, Palestinian, said that the only two democracies in the Middle East - Lebanon and Palestine - are being destroyed. He said that Hamas and Hizbullah are not terrorists but freedom fighters. There is a great shame in the Arab world where so many leaders are silent in the face of oppressive war and occupations. We shall overcome.
Mark Serwotka, Gen Sec of the PCS union, said that our government has brought shame on this country. 300 kids under age of 12 have been killed, over 900 civilians, aid convoys shot up. Bush and Blair say they are against terror and yet when Israel engages in terror they remain silent. Immediate ceasefire now and until that happens we will continue to protest. He called for people to come to Manchester on 23 September to make their protests known.
Somaya Ghanoushi of British Muslim Initiative said that Bush and Blair are using the Israelis to carry out their war policies and the blood of the dead children is on their hands. They have much blood on their hands since the most recent killings are to be added to the other war crimes in Iraq, Afghanistan and in Palestine.
Barry Camfield, Dep. Gen Sec of the T & GWU, said he brought the greetings of his union to this demonstration. They have written to the PM and all MPS' calling for an immediate ceasefire. What a shock that a Labour Prime Minister was supporting murderous policies across the Middle East. On the anniversary of his death Where now was Robin Cook's 'ethical' foreign policy. He addressed the Jewish people and called on them to reject the Israeli state and join the rest of us in this fight against fascism and imperialism.
Tony Benn, we have the support of all religions, all peoples and this is not a religious war, but a war against the people of the world who are opposed to an 'imperial' control of their countries. There will be no peace for us until Tony Benn has left Downing Street.
Jeremy Hardy said we are united because we are human beings and not divided by religion, nationality and politics. He wishes everyone Salaam and Shalom.
Lindsey German, national convenor of StWC, congratulated everyone present and said we are on the side of those suffering in the Middle East and not on the side of the warmongers and killers of children. 50% of refugees in Lebanon are children, 30% of the killed are children. We have to be on the side of the Lebanese and Palestinian people who are suffering from war and occupation. The people who perpetuate such suffering are barbarians. They are demonizing their opponents, be that Hamas, Hizbullah, Syria or Iran. You don't have to agree in support of the politics of these movements or governments to be against the US, UK and Israel today.
Darren Johnson, Green Party, said his Party calls for an immediate ceasefire and that should be the policy of the British government. The great shame of arms sales to countries such as Israel was a shame and must be ended. It is time to start a new special relationship, not with Bush but with the suffering people of Lebanon.
George Galloway, MP, yesterday Israel killed 33 Kurdish workers picking fruit. Where are the people in Parliament who supported the Kurds to excuse the attack on Iraq? They are now silent on these deaths. Hezbollah is not nor ever been a terrorist organization. If the US, UK and Israel win this one don't be an Iranian, a Syrian or anyone in any Arab country. If they lose, then don't be a Mubarrak, a Saudi prince, a King of Jordan. Nasrullah is a real leader of Arab people, not these 'belly-dancing' so called leaders. In the same way as Castro and Chavez aren't the real leaders in South America.
Bruce Kent, CND, Blair is a war criminal and should be arrested as such. When Israelis ask him why they are being attacked he tells them because you are citizens of an apartheid state. There must be a boycott of Israel, there must be an end to arms sales to Israel, but be warned this is not an issue of anti-semitism as many Jews are working against Israel and are with this movement. On the Mountain of God all we come together, and live together.
Rose Gentle, Military Families Against the War, and mother of a soldier killed in Iraq, said Blair will never win or be at peace so long as she and people like her were alive. Over 200 military families are supporting her and those families who had lost their children to war. He must answer the question of why did they die. The situation in Iraq and Afghanistan is not getting better as we are constantly told, it is getting worse.
Betty Hunter of the PSC said that Tony Blair says he is bringing about peace but he is a liar. He could have helped bring about a ceasefire many days ago had he not been so close to Bush. The Israeli war machine is now adding Lebanon to its oppressive actions against the Palestinians. We need a boycott of Israel, its goods and its sportsmen. People must join boycott actions outside supermarkets and other paces where Israeli goods are on sale until the occupation of Palestine and Lebanon has ended.
Message from City of Tyre to demonstration. Thousands of leaflets have been dropped on our city today telling people to get out of the city by tonight. Israeli actions must be stopped.
Jeremy Corbyn, MP. There are people here from all backgrounds demanding that Tony Blair stop doing Bush's bidding and start representing us. He and many colleagues are disgusted at what is happening in Lebanon and Gaza. There must be an immediate and unconditional ceasefire. We don't know how many have been killed, many more than we have heard about. We need a ceasefire in Lebanon and a withdrawal of occupying troops from other countries in the region. We salute the peace and justice movement across the country, from Lebanon to Venezuela.
Billy Hayes, Gen Sec of CWU, this is an amazing demonstration representing the real views of the British people. We have been watching terrible scenes on our TV and our children who watch this, ask what it is all about. When I try to explain my small child says why doesn't Tony Blair tell them to stop. Out of the mouths of children ... He demanded that MPs be recalled to Parliament to ensure that this country demands an immediate ceasefire.
Brian Haw, who has 'camped' in Parliament Square, for five years to protest against the killings and war and called for peace between all peoples. He called for Blair to be sent to the Hague as a war criminal. He was sick of being in the Square and people saying 'see you next time'. How many more times must they have to say that?
Dr Daud Abdullah, Muslim Council of Britain, the days of quick Israeli victories are over. From now on there will be successful resistance to war and occupation. There is now a resistance movement that can win. Killing children means that the people are united in a way that has never happened before. When the war is over and the people are successful we will bring to court the war criminals responsible for the crimes they have committed. He appealed to the people not to move from their homes because, if they do, they will never return.
The Stop the War Coalition will continue with protests and demonstrations so long as the 'war on terror' continues to produce such terror as we have recently witnessed in Qanar, Baalbek and across the whole of Lebanon and Gaza and until there is an end to war and occupation across the Middle East. These protests will culminate in a demonstration at the Labour Party conference in Manchester on September 23rd, demanding the withdrawal of British troops from Iraq and an end to the government's support for US foreign policy.
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