The Day We Broke The Ban
Several members of KPC went to the demonstration on 8th October,
organised by CND and Stop the War Coalition, demanding that the government
'bring all the troops home'. It was
attended by around 5,000 people - a great turn out for a weekday, and it was
encouraging that there were quite a lot of young people, coming with student
groups, who were very enthusiastic.
Despite earlier attempts to ban the event, the police allowed the
demonstration to process along Whitehall and through Parliament
Square to College Green.
Public outrage at attempts to prevent it – as shown in the press in articles
from Tony Benn and Brian Eno – helped ensure that the
march reached Parliament whilst the House of Commons was sitting.
Speaking in Trafalgar
Square, CND Chair Kate
Hudson highlighted the hypocrisy of trying to ban the protest when the Prime
Minister had promised to extend liberties around the world at the Labour Party
In his speech, Brian Eno highlighted a further government surrender to US
foreign policy: on the day before Parliament's summer recess, Defence Secretary
Des Browne slipped out a written statement announcing that the US can
use Yorkshire’s Menwith Hill base as part of its
Missile Defence programme. Recently, speculation has grown that the US may also install interceptor rockets in the UK.
However, it was a great shame that there wasn't a much stronger call
at the demo for this government to provide full financial support for
reconstruction and rehabilitation on Iraq's
terms. Yes, we want the troops out, but to imply that this is all smacks of
rats abandoning a sinking ship. The government must not be allowed to forget
its tremendous obligations - it can't just 'move on'.
It would be
interesting to hear KPC members' views on this.
Send your thoughts to the editor of next month's newsletter (see back
page for details).