Socialist Worker

War veteran arrested at anti-war protest

Issue No. 2056

George Mather

George Mather

In an outrageous move, an 80 year old peace activist, George Mather, was arrested while lobbying Labour’s deputy leadership hustings in Newcastle.

But an unrepentant George says he has no plans to give up campaigning.

“I’ve always been against injustice. I’ll be on the coach to Manchester on Sunday,” he told Socialist Worker.

“And if I see Gordon Brown I’ll tell him to bring the troops home, even if they try to arrest me again.”

George says, “I’ve been political since I was seven, when I first heard old soldiers from the First War complaining about how they’d been cannon fodder, though at the time I didn’t get how men could be fodder.”

George served with the Merchant Navy in the Second World War. He has four campaign medals, having been on Russian, Atlantic, Mediterranean and African convoys.

He was among about 35 people who formed a protest against the Iraq war outside the hustings.

“I decided to walk around the building but a constable stopped me. I said I had a right to walk where I wanted.

“Before I knew it, I was handcuffed. The policeman probably told me why I was being arrested, but I’m a bit deaf, so I didn’t hear.

“I was being driven off in a van towards the police station when the inspector in charge radioed. He was quite excited, saying, ‘Why have you got an 89 year old war hero handcuffed in your van?’ I remembered that because, you know, I’m not 89. Not long after that I was released.”

Click here to subscribe to our daily morning email newsletter 'Breakfast in red'

Article information

Wed 20 Jun 2007, 10:53 BST
Issue No. 2056
Share this article


Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.