Socialist Worker

Thousands in Manchester to protest against the war

Issue No. 2120

Students joined the Stop the War demonstration on the eve of the Labour conference (Pic:» Jess Hurd/ )

Students joined the Stop the War demonstration on the eve of the Labour conference (Pic: » Jess Hurd/

More than 5,000 people marched through central Manchester last Saturday against the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, and to oppose the spread of war to other countries.

The demonstration was timed to coincide with the start of the Labour Party conference being held in the city.

As marchers passed the conference venue many held their palms up towards it, shouting “blood on your hands”.

The demo, which was called by Stop the War, CND and the British Muslim Initiative, was diverse and good spirited.

It ended with a rally addressed by Tony Benn, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Guardian journalist Seumas Milne and others.

Tony Woodley, the joint general secretary of the Unite union, called on marchers to remember the “many thousands of innocent victims of the lunatics that have taken us to war”.

Lindsey German, convenor of the Stop the War Coalition, said, “In the middle of this economic crisis Gordon Brown should be helping the people struggling to pay the bills, not spending £3 million a day on the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Rose Gentle of Military Families Against the War said she was disgusted how the government treats its own soldiers. “They leave them to rot once they get back,” she said.

The protest bodes well for the next big focus for the international anti-war movement – a major demonstration against the Nato summit to be held in Strasbourg, France, next April.

For more details on the Strasbourg demo go to »

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