Socialist Worker

Thousands protest in London against Tory plan to bomb Syria

by Judith Orr
Issue No. 2482

Dont bomb Syria, say protesters

Don't bomb Syria, say protesters (Pic: Guy Smallman)


 

More than 5,000 anti-war protesters marched on Tory and then Labour Party headquarters in London tonight, Tuesday, in protest at David Cameron's plans to bomb Syria.

 
A number of anti-war protests took place in towns and cities across Britain at the same time.
 
The Stop the War Coalition (StWC) called the demonstration with just over 12 hours warning. It followed David Cameron's announcement that he would put plans for a new war to the vote in parliament tomorrow, Wednesday.
 
Ex nurse Leanne Walters was there with her children. She told Socialist Worker, “What they want to do is inhuman. I don’t think Syrian children are worth any less than my own children. It’s important that we all came out tonight.”
 

Speakers at a rally in Parliament Square included MPs from the Scottish National Party, Labour and Green MP Caroline Lucas. During the rally news came that parliament’s Foreign Affairs Select Committee had voted that Cameron had not made a case for airstrikes.

Lindsey German, convenor of StWC, said, “It’s very important we see that we can make a difference on this.” She urged activists “do everything you can in the next 24 hours” to stop the bombing.

Some protesters phoned their MPs from the demo to demand they voted against airstrikes.

Lots of marchers had brought homemade placards.

Poppy, a student, brought one saying, “What would Tony Benn do?” She told Socialist Worker, “I had family in Syria, it was a beautiful country. Now the bombing will only make life worse for Syrians and the refugees we should be helping.”

Salma Yaqoob campaigned with STWC against the Iraq war. She told the crowd that she had come from Birmingham to speak because MPs “don’t seem to have learned the lessons from the past.” 

She went on, “We have to say to David Cameron whatever happens tomorrow this is not in our name.”

Weyman Bennett spoke from Stand up to Racism. He denounced the increased Islamophobia Muslims face and declared, “Refugees are welcome here, safe from the death you will bring on them”.

The demo was young, militant and angry. After a rally it poured down the streets chanting continuously, “Don't bomb Syria. No more war.”

Outside Tory party headquarters the crowd chanted, “Shame on you David Cameron". Outside Labour HQ they shouted, “Shame on you Hilary Benn”.

The mood against the war was electric and many hoped that it would have an impact on the MPs who might be wavering about supporting Cameron’s war.

After the demo finished hundreds of young people continued to demonstrate and chant against the bombing.

STW will have a presence outside parliament from noon tomorrow as the debate takes place. It has called another demonstration outside parliament at 6pm tomorrow, Wednesday, in Parliament Square. For more details go to stopwar.org.uk

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News
Tue 1 Dec 2015, 22:09 GMT
Issue No. 2482
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