Students occupy their school
Hundreds of school students staged a sit-in against the war on Iraq, and to demand the right to protest, at Alexandra Park School, north London, last week.
“We only expected about 50, but a group of 200 and more people refused to go back to lessons,” said Esther King, one of the protesting students.
Alys Zaerin said, “Lots of school students were scared of the prospect of war two years ago. That anger hasn’t quietened down. This time there’s the same people — and more who have become aware since then.”
The students organised banner painting, speeches and music during their sit-in and a delegation later went to stay overnight at the peace camp set up in Trafalgar Square.
Opposition all over the world
Demonstrations took place across the world to mark two years since the beginning of the war. “Fifteen thousand people joined the anti-war demonstration in Athens, Greece,” says Panos Garganas.
Ron Marguiles says, “The 25,000 strong demonstration in Istanbul, Turkey, was attended by 650 members of the Aliaga Refinery branch of the petroleum and chemicals workers’ union Petrol-Is.”
Thousands of protesters marched in different places across the US. In South Korea 3,000 anti-war demonstrators rallied. Riot police fired teargas at protestors in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur.
Dutch activist Pepjin Brandon says, “In Brussels, 50,000 union members from across Europe protested against the anti-labour policies of the European Union.”
Socialist Worker is a success
Socialist Worker received a warm response from anti-war marchers last Saturday. Over 4,500 copies of Socialist Worker were sold on the march. Some 125 people joined the Socialist Workers Party (SWP).
Nessie Summer, a 16 year old student from St Albans, said, “We all need to take part and voice our opinion on the way the world is run — which is appallingly. It is important to join together to make a louder voice. That’s one of the reasons I joined the SWP.”
Fram Dinshaw, a student at Keele University, said, “When I saw the news about the anti-terror laws being passed I thought I’ve had enough of this government that has lied to me and attacked democracy. Britain is becoming a more intolerant place due to the rise of the BNP. I thought I had the choice to emigrate to Canada or join the SWP.”