Peter Brierley, who lost his son Shaun in Iraq in 2003, spoke to Socialist Worker after addressing a 1,000-strong vigil organised by the Stop the War Coalition on the Saturday after the London bombings:
“I really empathise with the victims and their families. Their suffering affects me as much as the loss of my own son. The same is true of people suffering in Iraq.
“The London bombing has nothing to do with Muslims hating non-Muslims. But I do have to tell Mr Blair that it is to do with the hatred stoked up by the illegal Iraq war.
“Withdrawing our troops from Iraq won’t get rid of terrorism overnight. But it will make it less likely, and I now believe it is the right thing to do to start making the world safer.
“When my son was killed I believed the war was right. But from what we have learnt since I know it was wrong.
“What was a personal tragedy for me and my family has become part of a greater tragedy that now includes the bombings in London and the daily bombings in Iraq.
“I work in the bus industry and I’d call on everyone to be vigilant. I hope those responsible are caught quickly.
“But our best defence is the multiethnic nature of Britain standing together for peace and for a drastic change in foreign policy.”
Join the Vigil for Peace, at 2pm, Sunday 17 July, Russell Square, London. Called by the Stop the War Coalition