It is right that our movement should stay on the streets. We will be holding another national demonstration on 24 September.
We have already had a great response to our announcement. We want to hold a mass demonstration to oppose attacks on civil liberties and to call for the troops out of Iraq.
We expect to march past Parliament Square and past Downing Street. We do not expect the government to refuse us the right to do this — and there will be huge protests if they do.
Local Stop the War groups across the country will be meeting in the coming month to plan for this mobilisation.
Being here in Parliament Square today is about saying that the politicians have no right to restrict our protests.
They have restricted our rights in two ways. Firstly they have refused to allow megaphones, which obviously restricts your ability to be heard.
Secondly they want to force protesters to obtain permission, to fill out a form, in order to demonstrate here. And we can get arrested if we don’t do that.
We see no reason for our rights to be curtailed in this way — it is simply a means to prevent people from demonstrating.
The police have arrested people here today, which is a disgrace. There was absolutely no need for them to do this.
These needless arrests of five protesters simply strengthens our case that this law should be repealed.
I’m amazed that our elected representatives don’t have better things to do than debate draconian measures against peaceful protesters.
After all, there’s a war in Iraq, racism and global warming — surely these are the questions our MPs should be dealing with, rather than a few hundred people with a megaphone.
We will be back here again on the day that parliament reassembles after the long summer break. We are determined to continue to protest over this issue.
For Stop the War Coalition events and information go to www.stopwar.org.uk