A sponsored Cycle for Peace took place in Scotland last Sunday to raise money for a legal case attempting to bring Tony Blair to account for war crimes in Iraq.
Organised by the Justice for Gordon Gentle Campaign and the newly-formed Glasgow Stop the War Coalition, over 30 cyclists braved the harsh winds and rain on the Island of Cumbrae as they were led on an 11-mile bike trek by Glaswegian anti-war campaigner Rose Gentle, who lost her 19-year-old son Gordon when he was killed in Iraq.
Supporters of all ages from as far as Italy and Birmingham joined those from Edinburgh and Glasgow as they set off to raise cash for the campaign to win the right to mount a case against the prime minister with the backing of Military Families Against the War.
Rose Gentle also participated in the event, which raised just under £3,000 for the national campaign. Before setting off, volunteers were commended for their efforts and reminded why supporting the case was so vital.
“We’re here to help Rose Gentle and Military Families Against War raise enough money so that a legal challenge can be made against the illegal war being waged in Iraq,” said Ian Mitchell of Glasgow Stop the War Coalition
“Rose believes her son died for a lie, and since then Blair and fellow war criminal Bush just keep on lying while innocent people keep dying — including now on the streets of London.
“This campaign will cost money, and if Rose wins the right to challenge Blair in court this could cost thousands of pounds.”
Rose Gentle, who has spent much of this month liaising with bereaved mother Cindy Sheehan in the US, is confident that the money required for legal action can and will be raised. She said, “We need to raise at least £20,000. I think we can do it. Events are taking place all over the country to help support the cause and it is hoped there will be a really good response to this at the Stop the War demonstration on 24 September in London.
“I don’t see why our case is being refused legal aid as we are as entitled to it as anyone, but I am confident we can raise what’s needed.”
Perviz Khan, a member of the Birmingham Stop the War Coalition who supported the Cycle for Peace, urged people across the country to support Rose Gentle and the 17 families involved in the legal case. “It is essential that people in this country who have become disillusioned by the prime minister’s lies over war, terror and human rights, come out and fully support Rose and the military families in their quest for justice,” he said.
“We have been lied to about the war and our soldiers are being led to their graves because of this lie.”
To support the Justice for Gordon Gentle campaign, phone 07930 360 216 or go to www.mfaw.org.uk