Socialist Worker

Blair flees protest over Iraq

by John Shemeld
Issue No. 1984

Up to 100 demonstrators from Nottingham Student Peace Group and Nottingham Stop the War forced Tony Blair to sneak into Labour’s national policy forum meeting through the back door last Saturday.

We made good use of local knowledge of the campus geography to outwit a massive police presence round Nottingham University’s East Midlands conference centre.

The protest got within ten metres of the front entrance while Tony Blair addressed the meeting.

Insiders later told us that our chants of “Troops out of Iraq, Blair out of Nottingham” and “What’s Blair talking? Nonsense!” (in honour of Walter Wolfgang, who was ejected from Labour’s annual conference last year) could be heard clearly during Blair’s speach. 

To achieve this we had to sit down in the face of various police attempts to move us to their “designated protest area”. 

The whole meeting was surrounded by incredible secrecy, and even members of the Labour Party were only told that there was going to be “an important speaker” at the forum.  

With barely 24 hours to go, we heard that Blair was coming, and the demonstration was organised by text messages and e-mails.

Nottingham Stop the War is already selling coach tickets for the national demonstration on 18 March, and both of Nottingham’s universities are organising their own coaches as well.

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Sat 21 Jan 2006, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1984
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