“The most unwelcome visit to Liverpool since Oswald Mosley came here in the 1930s,” is how the Liverpool Echo newspaper described US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice’s visit to the city and Blackburn, planned for this week.
Oswald Mosley was the leader of the British Union of Fascists. Condoleezza Rice is one of the architects of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and is directly implicated in the horrific levels of death and destruction inflicted on those countries.
Anti-war activists in Liverpool and in Blackburn are outraged by her visit‚ organised by foreign secretary Jack Straw. They planned demonstrations for Friday and Saturday this week.
The campaign against Rice’s visit to Liverpool has had instant success.
She was due to be entertained on Friday by the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. Following protests by the local anti-war movement, the well-known Liverpool poet Roger McGough, who was due to compere the performance, withdrew.
Mark Henzel says, “The Merseyside Stop the War Coalition is mobilising on all fronts to oppose this war criminal being wined, dined and entertained here.
“Rice is apparently a big fan of The Beatles so we produced T-shirts with ‘Fab Four, Not War’. We donned orange jump suits for anti?Rice leafleting in town. Then it was up to the Philharmonic Hall, kneeling in front with hoods on for an embarrassing photo shoot for the chief exec!
“We have lobbied and addressed the council and organised a letter writing campaign. We campaigned to get the musicians, catering staff, waiters, and choir to follow Roger McGough and pull out.”
For details of the protest go to www.stopwar.org.uk