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40,000 march in London to mark fifth anniversary of Iraq war

This article is over 16 years, 2 months old
Some 40,000 anti-war protesters took part in today's march in London to mark the fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq.
Issue 2092

Some 40,000 anti-war protesters took part in today’s march in London to mark the fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq.

The demonstration started with a rally at Trafalgar Square before setting off to symbolically encircle the Houses of Parliament.

Lindsey German, national convenor of the Stop the War Coalition, told the rally, ‘Five years on, we’re still marching because they are still occupying.’

She called for Tony Blair and the other architects of the Iraq invasion to be held to account for their lies and their crimes – and warned against George Bush’s new drive to war against Iran.

The mood of the march was angry but determined. Many of the protesters had marched against the Iraq war five years ago, but there were also many students and young people who had been drawn into the anti-war movement since then.

Charlotte Brown, a student at Sussex university, told Socialist Worker, ‘It’s important to show there is a resistance movement here, and that it’s an international movement, even if the government doesn’t listen.’

Other speakers at the Trafalgar Square rally included the film-maker Nick Broomfield. He talked of how the arguments the anti-war movement made five years ago have been proved right, while the warmongers’ claims have been proved to be lies.

‘The question now, five years on, is should they be allowed to get away with it,’ he added.

Tony Benn, president of the Stop the War Coalition, paid tribute to the resilience of the anti-war movement, adding that, ‘Parliament represents the past – the streets represent the future.’

Dr Azzam Tamimi from the British Muslim Initiative spoke of the horrors rained down by Israel on Gaza and the people of Palestine in recent weeks.

He denounced Gordon Brown for the British government’s complicity with Israeli war crimes. ‘We were promised that Brown would be better than Blair, but he is just as cowardly as Blair,’ he said.

‘There is something inherently wrong with this political system and we need to change it for good.’

The estimate for the number of marchers has been updated since we received a more systematic count

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