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Voices on the election from the anti-war demo

This article is over 17 years, 1 months old
Socialist Worker spoke to a number of marchers about who they were planning to vote for in the expected general election.
Issue 1944

‘I’m here today with people I work with. It’s about supporting the whole anti-war movement and about being a leftist. This is supposed to be a democracy, but none of the parties are really left wing any more. I voted Labour last time, but this time round I’m definitely voting Respect. It’s a working class vote.’
Gus Jakhu, postal worker from Leicester

‘Considering we had no anti-war group in September, we’ve built a really good group since then. We’ve held big meetings and people recognise us and respect what we do.’
Sadia, student from De Montford University, Leicester

‘I’m against the war in Iraq and against all the wars. I am a member of the RMT union. I believe occupation troops should not be staying in Iraq, it’s not legal, it’s against human rights. I wish they would pull the troops back and let Iraqi people decide their future. I will most definitely not be voting Labour or Conservative. I’ll be voting Respect, and helping candidate Oliur Rahman in my constituency.’
Ali, tube worker from London

‘I was working for Amnesty International about a year ago when I heard about Craig Murray. I found it an inspirational story. He was our ambassador to Uzbekistan and helped put the spotlight on human rights abuses. He was sacked for his trouble. But he’s not lying down, he’s going to stand up and fight. It’s an excellent way of sticking one to Jack Straw. I voted Labour last time, but I won’t vote Labour again. I don’t know whether Respect is standing in my constituency or not. It’s probably going to have to be the Liberal Democrats, who were kind of against the war.’
Richard Wilson, volunteer to help Craig Murray’s election campaign against Jack Straw in Blackburn

‘I’m not voting. It’s just one big market research exercise. If Respect or the Greens were to stand, I’d go and see what they have to say, but I’ve little faith in anyone who goes into politics. If you go in with an honest heart you either sell out or get kicked out.’
Heather Brown

‘Respect is the anti-war party — and it’s a protest vote against the Labour Party. I’m an ex-Labour voter.’
Ama Cobbina, Camden, north London

‘I’ll probably vote Lib Dem as a protest. The Greens and Respect do appeal but I think the Lib Dems have a better chance. Maybe four years later. It’s an organisation that has to grow. I think the political landscape will change over the next ten years.’
Andrew Elliot, Ealing, west London

‘I voted Tony Blair in when it was a case of getting the Tories out. Since then I’ve voted for the Green Party — I won’t be voting for Labour. As an alternative, I might consider Respect. It’s because of the treatment of asylum seekers, the pensions and Blair — I find the man dishonest.’
Caroline Hope

‘I live in Hackney North and I wouldn’t normally vote Labour but Diane Abbott is quite anti-Blair. If there was a Respect candidate I’d vote for them. I’d certainly vote Respect in Oona King’s constituency. It’s Diane Abbott or Respect — because of Blair, human rights, privatisation, the war and the alliance with Bush.’
Miriam Beeks, GP from Hackney, east London

‘I’ll probably vote Plaid Cymru. I’m not going to vote Labour. I work in health and local government. There’s problems being able to carry on giving a good service when all the money’s going towards the war. I’m worried about civil liberties — I remember internment.’
Olwen Leavold

‘It’s definitely not Labour. The issues are local community efforts within the council and of course at a global level, pulling the troops out. I’ve voted for the Greens in the past. I haven’t come across Respect literature, so it’ll probably be the Greens.’
Fatema Qureshi, single mother from Ealing, west London



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