London had its fifth major protest yesterday against the war in Iraq, with organisers claiming that as many as 100,000 people attended the march from Hyde Park to Trafalgar Square. The Metropolitan Police put the figure at up to 15,000.
Either way it was enough to turn Trafalgar Square into a noisy sea of waving placards and banners, with leading figures in the Stop the War Coalition calling for the resignation of the Prime Minister, Tony Blair.
The march contained many of the most vocal anti-war activists including George Galloway, the Labour MP suspended by the party for comparing Mr Blair and George Bush to wolves. He said: "It is vital that we call Tony Blair to account, because if a crime and a blunder on this scale goes unpunished, it will happen again and again."
But the demonstration also had its share of new faces. On her first peace march was 40-year-old Margaret Andrews from Northampton. "We didn't want to be at war with the Iraqi people ... it is a rough occupation. I think Tony Blair should examine his conscience," she said.
Also among the speakers was Dima Tahboub, the Jordanian widow of Tariq Ayyoub, an al-Jazeera journalist who was killed when the network's office in Baghdad was hit by an American missile on 8 April. "It is time to stop these people doing all their vicious deeds," she said.
Also among the crowd was Wasan al-Tikriti, 16, an Iraqi girl, who lives in London. "My parents have just come back from Tikrit, where our family live, and it's very unstable there - like living in a horror movie," she said.Reuse content