Over 100,000 people demonstrated in London against
the occupation of Iraq
ANNIVERSARY OF THE AL-AQSA INTIFADA
OCCUPATION OF IRAQ
FREEDOM FOR PALESTINE
Saturday 27th September 2003]
PART I OF
"Blair Must Go!"
The third anniversary of the Al-Aqsa Intifada saw over 100,000
ordinary people of all faiths and races on the streets of
London marching in support of Palestine and against the occupation
The day was also important because the next day was the start
of the Labour party conference. The prime minister Tony Blair
had already declared that he didn't want the invasion of Iraq
to be mentioned at the conference so the rally took on the
extra responsibility of voicing the peoples views on the occupation
of Iraq and the wall of lies surrounding the reasons Britain
went to war.
It was jointly organised by the Muslim Association of Britain,,
Stop the War Coalition, and Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament(CND).
The march set off from Hyde Park down Park Lane to culminate
in a rally at Trafalgar Square. Around 30 speakers addressed
the rally, we have most of the speeches, around 2.5 hours
worth, available on this page in real audio format (both for
listening and downloading).
Speakers included the regular favourites as well as many
new and important faces.
George Galloway was on top form as
he described Tony Blairs decision not to discuss the war at
the party conference: "Its like having an elephant sitting
in the corner of your living room and not being prepared to
mention it". And he had a suggestion about this years
bon fire night: "Guy Fawkes who's had a hard enough time
all these centuries - after all he wasn't the only man to
enter parliament with bad intentions, lets replace Guy Fawkes
on the top of those bon fires with George W Bush and Tony
George Galloway in front of Nelsons Column
at Trafalgar Square
Tony Benn described Trafalgar Square
as "the real parliament of this country".
Ken Livingstone, the popular Mayor
of London, spoke of Sharon: "Sharons hands are covered
in blood - the blood goes up to his arm pits! He has had fifty
years of slaughtering Palestinians."
Dima Tahboub, the wife of the murdered
al-Jazeera journalist Tareq Ayyoub gave a very emotionally
charged address - many both in the crowd and on the podium
were reduced to tears as she described her life without Tareq,
and the double standards which meant that his killers - US
soldiers - would go unpunished: "what I'm supposed to
tell my two year old daughter Fatimah? Am I supposed to tell
her that the people who killed her father were never brought
to justice and were probably awarded military honours for
their performance during war?"
Sophie and Billy Hurndall spoke of
their brother Tom who was shot in the head by Israeli soldiers.
Billy described his own visit to Palestine, "I travelled
to Palestine - I wanted to find these answers for myself.
In short, I found the answers that I feared. Palestinian blood
spilt, quiet often at the hands of laughing Israeli soldiers".
He castigated the media for betraying the British people by
concealing the truth about Palestine.
Sophie (left) & Billy (centre) Hurndall
Eleven year old student Rosana spoke
of how she wrote a letter to her pro-war MP asking him how
he would feel if someone bombed his home and killed his family
Azzam Tamimi, the spokesperson of the
Muslim Association of Britain, warned the European Union to
stop encouraging Sharons butchery by giving him green lights:
"when the European Union proscribed Hamas as a terrorist
organisation. Immediately afterwards, within the hour, israelis
sent their f16s to assassinate Sheikh Ahmed Yasin and hell
Ismael Patel from Friends of Al-Aqsa
talked of the need to "dismantle" the "discriminatory
ideology" zionism and "de-zionise Israel".
Film maker Ken Loach responded to the
announcement that the US provisional authority are to sell
off 192 publicly owned Iraqi companies: "they smashed
the shop front and now they are reaching in and grabbing the
jewels! I think we cannot oppose the war unless we oppose
corporate power at the same time - its one and the same issue!"
Campaigning journalist George Monbiot
warned against replacing US troops with UN troops in Iraq.
He said "the best place for the US armed forces at the
moment is pinned down in Iraq because while they are stuck
there they can't go on and invade anywhere else!".
The London rally was not alone, similar demonstrations on
the same day took place all across the world with huge turnouts
in Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Austria and South Korea..
"Freedom For Palestine"
"US / UK Troops Out Of Iraq"
People who have fought nazism condemn
the building of a new fascist empire
- the american empire.
"No More War"
wrapped in a Palestinian flag
Hunter, General Secretary of the Palestine
Solidarity Campaign. She started by blasting Tony Blair
for abstaining from the UN condemnation of Israel for
announcing its intention to assassinate elected Palestinian
leaders. The she talked about the apartheid wall:
worst crime going on daily - the apartheid wall
- must be dismantled. The wall with which the Israelis
are annexing fifty percent of the West Bank so that
they can include the illegal settler colonies. A
wall which is separating the Palestinians from their
lands, from their schools, from their hospitals,
from their families. A wall which is destroying
Palestinian farms, orchards, and olive groves. No
one can believe that a government constructing such
a wall wants peace and security, Sharon's government
is a government which wants to deny freedom to the
Palestinian people, they want subjugation..."
A reference to both Bush & Blair
who have called
Ariel "Adolf" Sharon a "man of peace"
Placards stacks at Hyde park, before the march commenced
Lucas, Green Party Member of European Parliament.
post-legacy of this war is intolerable. Over 20,000
Iraqi people are dead, plus the bombs and depleted
uranium cover their country. No public services
- no electricity, no water supply, people insecure
unable to go out of their homes. And then we have
the grim reality of so called coalition justice
in Baghdad. We have occupation forces keeping innocent
civilians and children for weeks without charge,
without questioning, without reason. And when people
object, then those people are shot. We have random
killings, ad hoc killings, day after day after day.
And we are here today to say enough, this must stop!
Just a few nights
ago coalition forces went to the farm of Ali Kabar
and killed three people of his family and injured
his children. And when the Americans came the next
morning to apologise for their mistake, one of the
remaining members of the family said "they
promised us freedom and democracy. They kill our
people, they destroy our homes. Is this what they
mean by freedom?"
Is this what they mean by liberation?
Well I'll tell
you what George Bush means by freedom. He means
freedom for the multinational corporations that
allows bleeding the economy of Iraq dry. We've seen
the military invasion, now we have the corporate
invasion of Iraq. And we are here to say that we
find the spectacle of big big business making profit
out of the misery of the Iraqi people sordid and
"Indict Agents of a Foreign Power with Treason"
- e reference to poodle Blair and his cabinet doing Americas biding
against the wishes of the British people.
A second placard has colourful names of some
of the war mongers
in the cabinet: "Tony Blood, Gung Hoon, Jack Strawars,
Gord Brownshirt, David Blunkill"
Hurndall, sister of Tom Hurndall the British
photographer shot by Israeli soldiers in Rafah, Palestine.
this year by brother Tom joined the two million
people who marched here in London against the military
action in Iraq. It was at this rally that Tom was
inspired to go, first to Iraq and then to Palestine...
...In Rafah when
Tom reached out to pick up that helpless little
girl paralysed by fear he was moving completely
outside of concern for his own safety to help someone
even more defenseless than himself. In helping those
children tom was also sending a clear message about
helping those in need. He wasn't prepared to turn
his back on innocent people, the same way we must
not. We must treat Tom as an inspiration and not
turn our back on the sacrifices that people like
Tom have made..."
Hurndall, younger brother of Tom Hurndall
the British photographer shot by Israeli soldiers
in Rafah, Palestine. He spoke passionately about
his brothers murder and the betrayal by the media
in hiding the truth of what is happening in Palestine:
[Tom] was shot through the head in Rafah,
Gaza five months ago by an Israeli soldier
concealed in a watch tower. He was shot for
the simple reason that he was protecting and
escorting children from that Israeli snipers
to take this opportunity to talk about how
the western media has betrayed us, but most
of all betrayed those who suffer because of
it in places like Palestine. My brother saw
this and as most people do in some way to
an extent, but he didn't know anything for
sure so he travelled to Gaza to find the truth
for himself. He did, he came back a victim
of that truth - the truth so painfully denied
by the western media at such a cost, as men,
women, and children are being slaughtered
say this just because I believe it, I have
seen this happen. Six
weeks after Tom was shot, I was left with
a lot of the same questions he had, so I travelled
to Palestine - I wanted to find these answers
for myself. In short, I found the answers
that I feared. Palestinian blood spilt, quiet
often at the hands of laughing Israeli soldiers.
we turn on our TVs, we don't hear about this.
We are informed by our media of 'suicide bombers'
and an occasional 'retaliatory strike on terrorists'.
I don't think I need to say anything on the
actual reality of what these 'retaliatory
strikes' mean or at the sadistic and constant
humiliation, violence and regular effective
executions that have taken Palestinian lives
in the thousands and injured and crippled
thousands more. When you see that sort of
thing happening you really have to ask yourself
who are the terrorists?
my brother Palestinian I would not be standing
here I have to say. No one would have ever
even heard of him, or Ian Hooke, Rachel Corrie,
James Miller - names that are know around
the world as victims of the Israeli Defence
Forces. Unfortunately its only the nationalities
that have decided that they receive recognition
that they were actually murdered. If they
were Palestinian, unfortunately they would
just be a dash on some tally somewhere - that
is all we would know...
will Israel learn that it can't hide the truth
by eliminating the peace workers and then
"War Criminal" Blair shown with hands
covered in blood.
American flag, dollars and cluster bombs pinned to his shirt.
What 'cha gonna do
What 'cha gonna do
We're coming for you!"
I Am Not A Terrorist
Sometimes simple words make the most powerful statements
- a response to Bush's war on Islam
Rix, General Secretary of the Associated
Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen (ASLEF).
was ever a recognition that there should be an international
coalition force, then it is to remove Israel out
of Palestine! ..."
The American flag showing the UK as one of the states
stripped of its own sovereignty, sums up how the ordinary British
from history...not learnt
The first page shows Vietnam 1965 with the quotation
of then US secretary of defence Robert McNamara speaking
later about the Vietnam war "We were wrong, terribly
wrong. We owe it to future generations to explain
The next page shows Iraq 2003 with
Many Iraqi children have been killed and injured
by cluster bombs. When told, in a BBC interview,
that mothers of these children would not thank British
forces for their actions, Geoff Hoon defence secretary
replied: "One day they might".
"Dossiers for sale cheap"
A Dossier Not Worth Reading:-
The governments dossier full of lies
"Iraq - Thousands dead & injured - Shame
on you Tony!"
Al-Khaffaf, President of FOSIS Palestine
Campaign (Federation of Student Islamic Societies UK).
She spoke passionately about the struggle for Palestine.
five years on! Fifty five years on - the Palestinians
continue their quest to be liberated. Fifty five
years on - the Palestinians are subjected the oppression,
occupation and segregation. Fifty five years on
- the Palestinians are slaves in their own country.
Fifty five years on - we must face the tragic fact
that the Palestinians are still not free.
We are told time
and time again Israel is the only democracy in the
Middle East... well if democracy means mass murder,
if democracy means robbery of land and persecution,
then we say keep your democracy because we don't
Tony blair why
are you silent about Palestine? Why are you silent
about Ariel Sharon? Why the hypocrisy Mr Blair?
We can't find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq,
well my advise to you is to look to your left -
go to Israel you'll find them there!
We went to Iraq
because of weapons of mass destruction - what about
Israel? We went in because of UN resolutions - what
about Israel? We went in because of a war criminal
- what about Israel? If we use these as a reason
to go to war then we should have invaded Israel
years ago, now where is the justice?"
Then she reminded us of an important truth which
is often conveniently ignored by oppressors who
cry "terrorist" or "suicide bomber".(*)
do they resist Mr Blair? Well in the words of Mandela
it is the oppressor who defines the nature of the
struggle - do not tell people how to resist until
you stop oppressing them!"
(*) An excellent exposition of
this theme can be found in the eloquent words of
another great veteran of the struggle against apartheid
in South Africa, Imam
Achmad Cassiem who spent nearly 11 years of
his life imprisoned or under detention, some of
which was on Robben Island with Mandela. In the
words of Imam Achmad Cassiem : "It is immoral,
irrational, it is obscene for an oppressor to tell
the oppressed how they should respond to oppression".
Standing up for Palestine
The image of the baby reads
"Stop the Aggression- Make Peace
For the sake of all our children"
Chalk Is No Crime
During the rally at
Trafalgar Square, police attempted to arrest a young
teenage boy after he had used chalk to create a
graffito of a 'no American flag' symbol on the base
block of the statue of George IV. Several police
surrounded the boy and marched him off away from
friends and a frantic parent.
Members of the public
saw what was happening and began to surround the
police chanting "let him go".
The police reacted
violently as they lost control of the situation,
and then set up cordons to keep the peaceful but
angry crowd at bay while they searched the frightened
young boy in a space between their vans.
After a tense stand-off
for quarter of an hour, they eventually released
the boy who was led away by a relieved parent amidst
cheers from the crowd.
Later someone added the world "Chalk
Is No Crime" around the unfinished art. Since
chalk unlike paint is not permanent and washes away
in the rain it is legal to use.
( Words adapted from
Indymedia report by rikki)
Art From The Rally
"WAR is TERRORISM with a bigger budget"
"Blair: If you love killing, kill
( additional photos: kriptick, indymedia
Hudson, CND spokesperson condemns the US
occupation of Britain.
not enough for the US to get out of Iraq, and the
US to get out of the Middle East, we want to see
the US out of Britain as well!
greeted by loud
cheers from the crowds
There are many
US bases - military bases, spy bases in Britain
active today. There are many campaigns throughout
the country to close down those bases and drive
the US occupiers out of Britain..."
The world has had enough of US meddling
in its affairs
- enough of US imperialism
"Say No To American Empire!"
"Use Brains Not Bombs"
Europeans disgusted by Israel's treatment
of the Palestinians
Poll Names Israel As
"The Biggest Threat To World Peace"
November 2, 2003
Over half of Europeans think Israel poses the "biggest
threat to world peace," according to a poll commissioned
by the European Commission.
The same survey has the United States beating out Iran,
Iraq and North Korea the trio dubbed the "axis
of evil" by President George W. Bush as well
as Afghanistan in a ranking of what countries contribute
most to world instability.
The survey, conducted in October, of people from each
of the EU's member nations by Taylor Nelson Sofres/EOS
Gallup of Europe, consisted of 15 questions regarding
"the reconstruction of Iraq, the conflict in the
Middle East and World peace."
The poll found 59 percent of Europeans, and nearly two-thirds
of Britons, believe Israel represents the biggest obstacle
to world peace.
It has sparked a bitter row with a major Jewish lobbying
group, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre. Instead of looking
at what Israel is doing to warrant such opinion it is
accusing Europe of perpetrating the worst outbreak of
'anti-semitism' since World War Two, and demanding that
the EU be excluded from the Israel-Palestinian peace process
The results appear to be a mark of the widespread disgust
in Europe for Israel's on going oppression of the Palestinians.
They simply do not believe Israel ever wants peace.
Israeli Ministers and spokesman, worried that the current
definition of 'anti-semitism' doesn't give Israel sufficient
protection against criticism, have also been at pains
recently to insist that a definition of modern 'anti-semitism'
should include criticism of the way the state of Israel
chooses to protect itself, defining that criticism as
an overt attack on Israel's survival.
Reacting to the poll, the Simon Wies enthal Centre, which
claims 400,000 members in the US alone, has begun ordering
a petition to condemn the European Commission and demand
the EU no longer be represented in the so-called Quartet
group trying to mediate an end to violence between Israel
'This poll is an indication that Europeans have bought
in, "hook, line and sinker", to the vilification
and demonisation campaign directed against the state of
Israel and her supporters by European leaders and media,'
said Rabbi Marvin Hier, the Wiesenthal Centre's founder.
'This shocking result that Israel is the greatest threat
to world peace, bigger than North Korea and Iran, defies
logic and is a racist flight of fantasy that only shows
that anti-semitism is deeply embedded within European
society, more then at any other period since the end of
the war,' he added.
[Article compiled from The Observer,
Ananova & WorldNetDaily reports]
Forget fighting for Uncle Sam, no one even believes
Pinnocio noise poster reads "I just want you to believe me
Hemsley, representative of Pax Christi (Catholic
peace movement). He started by comparing Blair &
Bush with Ponchus Pilot:
teaches us not to deal in falsehood and lies but
to speak truth and deal honestly with one another...
sadly we see a British government lining up with
Ponchus Pilot who cynically asks truth? What is
truth? For which the answer seems to be whatever
will serve the purposes of the governments of the
We have never
at any time given our consent to be lead by George
Bush, come to that neither have the Americans -
judges appointed by his father appointed him! But
Mr Blair without our consent has allowed us to be
used to further the nefarious cause of bringing
about the new American century.
no more lies
Then he then talked of the double standards:
We were told
the world is better off without Saddam, that he
had to be removed anyway, but why was he chosen?
Israel is carrying out a policy of ethnic cleansing
with a barbaric ferocity on the Palestinian people...
And the prisoners on Guantanamo Bay:
treatment of people including children held at Guantanamo
Bay. Christianity teaches us that all people are
made in and bear the image of the divine, to violate
another is to violate God. We cannot remain silent
when faced with the shackled hooded pictures of
Guantanamo Bay caged like wild animals. If we don't
raise our voices on their behalf now when our turn
comes there will be no voices to be raised..."
"Blair Must Go" above a
Picasso's "Weeping Woman".
In October 1937 Picasso
painted "Weeping Woman" as a kind of postscript
it is based on the early sketches of the mother and
child found in that painting. The face shows the pain
of the terrorised and dying civilians of Guernica,a
small village in Spain that was bombed by the Nazi
Luftwaffe in support of Francos fascists during
the Spanish Civil War. "Weeping Woman" can
be seen at the Tate gallery in London.
For an entire generation
of Europeans the bombing of Guernica and Picassos
interpretation of the event signified the barbarity
of fascism and the widespread determination to resist
its violence and brutality. Today fascism is on the
rise again in the guise of the American empire.
To see the actual painting and a
The reality of the painting
today in occupied Iraq
Standing up for justice brings people of all faiths
Crow, General Secretary of the RMP Union
no good just turning around and saying we want Blair
to resign - where was the rest of the cabinet when
he was making those decisions? Where was Prescott?
Where was Milburn? Where was Blunkett? Every single
one of them backed Blair to the hilt, and they should
be thoroughly ashamed of themselves. They contemplated
war when the war was about to be announced, and
they are all war criminals today..."
Blair Must Go!
B-liar - Tony Blair's name re-spelt
Rosana (aged 11)
& Hana, representing School Student Against
my name is Rosana, I'm aged eleven. I am against
the war and I was on a huge anti-war demonstration
of two million people.
government lied to us. I wrote a letter to
my MP Ivan Henderson who supported the war.
I told him I was against the war and I asked
him how he would feel if someone bombed his
home and killed his family and friends. He
sent a reply saying he supported Tony Blair.
Well he's just ignorant, war mongering, just
like his leader!..."
labour MP for Harwich
supported the war.
to lose seat: 2.70%
I live in Harwich
and two weeks ago it as announced that they were
going to close down a maternity unit. A protest
was organised and we organised a school strike.
We encouraged people to leave school at lunch time
and protest at the closer. They have money for war
and to murder people but we can't have a maternity
unit or a 24 hour accident emergency department!
Thats why we went on strike and we will strike again!..."
"Blair why can you afford WAR
but not my EDUCATION ?"
Student Against The War
On the day US and Britain began their war on Iraq
(20 March 2003), following a lobby at Lewisham Town
Hall, a number of those on the lobby, including
a group of school students, boarded the 185 bus
to make their way to the protest at Parliament Square.
Before it could
depart, the police boarded the bus and announced
that the school students were truanting and that
they would remove them from the bus and return them
to school. When it was pointed out that the school
students had the consent of their parents and that
some of parents were present, the police brutally
arrested Karl Debbaut. Any appeals for calm were
met by the police dragging them off the bus, handcuffing
them and throwing them into the waiting police vans.
Rene Bravo was
dealt with in this way, the appeals by his wife,
Marcela Massingnotti, saw her arrested as well.
Four adults (three of them parents) and a student
Karl Debbaut, Rene
Bravo and Marcela Massingnotti are all facing serious
charges - Karl with assault occassioning actual
bodily harm, Rene and Marcela with assaulting a
July 2003: All of the charges against
2 of the Lewisham 3, Rene Bravo and Marcela Massingnotti
were thrown out by the magistrate at Belmarsh. This
a victory for the right to protest, a victory for
the millions that campaigned against the war and
still campaign against the occupation of Iraq and
the war aims of the Project for the New American
October 2003: Case of Karl Debautt to
be heard at Belmarsh Magistrates Court. Show your
support, join the picket outside at 9:30am: Belmarsh
Magistrates Court (next to prison), Belmarsh Rd,
No More Lies
Eye to Eye
By Gihad Ali
Look into my eyes,
And tell me what you see.
You don't see a damn thing,
'cause you can't possible relate to me.
You're blinded by our differences.
My life makes no sense to you.
I'm the persecuted Palestinian.
You are the American red, white and blue.
Each day you wake in tranquillity.
No fears to cross your eyes.
Each day I wake in gratitude.
Thanking God he let me rise.
You worry about your education,
And the bills you have to pay.
I worry about my vulnerable life,
And if I'll survive another day.
Your biggest fear is getting ticketed
As you cruise your Cadillac.
My fear is that the tank that just left
Will turn around and come back.
American, do you realize,
That the taxes that you pay
Feed the forces that traumatize
My every living day?
The bulldozers and the tanks.
The gases and the guns.
The bombs that fall outside my door;
All due to American funds.
Yet do you know the truth
Of where your money goes?
Do you let your media deceive your mind?
Is this a truth that no one knows?
You blame me for defending myself
Against the ways of Zionists.
I'm terrorized in my own land
And I'm the terrorist?
You think that you know all about terrorism
But you don't know it the way I do.
So let me define the term for you.
And teach you what you thought, you knew.
I've known terrorism for quite some time,
Fifty- four years and more.
It's the fruitless garden uprooted in my yard.
It's the bulldozer in front of my door.
Terrorism breathes the air I breathe.
It's the checkpoint on my way to school.
It's the curfew that jails me in my own home,
And the penalties of breaking that curfew rule.
Terrorism is the robbery of my land.
And the torture of my mother.
The imprisonment of my innocent father.
The bullet in my baby brother.
So American, don't tell me you know about
The things I feel and see.
I'm terrorized in my own land
And the blame is put on me.
But I will not rest, I shall never settle
For the injustice my people endure.
Palestine is OUR land and there we'll remain
Until the day OUR homeland is secure.
And if that time shall never come,
Then you will never see a day of peace.
I will not be thrown from my own home,
Nor will fight for justice cease.
And if I am killed, it will be Falasteen.
It's written on my breath.
So in your own patriotic words,
Give me liberty or give me death.