London: 350,000 people marched in protest ...

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Posted by andreas from ( on Saturday, September 28, 2002 at 4:43PM :

The Independent [UK]

28 September 2002 21:33 BDST Home

Biggest protest in a generation hears calls for peace with Iraq

By Andrew Johnson and Jonathan Thompson
29 September 2002

As many as 350,000 people marched through central London yesterday in one of the biggest peace demonstrations seen in a generation.

Organisers said the numbers protesting against war in Iraq were three times higher than expected, though police put the figure at 150,000.

Led by the Stop The War Coalition and the Muslim Association of Great Britain, protesters marched from the Embankment,made their way past the Houses of Parliament and through Piccadilly to Hyde Park.

There they were met by speakers including former MP Tony Benn, London Mayor Ken Livingstone, former United Nations weapons inspector Scott Ritter, the Bishop of Bath and Wells and the father of the House of Commons, Tam Dalyell.

Mr Dalyell, a Labour MP, told the crowd: "We are sleep walking to disaster. The Government's dossier states that Iraq has chemical and biological weapons ready to use. We can be sure they will use them if cornered."

Mr Livingstone said: "This is all about oil and there is nobody in this country so stupid that they don't realise that."

Hundreds of coaches brought protesters from across Britain, including lecturers, priests, students and Iraqi and Palestinian citizens. The march passed off peacefully.

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