The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Britain:
Demonstrations against war in Iraq

Oct 7, 2002

On September 28, the largest peace demonstration since the Gulf War, and perhaps even since Vietnam, took place in London. There were 140,000 demonstrators according to the police, and over 300,000 according to the organizers. An unusual fact is that there were also 60 government representatives from the Labor Party who chose to disassociate themselves from Prime Minister Tony Blair by supporting this demonstration. It's an indication they're worried about the attitudes of the population.

Blair certainly has tried to convince the British population to change its opinion. Months ago he announced he had "incontestable proof" of the danger Saddam Hussein represented to the world in general and to Great Britain in particular. This obviously didn't have the effect Blair wanted. Public opinion polls show that more than 75% of the population is now opposed to the war rhetoric of Blair against Iraq, and that this opposition has been increasing.

Finally on Tuesday, September 24, with a big media splash, Blair released his 50-page document that supposedly gave "incontestable proof."The massive British demonstration four days later shows that a significant part of the population wasn't fooled by this latest propaganda stunt.

Demonstrations against war in Iraq have also taken place in the U.S. Although much smaller than the one in London, such demonstrations show there is a part of the U.S. population that has the reflex to oppose the wars which have been so disastrous for the working class and for large parts of the whole population.