Over 5,000 people demonstrated through the streets on Belfast on Saturday, 22 March, to express their opposition to the continued bombing of Iraq. Although this demonstration was smaller than that on 15 February, the mood was angrier and more determined.
Stop the war in Iraq. Northern Ireland.
Northern Ireland demonstrates
Members of Youth against the War, a campaign organised by Socialist Youth, and the Socialist Party, formed one of the liveliest contingent on the demonstration with flags, placards and banners. While the demonstration was smaller than February, the Youth against the War/Socialist Youth/ Socialist Party contingent was bigger reflecting the mass school student walkouts that YAW had organised on March 5th and on Day X.
Youth against the War set up a stall at the start of the demonstration and many school students who had been notified by e-mail beforehand came to the stall to pick up placards and leaflets to give out on the demonstration. Apart from the school strikes this was the first organised YAW activity for many of these young people. Youth against the War members passed through the demonstration signing up new members to its campaign.
Socialist Party members sold over £400 worth of literature, including a new supplement to the paper Socialist Voice. A large number of names of people interested in the party and in Socialist Youth were collected.
Another demonstration took place in Derry at the same time. Over 1,000 participated with Youth Against the War and Socialist Youth members forming an active part of the protest. The Socialist Youth banner was prominently displayed on the stage at the end of the demonstration for the rally that was organised. Socialist Youth and Youth Against the War were publicly praised from the stage of the rally for the anti-war work they had done over a number of months in Derry, just before one their members spoke to the rally.