Britain: Thousands march in London against occupation of Iraq

Tens of thousands took to the streets of London on Saturday 24 September to protest against the occupation of Iraq. The Socialist Party and International Socialist Resistance contingent marched under the banner of ’unity against war, terror and racism’.

Feeder marches came from East London and South London where the local community organised after the police shot Jean Charles de Menezes. Had the national demonstration been held in the immediate aftermath of the shooting and terrorist attacks, as the socialist argued that the time, the turnout could have been many times greater.

In the same week that hundreds of thousands marched internationally against the occupation of Iraq, opinion polls show that the mood in Britain is hardening against the war. There is no doubt that attacks on British troops in Basra have had a big effect.

Blair claims that British troops are helping to improve the security situation. But a clear majority of people, 64%, believe that the situation Iraq is getting worse, despite the presence of British forces. Only 12% now share Blair’s view.

Only 41% agree with Blair that troops have a duty to remain in the country until things improve. Most people, 51%, now want the government to set out plans to withdraw troops from Iraq, regardless of the situation in the country.

From The Socialist, weekly paper of the Socialist Party, England and Wales

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September 2005