Manchester, 29 September 2013

Manchester, 29 September 2013

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Saturday, February 16, 2013

Ten Years On Peace Group Says 'No More Wars'

Rochdale and Littleborough Peace Group has been marking the tenth anniversary of Britain's biggest ever anti-war demonstration which was held in London on Saturday 15 February 2003 . At their stall in Yorkshire Street on Saturday morning (16 February 2013), they reminded Rochdale's shoppers that ten years ago they had joined between one and two million people in London and millions more around the world in an effort to stop George Bush's and Tony Blair’s plans to invade Iraq.

Their leaflet told people that "Since NATO’s invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, more than 600 British troops have been killed in pointless foreign wars." and that "These same wars have killed and injured tens of thousands of civilians— men, women and children.", adding that "Now, in 2013, NATO’s disastrous war in Afghanistan still takes lives on a daily basis; British troops are bound for Mali  and drones are regularly taking the lives of innocent civilians in Afghanistan and Pakistan." They said that "It is time to bring the troops home and to tell the government that we want no more of their wars."

The Peace Group asked people to join them in urging MPs Jim Dobbin and Simon Danczuk to support Early Day Motion 1055 in Parliament and collected more than 100 signatures in support of calls to express deep regret "that the war went ahead and that the will of the people was ignored" and for the view that "any decision to engage in armed conflict should be subject to prior approval via a free vote in Parliament rather than relying on prerogative power."

Partricia Gilligan who was in London on Saturday 15 February 2003 and campaigning again in Yorkshire Street on Saturday 16 February 2013, said,

"In 2003, we were packed so tightly in the streets that we could not move. It was obvious that this was a huge demonstration and there was a great sense of solidarity and purpose. We knew that regardless of whether we were two million people or one million people, we represented the overwhelming view of ordinary people in Britain. We rejected Bush and Blair's war. There was no need to invade Iraq and when the invasion took place, I felt that the politicians had betrayed me. A country was going to be destroyed and thousands of innocent children, women and men would be killed. Remembering Iraq reminds us of the futility and horror of war. It should make us more determined than ever to say no to war.”