Mark Valentine's Day weekend with the UK's biggest anti-war
march & a
SIT-DOWN after the march
Sit-down in Whitehall in October
or phone 0845 458 2564.
press releases and reports from the events -
14 and 15 February 2003
More people are needed to help
with disseminating information at the assembly point
for the sit-down (5pm
in Green Park near Green Park tube). If you can help, please
meet up at 11.30 am on
the morning of the march (Saturday 15th February) outside
the front of Charing Cross station under the Pledge of Resistance
banner for a short briefing. They will also need to be present
at the assembly point for the sit-down (Green Park near
Green Park tube) by 4.45pm.
People coming from outside London - we strongly reccommend
that those coming to the sitdown from outside London form
affinity groups and designate someone from their group to
be a Legal Observer for the action. If you have many people
risking arrest, please consider having more than one Legal
Observer. Information on how to do this can be found here.
the march - see here for ideas to continue the
out for the love hearts after the march!
15 February 2003
12 noon to march from the Embankment or Gower Street
to Hyde Park;
sit-down protestors will gather from 5pm in Green
Park, near Green Pk tube, and will head towards Eros, Piccadilly
make this event the biggest nonviolent civil disobedience
against war on Iraq so far.
destination may well be subject to change depending on how
long it takes the big march to clear Piccadilly so please
come to Green Park at 5pm rather than heading for Piccadilly
on your own!
Resources for direct
15 FEBRUARY MASS SIT DOWN
War seems to have receded slightlyin large part because of
our anti-war campaigning in the UK, the US and further afield.
Now is the time to emphasise the strength of our opposition,
by following the largest anti-war march in living memory with
the largest sit-down protest for years.
For weeks, US officials had been saying that the UN weapons
inspectors' report to the Security Council on 27 Jan. was
going to be a decisive moment in the drive to warPresident
Bush makes his second State of the Union address the following
But the US is now delaying, partly because of lobbying from
Tony Blair himself under pressure from his own Party. British
Government officials 'are now looking towards the [second]
Blix report on 1 March as the possible trigger for military
action, believing that the UN weapons inspection team will
become increasingly frustrated at Saddams lack of co-operation.'
(Observer, 12 Jan. 2003, p. 1)
A senior British official has suggested that, while it is
assumed that there will be a campaign before the summer 'because
of the heat', 'The autumn would be just as sensible a time
and in the meanwhile Saddam would be thoroughly constrained
by the inspectors.' (Daily Telegraph, 9 Jan., p. 1)
But the US is set on a spring war. (See ARROW Anti-War
Briefing 26 60:40 War Is Not Inevitable for more.)
what we have achieved
Against his instincts, President Bush opted for the UN route
in Sept. 2002, because of pressure from parts of the Right
(his fathers old colleagues spoke out), crumbling public support
in the US, and growing pressure from Britain and other countries.
Tony Blair needed the UN to be involved to pacify the anti-war
movement inside and outside the Labour Party.
So the war, which was expected to take place last autumn,
was delayed in part because of our campaigning here in Britain.
In Dec., the Telegraph reported that Mr Blair had been
reluctant to order the deployment of British forces to the
Gulf because it is 'politically difficult' because of the
'overstretch' in the Army caused by the firefighters strike,
the Treasurys reluctance to release the money for a major
deployment, and opposition in the Labour Party. (Telegraph,
We made it 'politically difficult'. We delayed
war. We may even be affecting target planning inside
the Pentagon (see p. 3). They want us to feel powerless, but
we do have power.
what we can achieve
War is not inevitable. Much depends on the inspectors. Much
depends on the Security Council. Much depends on us, on whether
we can convince our neighbours/workmates that war would not
be justified even if there is a new UN Resolution, even if
evidence of weapons of mass destruction is discovered in Iraq
(see p. 2).
Much depends on how great we can make the political costs
of war. One way of increasing the political cost is by escalating
protest into resistance, into nonviolent civil disobedienceas
ARROW is proposing at 5pm on 15 Feb. after the huge march
and rally, gathering in Green Park to head towards Eros, Piccadilly
Circus, to hold a sit-down to mark Valentines Day weekend.
Other actions against war will follow, for example on 22 Mar.
at Menwith Hill. (Other events, p. 4.)
Through our campaigning we can try to stop the war. If war
comes, we can affect the way that war is foughtand how many
lives are lostif we keep campaigning. We can help protect
the electricity system. We can limit/stop the use of depleted
uranium, cluster bombs, other appalling weapons. We can save
livesif we keep campaigning. If we resist apathy and hopelessness.
If we resist.
Women in Black
We believe that civil disobedience and nonviolent action are
powerful tools that we can use to resist an illegal and immoral
war. In using these tools we are drawing on a rich tradition
of protest and dissent that includes not only Gandhi and Martin
Luther King but also the ‘People Power’ revolutions in the
Philipines and Eastern Europe, the Suffragettes, Danish resistance
to Nazi occupation during WWII, the Argentinian Mothers of
the Plaza de Mayo and many others.
This act of civil disobedience is an attempt to respond creatively,
and nonviolently, to the massive violence of the threatened
war. We therefore ask everyone who takes part in the actions
and protests in a spirit of nonviolence. Specifically for
the purposes of this action participants are asked to abide
by the following guidelines: NO threats / violence (including
pushing), verbal abuse, drugs or alcohol.
for direct action
Many people in Britain have now
signed the Pledge of Resistance
committing themselves to taking part (or supporting) acts
of nonviolent resistance to the war, should it take place.
Plans for civil disobedience
in the event of an attact now exist in many places.
See Events and Actions for more.
march - see here for ideas to continue the protest!
|Further information on Non-Violent
Direct Action can be found on our Resources
for Activists pages.