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Sign the Pledge of Resistance against an attack on Iraq
Anti-war Documents Menu / Archived Documents Menu / 15 February

Mark Valentine's Day weekend with the UK's biggest anti-war march & a
mass SIT-DOWN after the march

Sit-down in Whitehall in October 2001

Contacts: email or phone 0845 458 2564.

See 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.

After the march - see here for ideas to continue the protest!

Look 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 Circus*

Help make this event the biggest nonviolent civil disobedience against war on Iraq so far.

*Our 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!

Organising groups
Civil disobedience
Legal information
Nonviolence guideline
Resources for direct action

Continuing protest


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 day.

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, 11 Dec.)

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.

Organising groups
National CND
Women in Black

Civil disobedience
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.
Legal information
Nonviolence guidelines
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.
Resources for direct action
See here
Continuing protest
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.

After the 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.


Anti-war Documents Menu / Archived Documents Menu / 15 February