Against the War Demonstration
17 November 2002
Children from London, Hastings, and Norwich gathered to oppose
the coming war on Iraq at the third 'Children Against the War'
demonstration, held today, Sunday 17 November, outside the US
Embassy in London, on a grey drizzle of a day.
Alex from Norwich (11 years old), said, 'War is absolutely crazy
and stupid. I hope that weaponsmaking stops by 2004 and the people
who make war will think again.' Several other children spoke publicly
against war, addressing the small crowd and the US Embassy with
Afterwards, Ruth who is 8 later this month, recited a poem she
learned at school. It is called, 'The general of the army': Said
the general of the army, 'I think that war is barmy.' So he threw
away his gun; Now he's having much more fun.
Mother Lesley from Norwich said she wanted to meet more children
working for peace, and to go to a child-centred event - because
children are often side-lined. 'I wanted children to realise they
have a responsibility and a say.'
Children Against the War is organised by one Muslim girl, who
celebrated her birthday in Grosvenor Square after the demonstration.
During the demonstration, Sonia, 7, read out an anti-war speech
she had written earlier (printed as the leaflet handed out on
the demonstration) and closed the event with a Muslim prayer and
a two-minute silence. Sonia has called two previous demonstrations,
outside Downing Street and the US Embassy - she and her supporters
have publicised the protests by leafleting mass anti- war demonstrations.
Her next project is a weekly candle-lit vigil outside Downing
Street every Monday evening 5.30-6.30. Sonia will be standing
outside Downing Street at 5.30pm on Monday 2 December (after the
Voices in the Wilderness/ARROW 'Warzone Whitehall' die-in), and
perhaps for several more Mondays in December.
This vigil will be supported, as all Children Against the War
events have been, by ARROW (Active Resistance to the Roots of
War), a London-based nonviolent direct action group.
ARROW holds a weekly vigil outside the Foreign Office, on the
corner of King Charles Street and Whitehall every Monday evening
5.30-7pm, opposing economic sanctions and war on Iraq. This vigil
has been held every Monday since July 1991. Sonia welcomes support
from children of all ages during her December vigils.
Report by Milan Rai of ARROW.