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FREEDOM FOR PALESTINE
& DONT ATTACK IRAQ

[London Rally, Saturday 28th September 2002]

To mark the second anniversary of the Al-Aqsa Intifada,
450,000 ordinary people
- from all races, all religions, all backgrounds,
marched in unity,
demanding Freedom for Palestine
and an end to America's War on Muslims
- the largest EVER protest rally in the UK!


"I've got my bloody glass's on but I still cant see the end of the crowd..."
Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London

Hundreds of coaches from all the main cities of the UK converged on the embankment (along side the river Thames) in London at 11:30am. Some cities had even charted their own trains to the demo.

The march was meant to start at the embankment, making its way to Westminster as the first leg of the march, the crowds however were so large that they already extended from the embankment way past Westminster before the start, with all the nearby bridges also jam packed.


"Stop Killing Children Now" reads the IHRC banner
with pictures of the murder of the young Palestinian boy,
Mohammed al-Dura, by Israeli soldiers

Five and a half hours later when the front of the march had already been at Hyde Park (its destination) for over an hour listening to the speakers we learnt that the back of the march still hadn't left the embankment!

With such a record turnout the media have not been able to completely ignore it like previous rallies.

But unfortunately, another tactic has been used to hide the level of support the Palestinian cause finds in the hearts of ordinary people the world over. All the media reports in the UK have labelled the rally as solely "anti-war" with out any mention of Palestine.

The reality was that the rally had been organised by the Muslim Association of Britain as a "Freedom for Palestine" rally, and then later on jointly organised with the Stop the War Coalition under the combined title "Freedom for Palestine - Dont Attack Iraq".

Whilst both are worthy causes which we must all unite behind, it is important that truth be revealed and Palestine not be forgotten or allowed to be taken off centre stage. It is the paramount issue in the world today.


"Boycott Israel - Boycott Murder"

The Rally at Hyde Park was rewarded with nearly 30 speaker ranging from MPs, Union Leaders, Muslim Christian and Jewish Organisations, Peace Groups, Pro-Palestinian Groups, Iraqis in Exile and Journalists including Tony Benn, Yvonne Ridley, John Pilger, Ken Livingstone and George Galloway. We have provided most of the speeches in full below for you to listen to (though one of two are missing).

 


With the houses of parliament in the background,
a poignant message from the Holy Quran:

"STAND OUT FIRMLY FOR JUSTICE"

The full verse of the Holy Quran (4:135 ):

"O ye who believe!
stand out firmly for justice,
as witnesses to God,
even as against yourselves,
or your parents,
or your kin,
and whether it be (against) rich or poor:
for God can best protect both.
Follow not the lusts (of your hearts),
lest ye swerve,
and if ye distort (justice) or decline to do justice,
verily God is well- acquainted with all that ye do."

 



Stop the War .. Stop the War ..
Palestine - Free Free ..



Dr. Azzam Tamimi

Dr. Azzam Tamimi, from the Muslim Association of Britain, warmed the crowds with his questions:

"I ask you and the world,
Who has been killing children in the middle east?"

- the crowds shouted "Sharon!"
"Who has been demolishing houses?" - "Sharon!"
"Who has been persecuting civilians?" - "Sharon!"
"Who needs to be punished?" - "Sharon!"

...


"Boycott the apartheid state Israel"
reads the Muslim Association of Britain banner



Yvonne Ridley, Journalist & Activist

 

Yvonne Ridley, Journalist & Activist, slams Blair and Bush for their support of terrorism:

"I want to salute the heroic resistance of the Palestinian people - two intifadas on and they are still suffering from the most horrendous human rights abuses...

The israeli state was once granted immunity from criticism because people were terrified of being called anti-Semitic. Well the cultivated image of plucky little israel has long gone. Bush and Blair say Sharon is a man of peace - he's NOT - he is a bloody war criminal!

Nothing, nothing can justify Israels assassination of the Palestinian people. The atrocities committed in Palestine are nothing short of obscene. The four Geneva conventions of 1949 which Israel ratified mean that Sharon is a war criminal and should be tried as such. Killing a person without trial has no legal justification Mr Sharon. Yet the silence from Bush and Blair - twins of evil - is absolutely deafening. Their very silence encourages him [Sharon] to do what the hell he wants.


Yvonne Ridley addressing the crowds

Israel has the fourth largest army in the world and it uses its weapons on women and children. I visited Jenin when they were still pulling bodies out of the rubble - 300 homes blasted by f-16 fighter jets, apache attack helicopters and tank shells. Tony Blair happily justifies selling f-16 parts to israel because he says if we didn't do it somebody else would. He is a shallow vain self-serving hypocrite - the 51st governor of the Unites States and he is carpet bombing our liberties. What he is doing is not in my name - is it in yours?

crowds shout "No!"



Tony Benn, veteran politician

 

Tony Benn asked the world to focus on the creation of a Palestinian state:

"We want to see the establishment of a Palestinian state NOW... and we want the attention of the world focused on that..

In reference to the war he stressed the duty and responsibility of each individual in stopping the war:

Do not make any mistake, we are responsible for what is done in our name and that gives us a duty to see that the government that governs us does not take us in to a war that would involve criminal loss of life of innocent people and we must see that it is not allowed to happen.

Download (shift-click) speech (real audio 4mins 491Kb)

 


Tony Benn addressing the crowds




Choir for Freedom:


no freedom ... no freedom ... no freedom

there is no freedom for Palestinians

there is no freedom for Palestinians

there is no freedom for Palestinians

dont let them die

dont let them die

dont let them die

they're refugees now in their own land...

(*) Unfortunately we dont have the details of the performing choir, if you are a member and want your details like a web link to appear please let us know,



Ismail Patel (centre) reading out the statement of the Neturi Karta

 

Message from the Neturei Karta ( Jews against Zionism) read(*) out by Ismail Patel (Friends of Al-Aqsa) :

"There should be no doubt that the root of the problem facing the entire middle east and the world is the terrorist Zionist state - what has been perpetrated by the zionists, the heretics with religious collaborators who unfortunately sold their soul to irreligious Zionists for money and power.

We are all aware that the Zionist state of Israel with its extremely powerful military possesses the most dangerous weapons of mass destruction and has been in violation of dozens of UN resolutions for decades.

Where are the sanctions from the world community on this regime?

Where are the no fly zones?

Where are the discussions about disarmament and regime change in the Holy Land?

Anyone with even the slightest knowledge of history and current events knows that the Zionist state has been the greatest tragedy for the Jewish people as for the Palestinians, by creating a global rift and a conflict between the Jews and the Muslims and Arabs of the world.

We plead with the honourable leaders of the great powers to think deeply in to the current sources of suffering and anger in the Muslim world. It is of utmost urgency that all world leaders acknowledge that the true source of these is injustices committed by the Zionists against the Muslims and Arabs in the Holy Land.

Fear not brothers and friends, evil cannot long triumph. The Zionist nightmare is at its end, it is exhausted, its lasted its brutalities, its death rattle of terminal illness. Until that lucky day of the dismantlement of the Zionist state, we will stay together, shoulder to shoulder, with all your sufferings and revolt against the root of all evil.

We will yet need to see the day, the day when Jews in Palestine will embrace in peace under the Palestinian flag in Jerusalem."

 

(*) The Neturi Karta in respect of their Sabbath came on foot, walking several miles to attend the rally, and further declined to use a microphone.

Download (shift-click) speech (real audio 4:20 mins 534Kb)


The Jewish opposition to zionism -
the Neturi Karta, "the Guardians of the Gates"
defenders of authentic Judaism against the evils of Zionism



Ismail Patel, Chairman of Friends of Al-Aqsa

 

Ismail Patel, Chairman of Friends of Al-Aqsa, started by asking the audience to join him in one minute of silent prayer for the 3000 Palestinians brutally murdered by Sharon and the israeli army in the Al-Aqsa Intifada. He then talked of the need for ordinary people to stand up for Palestine::

"There is the greatest need for the British public to show their solidarity with the oppressed of Palestine, Iraq and where ever the oppressed may be. We must empower ourselves and ensure that those people we put in this theatre of war, becomes a theatre of peace, and the house of commons becomes a true representative of the common people of this country...

I want to tell the leaders of the world that until and unless the issue of Palestine is solved there will be no peace in the world!"

 

 


"Israeli Lobbies Dictate
British / American Foreign Policies"
[ For more info on the pro-Israel lobby in the USA click here ]

 



Salma Yacoub, Birmingham
Stop the War Coalition

 

Salma Yacoub, Birmingham Stop the War Coalition, talked of the responsibility of ordinary people when the government goes astray:

"At this critical time, we the ordinary citizens have a profound responsibility to act. Many of our politicians, who should be our true representatives, have responded shamefully with silence on important issues for too long - on the issues of Palestine, Kashmir, Chechnya. Our arrogant leadership seeks to spread confusion among the people. And right now we need to hold on to and provide the clarity that is required in this situation - thats why this demonstration is so important..."

 

 


"Our Biggest Successes" - Ariel Sharon

The placard shows dead two-month-old
Palestinian baby girl Dina Matar
- a victim of the Israeli F-16 raid
on a block of flats in Gaza in July.
At least 15 others were murdered
with Dina, including nine children.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon hailed the raid as
"one of the great successes".

[ For more info click here. ].

 



Labour MP Alice Mahon

 

Alice Mahon, Labour MP, hit out at the double standards:

"... and if we are talking about weapons inspectors, let them inspect EVERY country that has weapons of mass destruction..."

She expressed many peoples disappointment of the Prime Minister::

"As a life long Labour party member I am deeply ashamed that we have leaders who believe their first duty is to President Bush! The spectacle of the Prime Minister, a Labour prime Minister, acting as a propaganda machine for Bush is sickening to many of us in the party.."

 

Download (shift-click) speech (real audio 3:54 mins 480Kb)


Effigy of Tony Blair, caption reads:
"We dont love you anymore Tony"

 



Bob Crow, General Secretary RMT

 

Bob Crow, General Secretary Rail Maritime and Transport Union (RMT), took a global perspective - no war on Iraq, but a war on poverty:

"How can people go to bed at night when a third of the world is starving? ... how can it be right that fat kids in America can sue McDonalds because they are too fat and there is kids starving in Africa, Middle East, and everywhere else?!"

He also condemned Israeli terrorism:

"I am appalled by the terrorism thats going on against the Palestinian people... the Palestinian people deserve their own state"

 

 


"Not In My Name - Dont Attack Iraq"

 

Drums and Whistles - a family protests
"Stop Israeli War Crimes"

 



Councillor Afzal Khan

 

Councillor Afzal Khan, of the UK Islamic Mission, condemned the double standards:

"And yes they tell us about United Nations resolutions [against Iraq], so what about the other resolutions - the resolutions about Kashmir, about Palestine? Are they not people? Are those resolutions not important?

We want to see peace and justice for everyone, irrespective of whether they are weak or strong, whether they are black or white, where ever they come from - its our responsibility to strive for that, and I want to salute everyone of you who have come here to do that."

 

 


"Bush / Blair Aiding & Abetting Israeli Terrorism"

"FACT: Israeli Terrorism Is Not Just Pulling The Trigger.
It Is Also Social, Economic, Administrative,
Political, Legal, Educational...
And Its 24/7
- UN Special Commission"

 



Ms. Tahrir Rehman reading a statement on behalf of
Iraqi Exiles Against the War

 

A statement from Iraqis in Exile Against the War was read out by Ms. Tahrir Rehman :

"We as Iraqis already free from Saddams tyranny, living outside of Iraq, ... as professionals, writers, teachers, and other responsible citizens - many of whom have personally experienced the persecution of the dictatorship in Iraq we say NO TO WAR, not in our name, not in the name of the suffering Iraqi people...

Generations of Iraqis have endured a successive of tyrannical regimes, two devastating wars, and twelve years of the most pervasive sanctions ever to be imposed in the history of mankind. In Iraq the regime of Saddam Hussein has nothing left but bomb us hence it tries to exploit the genuine rise of anger in the middle east at the unbelievable suffering of the Palestinian people.

It is the inhumanity of the civilised world in letting Sharon's atrocities continue in defiance of scores of United Nations resolutions that leaves the Iraqi regime with any credibility at all.

In the meantime sanctions have been catastrophic for the welfare of the people of Iraq. They have made the lives of Iraqis dependent on the state machine rather than on free production and resolution. The fabric of society is barely holding out. Another war will crush this vulnerable society and may mean civil war and dangerous spill overs all over the middle east...

We believe Saddam Hussein's regime is responsible for leading Iraq from a situation of great promise to one of unmitigated catastrophe, and this regime must be held to account for its abject failure and for its crimes committed against the Iraqi people. But the remedy must not be greater damage to the innocent and the society at large..."


         

This original design was a favourite on the day. The artist is unknown but a url was included on the back of the postcard:

www.usaterroristno-1.com

Unfortunately we had no luck in accessing the site. The design appeared on postcards, T-shirts and a banner.


Yvonne Ridley wearing a
"Terrorist flag" T-shirt
Banner behind reads
"Boycott Israel - Boycott Murder"

 


Terrorist flag with caption "Bush 21st Century Hitler"
and banner on the left
"No War for Oil - Stop the War Machine"



Carol Regan, chairperson PSC

 

Carol Regan, chairperson of Palestine Solidarity Campaign describes a terrorist state:

"I want to talk today about a country that is run by a terrorist, has amassed great quantities of nuclear arms and weapons of mass destruction, and ignores or breaks every UN resolution that is passed against it. A country that carries out abuses of human rights every day of the week, destroying homes, industries, crops, collective punishment, as well as systematic murder and detention of people without trial, not to mention the curfews. That is the state of Israel, a terrorist state!"

 

 


"Were these babies endangering the zionist soldiers lives,
and deserve this?"

 



Mick Rix, General Secretary ASLEF

 

Mick Rix, General Secretary of the Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen (ASLEF) pledged his unions support for the Palestinian people and talked about the need for justice:

"And you know, when you see that daily repression, and that brutality against the Palestinian people and the occupation of their homeland - well you don't get peace without justice!...

Its about time we started talking about an international coalition to free the people of Palestine and stop the illegal occupation!"

He also condemned the media bias in its minimal coverage of pro-Palestinian and anti-war demonstrations when compared to the blanket coverage last weeks countryside alliance march secured:

"... you can see the support it [the media] gave to the Tories and the countryside alliance last week - it shows the bias that exists in this country today! There was one good thing about that march last weekend - at least it gave the foxes a day off!"

 

Download (shift-click) speech (real audio 4:37mins 570Kb)

 



Paul Mackney, General Secretary NATFHE

 

Paul Mackney, General Secretary of the University & College Lectures Union (NATFHE) condemned Bushes & Blairs war on the Iraqi people and suggested alternate action:

"Enough Iraqi children have died because of the sanctions, if you go ahead with this unnecessary slaughter - its not in our name!

We also say to this government, there is a state in the middle east which has an advanced programme of weapons of mass destruction, there is a state which had refused access to UN inspection teams, there is a state which is invading its neighbours - it is the state of Israel! Armed by the USA and the UK. Sort out Israel - end the humiliation of the Palestinian people!

There will be no peace without justice!"

 

Download (shift-click) speech (real audio 5:09 mins 634Kb)

 


University & College Lectures Union (NATFHE)



Barry Camfield, Assistant General Secretary T&G

 

Barry Camfield, Assistant General Secretary of the Transport and General Workers’ Union (T&G) talked of the importance of the issue of Palestine::

"Our position is that the number one issue in the world that should be focused on is the suffering of the Palestinian people and thats what we should be debating today.

He condemned Americas' arrogant attitude to the world:

"They [the USA] wants to show the United Nations who is boss - the worlds only superpower, and they want to establish their unequivocal right to run the world! They also want to continue to develop and deploy their own weapons of mass destruction and their armed forces, and there is great fear about the fact that America will no longer support any international law but the law they determine."

He also had a message for Tony Blair:

"Our message to Labour MPs and above all to Tony Blair is that he should stop kneeling to George Bush and the Republican Party of the United States!"

 

Download (shift-click) speech (real audio 5:30 mins 679Kb)

 


Transport and General Workers’ Union (T&G)
marching along side a member from CND
and a "pinup for peace"!



Muhammad Sarwar, Labour MP

 

Muhammad Sarwar, Labour MP (Glasgow Govan) exposed the real reasons for the war on Iraq and called for justice for the Palestinians:

"You will know that Iraq has 100 years of oil reserves, and Unites States has only 11 years of oil reserves and Britain has only 6 years of reserves. This war is about oil, not about terrorism and dictatorship!...

We tell Bush that his misconceived war on terrorism can not be won until Palestinians get justice. Palestinians are fighting for their self-determination. Ariel Sharon is a terrorist - he is the man who was involved in the massacre of thousands of Palestinians in Sabra and Shatilla refugee camps and he is the man who was involved in the massacre of Jenin camp..."



Billy Hayes, General Secretary CWU

 

Billy Hayes, General Secretary Communications Workers Union (CWU):

"If we are talking about deadlines (they say there needs to be a deadline against Iraq), so how about a deadline for Ariel Sharon to get out of the West Bank!...

This US government wants something called total spectrum dominance - well thats a nice posh word for dominance of all the peoples of the world. You today are showing that there is opposition to this.."



Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London

 

Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London, attacked Bush's illegitimate claim to power and the motives of the war and condemned the hypocrisy that is Israel::

"Bush's administration is corruptly elected - Bush is only president because his governor brother in Florida has half the black voters stripped of the voting rolls, otherwise there wouldn't be Bush's corrupt rule in the white house ...

It is certainly not a war against weapons of mass destruction because there is only one regime in the middle east that has nuclear weapons and its not Saddam Hussein - it is Israel who has nuclear weapons for 30 years and there is no action being planned to take those nuclear weapons from Sharon. So it is one again what it has been for the last decade and more - hypocrisy and double standards as America retains its neo-colonialist hold on the oil producing regions of the world. And it is a disgrace that once again Britain is running along like a little lap dog behind Americas imperial interests..."



Iqbal Sacranie, General Secretary MCB

 

Iqbal Sacranie, General Secretary Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) demanded the right of return for Palestinians:

"We demand in the name of justice the same resoluteness to ensure the return of the Palestinian refugees and an end to the illegal occupation of their land. After 50 years of forced exile, one in every three refugees in the world today is a Palestinian. They are refugees not because they choose to be, but because Israel as supported by the americans and now by Britain refuses to comply, and defies with impunity, the UN resolutions and international law...

No country can achieve security by terrorising a weaker people ... we want an end to double standards..."



John Pilger, Journalist

 

John Pilger, acclaimed journalist, writer and film maker, spoke on the true meaning of democracy and the criminality of the Wests actions in Palestine and Iraq:

"I think that today may well be the beginning of true democracy in the new century. You know, democracy is not a game, played in an institution that rubber stamps the government, democracy is not one obsessed man using the power of kings to attack another country in our name, democracy is not siding with Ariel Sharon, a war criminal in order to crush the Palestinians. Democracy is this great event today representing the majority of the people of Great Britain...

I've been to Iraq, and I've been recently to Palestine and I've seen the suffering in those countries. The children dying in cancer wards in southern Iraq - dying because their country is denied the equipment to fight their cancer and to clean up battlefields contaminated by depleted uranium, a weapon of mass destruction used by the United States and Britain 12 years ago.

Let me quote two american scholars - John and Carl Muller who have examined objectively all the statistics of suffering in Iraq since the embargo was imposed 12 years ago. The conclude, and I quote:

'Economic sanctions have probably already taken the lives of more people in Iraq than have been killed by all weapons of mass destruction in history'

That research appeared not in a campaign pamphlet, but in the American establishment journal Foreign Affairs. Its a truth that many of my fellow journalists and broadcasters ignore or whisper because they know what it means. It means that a great crime against Iraq has already been committed in our name. And if they honest with themselves then they will know that the flattery of these imperial politicians has to stop and the truth has to be told.


John Pilger addressing the crowds

Half the population of Iraq are children, consider what will happen to them when the cluster bombs fall and the depleted uranium is used as it will be.

You know we speak only of murder when some tragic and hideous event happens in familiar circumstances, but there is no difference let me assure you between murder committed here and murder committed by our government and its allies in Iraq and in Palestine. This is not rhetoric, and its time our public language for freed of its double standards.

If they attack Iraq, Bush and Blair will be international criminals. They must be stopped, because other countries will be next - Iran, North Korea, perhaps even eventually even China.

What is so exciting about today and all the other demonstrations and meetings that are happening all over Britain is that they represent the true moral mainstream of political life in this country. Today a taboo has been broken - we are the moderates, Bush and Blair are the extremists!

The danger for all of us lies not in Baghdad, but in Washington. Only one country has used a nuclear weapon of mass destruction against civilians, only one country has threatened to use nuclear weapons in south east Asia and the middle east, only one country has torn us all the treaties forged over years to prevent this happening, only one country is developing nuclear weapons for pre-emptive use and that is the United States.


John Pilger received a very warm
welcome from the crowds

Tony Blair belongs to George W Bush, not to us. If he joins the attack on Iraq he will kill untold numbers of innocent people, and he will promote the kind of terrorism that endangers the lives of all of us. Is that what they call patriotism? Blair and Bush are the true enemy within, I believe we have no choice now - our resistance to their murderous plans must be unrelenting."



Lindsey German, Chairperson
Stop the War Coalition

 

Lindsey German, Chairperson Stop the War Coalition, dismissed a UN "approved" war resulting from US bullying and gangsterism:

"The message we send today will be heard by the people of Iraq, it will be heard in the refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila which have suffered so much under Ariel Sharon..

The message of this demonstration is not that we go to the United Nations and cobble together a resolution - because the US is bribing and bullying the security council to come out in favour of war. If this war was wrong last week before we had a UN resolution its just as wrong next week when there is a UN resolution...

This is the politics of the gangster movie and has nothing to do with freedom, equality or democracy. Thats because they are not interested in democracy. If there was a real democracy in the middle east, if the people of Jordan and Egypt and everywhere else could speak they would say that we want to free the Palestinians. The Americans dont want democracy, they want dictatorships because it suits their interests..."



George Galloway, MP

 

George Galloway, Member of British Parliament, was in usual good form as he attacked Blair for enslaving Britain to the United States:

"I see out there the banner of the Great British Fire Brigades Union, and the first question I want to ask Tony Blair is this:

If there is no money to pay Britains fire fighters, how comes there is money to go around the world setting fires to other peoples countries?

I am looking out upon this ocean of people, the back of this crowd simple cannot be seen. People are still marching in Piccadilly five and a half hours after the front left the demonstration point...

Today is the second anniversary of the Palestinian uprising - the Al Aqsa Intifada. Now I want you to join with me so loud that they will hear it in the camps of Jenin, of Gaza, of Ramallah and Nabulus:

Victory to the Intifada....
Free Free Palestine...

 


George Galloway - "Victory to the Intifada"

I ask the great countries of France, Russia and China - Dont humiliate yourselves in the way that our country is being humiliated - stand up to George Bush!

..war for oil - because thats what this war is about - 100s of years of supply of oil lies in the gulf, only two countries in the gulf are not the puppets of Britain and America - one of them is Iraq and one of them is Iran, and if we allow the attack on Iraq, Iran will quickly follow so that they can control the oil reserves of the world as part of their imperialist domination...

We the British people demand aBritish policy that speaks for Britain and an end to the slavery of this country to the most right wing Republican government [USA] that we have seen in living memory.

Al Gore - no friend of ours - got it right this week when he said:

'Its come to something when the world is more afraid of the United States of America than it is afraid of international terrorism'.."



Veronica Dunn, UNISON past president

 

Veronica Dunn, UNISON past president, spoke of the blind submission of the UK and the UN to American interests:

"My greatest worry is this governments submission to every US whim. What are the majority of our MPs doing? For Gods sake they should wake up - not simple allow us to enter in to a war of aggression...

Why is it that President Bush is demanding compliance with UN resolutions by Iraq when its Israel who should be brought to task. Efforts to create an independent Palestinian state...giving displaced Palestinians the right to return should be the UNs first priority - not dancing to Bush's ultimatums!"


UNISON branches from Bristol & Hackney

Download (shift-click) speech (real audio 3:47 mins 466Kb)

 



Dr. Azmi Bishara, Member of Knesset (Palestinian)

 

Dr. Azmi Bishara, Member of Knesset (Palestinian) condemned the unconditional support the US gives to Israel:

" The same policy [US] are the policies that adopt General Sharon unconditionally and without any critic... [ without it ] Sharon would have gone a long time ago.

Sharon failed in every matter that he promised - he didn't bring security to his society, he did not solve any economic issue, settlements - they show that settlements have escalated more and more, and more and more crimes against humanity against the Palestinian people in Palestine [are committed] and this could not continue without the unconditional support of George Bush...

On the issue of linking the issue of war with Iraq with a promise of a Palestinian state afterwards, Dr. Bishwara denounced it and revealed the real linkage between the two issues - that of American aggression in imposing its will on the world:

Do you remember the [last] gulf war when they promised the Palestinian people after the war a Palestinian state - well I want to tell you this: It is not about a state, its about liberation from occupation. This is first, and second, the Palestinian people do not want a state over the bodies of the Iraqi people. This is nonsense - this is not the real linkage. The real linkage is that the same people who are war mongers in the issue of Iraq are supporting Sharon unconditionally to impose and to dictate to the Palestinian people after the war the political solution that he wants."



Caroline Lucas, MEP (Green Party)

 

Caroline Lucas, Member of the European Parliament (Green Party):

"We are told that we have to go to war to enforce UN resolutions and the rule of law. Well its fascinating to watch this new found interest in the rule of law. Where was that interest when it comes to Israel withdrawing from the West Bank..

And whilst they are so suddenly concerned about international law, perhaps they would like to recall that no UN resolution gives any permission for the continual bombing raids on Iraq that continue to kill hundreds of people day in day out, week in week out.

But its a sad fact that the currency of UN resolutions has seriously been devalued. Please dont be fooled in to thinking that if UN support is given then that means that some how this war is some how legitimate. It is still grossly illegitimate! In order to get agreement from the UN for the first gulf war, the US used bribery, it used blackmail, it used threats and it will use them all again.


Caroline Lucas, MEP (Green Party)

And then we are told that we have to go to war on the grounds that Saddam Hussein is a brutal dictator. Well I have no doubt that he is a brutal dictator, but how is he been allowed to become one and equipped to become one? The answer is that the West has been systematically arming him for years. We armed him for his war on Iran in which more than a million people were killed, we armed him even when he was using poison gas to kill thousands of Kurds at Halabjah.

Message we want to send to Tony Blair today is that we find the enormous hypocrisy of the Bush and Blair position utterly obscene.

And then the next lye that we have to go to war is that they say we have to war to destroy Saddams weapons of mass destruction. Well lets be clear, our moral authority might just be a little bit more if we ourselves didn't have weapons of mass destruction. This government has said, Tony Blair has said he will be prepared to use weapons of mass destruction first. Israel ... has weapons of mass destruction, but somehow that all right because they are apparently our friends. And the US has more weapons of mass destruction then the rest of the world put together - and it has used them in Nagasaki, in Hiroshima, in Vietnam.


"Would You Kill Me?"

And finally they want to strike against Iraq to restore international peace and security in the region. How is it that by unleashing war they can possibly restore peace. How is it that the 23 million people of Iraq can be reduced to just one man, to Saddam Hussein? How is it that our leaders have so little imagination that they cannot feel what it would be like to be a child in Iraq living in terror and fear? How is it that we hear so little about the consequences for the people on the wrong end of our missiles, or our cluster bombs, or our tanks and munitions? Experts speak of collateral damage, but that is an obscene term to cover the dying and the bleeding and the heart break of young people.

Each and every one of those Iraqi lives is every bit as valuable and every bit as precious as every US life and every UK life.

And we are here to say that you cannot enforce international law by breaking international law.."

 

 

The march at Westminster, the seat of the British government :
"Not in my name"
"No war for oil"
"Stop Israeli War Crimes"
"End Israeli Occupation"

 



Scott Ritter, former chief UNSCOM inspector,
holding up Blairs dossier on Iraq

 

Scott Ritter, former chief UN weapons inspector in Iraq (UNSCOM), criticised Tony Blairs dossier on Iraq,:

" Mr. Blair ... I know more than you what Iraq has and what has been accomplished in the field of disarmament.. this document is not a case for war... its not worth one drop of blood from an American soldier, a British soldier or an Iraqi civilian...."

He then asked Britain's help in curbing Bush's excesses:

"We have an alcoholic at the wheel of American foreign policy named George W.Bush and we the people of the United States of America need your assistance to reach in, grab the keys from the ignition and say no, we will not allow you to drive the vehicle of international peace and security over the cliff of war..."

 

(*) Please do remember that the UNSCOM (UN special commission) weapons inspection team was confirmed (by the UN & later by US administration) to have contained US spies including former marine Scott Ritter. In an account of his time in Iraq, Endgame, Mr Ritter admitted to working with the CIA.The CIA even smuggled into Bagdad a large listening device known as "Stephanie", which was stored in Mr Ritter's office. He said that the most sensitive information went back to the US rather than Unscom. Mr Ritter was also quoted in an Israeli paper at the time praising the contribution of Israeli intelligence in passing on information.

(see article "We're not spies, says inspection chief Blix tries to allay Iraqi fears of espionage" by Ewen MacAskill, Nov 11, 2002, The Guardian )


 



Dr. Majid Ezzir, Palestinian Return Centre

 

Dr. Majid Ezzir, Palestinian Return Centre, spoke of the Palestinians determination for the liberation of their land and their right of return::

"As long as 5 million Palestinians are denied the right to return to their homes, the struggle will continue. As long the Israelis occupy Palestinian land, the resistance will continue. The Palestinian people will not be the red indians of the middle east!"

 

 


The flag of victory - the Hizbullah flag

 



Kate Hudson, Vice-Chair, CND

Kate Hudson, Vice-Chair, CND:

"Let us be quiet clear, this war has nothing to do with Iraqs supposed nuclear threat and everything to do with political and economic control of a region that is rich in oil.

The governments so called dossier on Iraq has provided no evidence of possession of nuclear weapons by Iraq or of any intention to use them, our government on the other hand does have nuclear weapons and is prepared to use them in a first strike, even against a non-nuclear weapons state. This is sheer nuclear hypocrisy!"



Jeremy Corbyn, MP

 

Jeremy Corbyn, Member of British Parliament, explained the difference between a false sense of security attained by bullying and true security achieved from mutual respect:

"I say to those people that some how or other believe that by arming yourself to the teeth you make yourself secure, I think in a simple way we all know if we have to treble lock our front doors and double lock our windows every night our lives are not very secure. But we do feel secure if we are happy with our neighbours and we love our neighbours and work with and respect our neighbours.

So I say to George W.Bush what goes round comes around - if you allow the Palestinian people to be bombed and assassinated by American built Israeli planes, if you do nothing to attend the Earth Summit and ensure the resources of this planet are shared equally amongst the people of this planet.. those who you bomb today will come back to haunt you tomorrow!"


War mongering George Bush with side-poodle Blair
Caption reads:

"Every shell you sow,
a terrorist shall yee reap"

Download (shift-click) speech (real audio 6:34 mins 809Kb)

 

 

 


Keep Palestine Tidy - Dump Israel!

 

 

 

url: http://www.inminds.com/palestine-rally-28sep02.html