31.10.2002 03:07 | Peace not War
Road blockades and sit down protests were reported in central London, Finsbury park, Manchester, Sheffield, Oxford, Brighton, and Swansea, while students occupied university buildings across the country. In London Westminster bridge was blockaded by an all women action, while a critical mass cycle protest occupied the streets touring central London, stopping off at oil companies and government or military depts. In the evening thousands attended a rally and protest march, and after being penned in by police using riot horses opposite Downing Street they staged sit down protests in the centre of London. Arrests were made and the police were seen to be very heavy handed against an obviously peaceful crowd. The police also acted violently in Brighton using pepper spray and batons on sit down protestors when up to one thousand took to the streets.
For full coverage, eyewitness reports, audiovisual media, discussions and timeline of events see IMC-UK Major Reports page.
Following the protests the Stop the War Coalition announced plans for a large scale national demonstration in London on February 15th next year as well as a mass lobby of Parliament on January 21 2003. While ARROW and other groups are calling for mass civil disobedience for a peaceful sit down protest and die-in to block Whitehall on December 2 2002. Planning also continues for immediate mass non violent direct action across the country on the day that attacks in Iraq start.
See also: Iraq Journal.org : Active Resistance to the Roots of War : Direct Action Against the War Now : Voices in the Wilderness : Media Workers Against War