Colchester Sixth Formers | 31.10.2002 17:16
Today, October 31st, was the National Day of action against war, called by the Stop the War Coalition ( http://www.stopwar.org.uk). Inspired by Tony Benn’s speech at a large London anti-war demo earlier in the year, the day was called for groups about the country to conduct their own direct action against a war on Iraq.
At around 1pm, at the gates of Colchester Sixth Form College, a collection of local activists, children and sixth form students, numbering about 15 assembled and distributed anti-war leaflets. At approximately 1.30pm, about 10 of these, mostly sixth form students, marched through town, towards the Total petrol station at the bottom of East Hill.
This action was taken, due to the links between the push for war, and multi-national oil companies. A war on Iraq would only be for oil, and not democracy, despite current American rhetoric over weapons of mass destruction. It was thus decided to take action against a petrol station, the oil companies most obvious form of distribution, used most often by the general public.
The group marched down the road for a short distance before arrival, and then staged a peaceful sit down, blockading the forecourt of the garage, and displaying banners proclaiming against a war for oil. The sit-down lasted for around half an hour, until the police arrived. The group had previously agreed to leave upon police arrival, wishing the protest to remain totally non-violent. Upon the arrival of the police, the group stood up, and held a 1 minute silence for all victims of war, before leaving, displaying banners and heading back towards the Sixth Form College.
This action coincided with other actions in the Colchester area, including a large demonstration and “die-in” involving over 400 students, at Essex University, and a vigil to be held tonight at 6pm, at the Town Hall. Sixth Form student, Sam Jones (16), present on the petrol station action, said of it “The proposed war on Iraq is a war purely for profit. They pose no real threat to us and there is no evidence that they possess weapons of mass destruction, unlike the US and Britain. Any action taken would mean the destruction of innocent lives and as such I feel it to be important for people to take a stand against it.”. An anti-war group is currently being set up in the college, for more details, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Colchester Sixth Formers