Essex Peace | 31.10.2002 21:48
Essex University Anti-War Protest
Hundreds of students attended a rally and 'die in' at 1pm. (see photo's below).
The day began with anti-war banners hung from buildings and lecture theatres, while thousands of leaflets were handed out.
Passing students eagerly took posters and stickers from a stall, and soon they appeared on every wall.
By 1pm, a crowd of hundreds had gathered in the main square. Anti-war posters, placards and banners were held up. The start of the protest was marked by the alarming sound of air raid sirens played over a sound system. Hundreds more then gathered to watch as the deafening crash of bombs rolled over the campus. This was the signal for around 40-50 volunteers to perform the die in. Figures in white overalls, blue helmets and scream-horror masks then drew chalk lines around the bodies on the ground .
A large puppet of a hideous Blair/poodle mutant dog presided over the whole scene.
The rally was then addressed by speakers who described the horrors of the USA's new biotech weapons programme and the history of US support for wars, genocide, dictators and oil profits in the Middle East.
The crowd cheered as a list of recent and ongoing actions against war in the UK and around the globe was read out.
Students were particularly inspired by news of the occupations in other colleges, and are becoming aware of the links between universities and weapons manufacturers.
Documentaries about the history of the Gulf war were then shown in the theatre, revealing more shocking evidence of the US Governments real motives, and the human cost.
The whole campus seemed to be talking about the war and the anti-war protests, and many are more committed than ever to joining protests to stop this criminal war and the whole insane system that produces it.