R. Streets | 01.11.2002 11:49
About 30 people joined a lunchtime rally outside Lambeth Town Hall called by Lambeth Unison. Activists held a banner on the Town Hall steps saying 'No to War in Iraq', leafletted and gave out stickers. People passing were generally supportive and interested.
After the rally a group went into the Town Hall with Unison members who'd organised a video screening of 'A Week in Palestine'.
This subversive activity prompted the police who'd been sitting nearby in a van to follow them in and call the rather bemused security guards.
During the afternoon the police followed Stop the War group activists everywhere as they collected banners and placards and an information stall and pa organised by the local Green party was set up outside the Library.
Lambeth Council had continually tried to block the rally going ahead but on the day from 5pm the dub reggae sound system started up and about 150 people gathered to listen to speakers and poetry.
A local NUT rep spoke angrily about how there was no money for schools when there seemed to be plenty of money for bombs. The crowd applauded the news of other actions taking place around the world. A call was put out by Stop the War for everyone to take direct action in the event of war, occupy, strike, walk-out, block roads and many people added their names to the petition and contact list. Passing traffic continually tooted at a placard 'TOOT IF YOU'RE AGAINST WAR'. People waved Palestinian flags and held up a long line of day-glo signs spelling out NO TO WAR IN IRAQ. The poetry went down well as did hot drinks and cakes. With balloons, candles and the odd witch, there was a festive feeling.
A group of people went up to join the central London protest, and were amused to find they were accompanied by two cops. Reaching the bottom of Whitehall the group were barred from joining the demonstration. The police explained this was "to prevent a further breach of the peace" ( is there still such a thing?) While the cops tried to explain themselves to a passing Tony Benn the group joined the 1000's outside Downing St drumming and chanting and marching to Trafalgar Square...
Back in Brixton there was more poetry to be had and Dekefex, a packed out Drum + Bass night displayed a Stop the War DON'T ATTACK IRAQ banner.
A positive day and anti-war activists are determined to keep up the pressure and keep building networks to strengthen the action we can take to stop the war.
THINK GLOBAL - ACT LOCAL