John | 21.03.2003 15:59 | Cambridge
Article and 9 phtographs from the Anti War Protest in Cambridge Thursday 20th March 2003
CAMBRIDGE Anti War Protest 20/3/03
Protest started at Noon in Cambridge market square, with hundreds forming a ring of peace around the market. The protestors them marched through the city centre in a carnival atmosphere backed by a small samba group and pans, railings, car horns, and whistles all over the place. When the march reached the war memorial on Hills Road, a minutes scilence was observed for those who will die led by the 'women in black'.
Protestors gained accses to the army recruitment centre, with police involved from the outset, and staged a sit in. In keeping with the day the left after 20 minutes when arrests looked iminent to protest and STOP the city elsewhere. Schhol children played a big part in the demo, leding the shouts and givin small addresses. Other school children were prevented from walking out to protest by their schools. The protest was happing in several places; Marshals was picketed and people were making plans for the afternoon.
The protest then moved on to one of Cambridges busiest junctions on Regent st near parkers piece, where a sit down protest remained untill nearly 6pm despit a fire engine driving at it at full speed with sirens etc. Was the fire engine on a legitamate 999 call? hmmmm. But within second the crowd cleared to allow it through, other vehicles then tried to follow the fire engine, some at speed, but the protestors prevented this and maintained control of the junction. The samba beat played, people took stock of the latest news, and peacefully remaind at the junction untill voilent arrests were made by the police. Individuals were targeted in the crowd as "ringleaders" and were arrested by force. There was some quite shocking film of this on the local news 30 minutes later that night.
The bulk of protestors then moved back to Market Square at full speed for a rally. This was now an angry crowd still of 500+ people, with a huge number of local school children and many 'regular people' ie not hardcore anit war folks.
Cambridge people will be making their voices this weekend in our own town, London, RAF Fairford.......watch this space.
I intended to post some selected photos from the protest actions, but my net connection is not being nice at the moment. All photos will be available on my own site this weekend - I'll post an address here asap