By Jim Byagua
More than fifty anti-war demonstrators blocked Whitehall on Monday 18 March in a protest outside the emergency meeting of the War Cabinet. The protest brought together higher education students and school students in a three-hour sit-down.
The demonstrators refused to move despite repeated warnings from the police. They sat in a line, arms locked together, shouting "They break the law. We'll break the law." Police eventually dragged the group from the road, although no arrests were made.
The sit-down outside Downing Street was the culmination of a day of protest. At 1pm, thirty students from Cambridge, Essex, Kings College, LSE, Oxford, SOAS, Sussex and Warwick universities staged a 'die-in' in a section of the British Museum corresponding to modern day Iraq. They then continued via the Ministry of Defence, where a group of Hackney school students were protesting, to Parliament Square.
At 2.30 pm the student group, which now numbered fifty, joined others from Roehampton University War Concern Coalition in a die-in outside the Houses of Parliament.
At 3.30 pm the demonstrators moved to Downing Street.
Oscar Reyes, a student at Essex University, commented: "The British government has now committed itself to an illegal and immoral war. In doing so, it has abdicated its right to expect us to obey the law."
"As students, we reject this war in the name of education against stupidity. Tony Blair's insistence that you can advance the human rights of the Iraqi people by bombing the Iraqi people defies logic. George Bush's claim that he seeks peace when he means to unleash war defies language. And the British and American governments defy reason when their pretended concern about Weapons of Mass Destruction takes the form of arming those same weapons for a War of Mass Destruction."
The campaign of civil disobedience from all students is likely to be stepped up in the coming weeks. There will be a series of 'peace bombs' unleashed by the student campaign on the capital in the coming weeks.
- For details of further actions, come to our meetings every Tuesday at 4.30pm Duck and Dive, ULU, Malet Street, London, or contact Oscar Reyes, firstname.lastname@example.org
All the latest action (and politics too): Student Stop War website