Report on London Anti-War Demonstration

17 February 2003

From Dave Webb

It was amazing !!

Never seen anything like it.

We went on the bus from Leeds and 3 buses went from just our small neighbourhood, leaving around 7am. We passed and were passed by a whole convoy of buses on the motorway to London and arrived around 12.30 there were so many buses and people that we had to get off the bus before the arranged dropping off point. We immediately joined a huge crowd heading for the official start point of the march - it took us 2 hours to cover the 1/2 a mile or so to get there!


Despite the frustration at how slowly we were moving the mood of the crowd was wonderful - singing, chanting, joking - great humour, wonderful comradeship even though it was really quite cold and there was a lot of standing about !

There were banners, street bands, drums, performers and people of all sorts - students, doctors, truck drivers, cleaners, lawyers, politicians, young, old - many had never been on a demonstration before - some never thought they ever would. All were united by a sincere and desperate concern that their protest should be heard and noticed. All agreeing that there was no need for war. 


On the way we had the occasional message from various people positioned along the way about how big the demonstration was - 750,000 1,200,000 and then 2,000,000 !! - each time a huge cheer greeted the announcement. At one point we passed the Palace Theatre where Les Miserables is playing - people (staff, performers) were cheering and waving from the windows flying French flags - revolutionary stuff indeed !

We were also continuously informed of similar demonstrations throughout the world - there is nothing more empowering and cheering than that !

We didn't arrive at Hyde Park until 6pm - well after the speakers had finished and people were starting to disperse from the rally. As I looked back I could see that we were not the last - the march still stretched back as far as I could see.


The biggest demonstration ever in the history of the country can't be ignored !

And there were other demonstrations in the UK too - apart from the other major march and rally in Glasgow many cities and small towns in the UK held rallies and vigils in support.

One interesting thing about it all was how well informed people were and how they were generally able to express themselves intelligently and with good humour. This was a really positive sign - that a very large section of the country is not prepared to be blindly led to war against its will and against the will of the majority of world citizens.

The UK government must take note - how can they call this a democracy if they continue to defy the will, the hopes and the dreams of the majority of the population ?

Well done to all those all over the world who helped to show the strength of world opinion.

See also: Reports of World-wide Peace Protests and London and Berlin say No to War on Iraq - the Protest of the 2 Million London, a photo report


Home Page