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Meeting point, & you might say 'war-free zone', for a March & Rally: B'ham's Centenery Square. Although primarily about Iraq, Palestine has, increasingly, been given more attention. With definite paralells, of causes & effects, upon these two countries (I can hear some of you saying Palestine isn't a country - well, it ought to be!). Iraq has suffered from UN-imposed sanctions, as well as constant weekly US/UK bombings, allegedly on military installlations, since the Gulf War. It's health & welfare, transport, education & general infra-structure systems have all been degraded. Palestinians, apart from being under military occupation, with tanks, armed soldiers, bombings from the skies, & the infamous Caterpillar bulldozers-for-demolitions on the streets, have also been prone to arbitrary arrests without trial, torture, or shootings. Agricultural land, factories & homes have been either stolen or destroyed. Both countries have, to their peoples, in various ways, become as large prisons. Palestine by, constantly, being attacked by Israeli military, Iraq - suffering under a repressive regime - is, following some twelve years of destruction, in which Britain has played a major role - also under relentless threat of imminent intense warfare. If war does come to pass, against Iraq (or should one say if the present war escalates?!) it could, judging by recent reports, be equivalent to a Hiroshima/Nagasaki-style holocaust. The afternoon events, as expected, aimed to draw attention to the present severe crisis. Condemnation, on it's own, however, is insufficient. Whilst vigorously opposing the war-mongering, we also have to find creative solutions. - The City Council, & we do have some friends amongst them, surrendered it's original claim, for extra policing & security etc., of £8000. It was waived entirely, hopefully because Councillors considered the Anti-War Rally to be in the public interest. Which, if so, we would, wholeheartedly, agree with. - Down Broad Street we went, continuing, in a wide circle, along the Peace Gardens, then back to Centenery Square for passionately motivating speeches, by MPs & Community leaders. The March/Rally, despite mixed weather, went well. It recieved same-day coverage, in the 'Birmingham Evening Mail', with huge front-page headlines proclaiming "BRUM ON THE MARCH". 'The Mail' estimated a crowd total of 1000, but other estimates were considerably higher. Be that as it may, it was a day where we - although other friends joined in happily, too - could be proud to call ourselves 'Brummies'. People's power at it's best - and this was only a beginning. Mr. Blair, with associates (including an ex-Governor from Texas) had better take note: We don't want your moral crusades! _________________________________________________________________ Chat online in real time with MSN Messenger http://messenger.msn.co.uk _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email email@example.com All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk