Voluntary Sector: Taking Action ... Anti-war protesters vs George Bush/UK Government

Protesters: Stop the War Coalition, CND and the British Muslim Initiative Location: Parliament Square Date: Sunday 15 June

Protestors: in London
Protestors: in London

The lowdown

Baton-wielding police clashed with anti-war protesters a stone's throw from Downing Street after a demonstration against US President George Bush's farewell visit to the UK turned violent. The 2,500 protesters wanted to march past Downing Street but had been banned from doing so.

Why were they protesting?

To get British troops out of Iraq, Somalia and Afghanistan, to prevent Iran being invaded, and to tell Brown to stop the Government's support of 'US wars'. They wanted to secure media coverage to show that strength of feeling about the issues still existed.

How did the Government respond?

By preventing protesters from marching past Downing Street; by keeping Bush well away from Parliament Square; by arresting 25 protesters during the course of the day; and by getting the police to condemn the protesters' actions as 'irresponsible and criminal'.

What was achieved?

The protest attracted mass media coverage, with references in most of the news articles on Bush's visit. Stop the War Coalition president Tony Benn took a pop at the BBC during an interview complaining that it did not report the content of the public meeting speeches, focusing instead on the scuffles and attendance numbers.

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