Give peace a chance. A march to stop the war in Iraq.

by Ittirit Prakhamthong in London

Feature story - April 1, 2000
There was a clear demand from world citizens that no one wants George W. Bush, the President of the US and Tony Blair, the Prime Minister of the UK to lead us to war against Iraq. On February 15th, a huge number of people concerned of the world's peace joined the 'No War' marches from cities all over the world, including millions who gathered in London, the UK.

In the morning of Saturday after the Valentine's day, Greenpeace UK invited its staff,volunteers and friends to come out to join the No War march. Greenpeace believes war is not the solution for this situation, and attack against Iraq by the US and UK governments is nothing but war-mongering.

War will cause environmental damages as well as devastate the lives of innocent Iraqi civilians. There are apparently already a huge presence of military force from the US and UK around the Persian Gulf. One of greatest influence on this war-posturing by the US and UK is Iraq's oil reserve which is the second largest in the middle east.

The march of 1,500 Greenpeace activists began at the Jubilee Park, near the London Eye Wheel, one of England's tourist attraction. We marched across the Thames river at Westminster Bridge and walked together to Whitehall Street near the House of Parliament and Big Ben heading to Hyde Park where all the peace demonstrators assembled.

People said it was incredible to see a historical event like this happen, and many people have never been involved in a political demonstration like this before. Lots of people like parents took their little children to the peace rally. Teenagers shouted 'Stop the bloody war in Iraq.' Along the streets, a river of placards flowed through to Central London.

It was too cold in Hyde Park in the afternoon but people stayed on to listen to the speeches from many civil society leaders such as Rev. Jesse Jackson from the US and Ken Livingstone, mayor of London. At the end of the day, the evening news reported that almost 2 million people turned up at the No War march, a milestone in British politics.

Ittirit is a Media Campaigner of Greenpeace Southeast Asia.