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I was with a small group from Devon who had to come to London to be part of the protest against the potential war in Iraq. At that time I was working in Plymouth and, because of that city’s connections with the navy, felt very much a minority voice in expressing my horror and deep disquiet about what was happening. The feeling of collective anger and outrage on that march was overwhelming – I had such a profound sense of people’s power and, so often since, have longed to access that feeling again, whenever the government commits outrages against people or against the earth.

When the war began in Iraq, it’s difficult to describe the terrible hopelessness and rage I felt. I cried as the radio blandly intoned its descriptions of the first massive blasts of ‘shock and awe’ striking the city, and imagined the devastation to people, animals, landscapes that was
happening right then. Since then, all the lies and deceit about that war have leaked out and it is like a wound that will not heal. I have never forgiven the Labour government for initiating that atrocity, and will never vote for them again in my life. What they colluded in was unforgiveable.