My Wife of five months and I, had never been on a protest march together before, but she felt so strongly about the proposed attack on Iraq, that she immediately declared to me “I’m going to join the protest march!”
It was her first ever protest and she didn’t know what to expect (whether it was safe), so she asked me to accompany her – I had only protested once before in the 80’s, and that was as part of the non-stop picket outside the South African Embassy in Trafalgar Square calling for the release of Nelson Mandela.
That morning, we travelled down from St. Albans, and when we arrived in London and saw the thousands of people on the march: old, young, able-bodied and disabled – we were truly moved to be a part of something so historic; we genuinely thought that day that our unified voices would halt the madness of Bush and Blair. We were wrong.
However, in our memories that day still lives on. As does the protest poem I penned before we left home that morning “Right of Citizenship”. I hope some fellow marchers still remember a brightly coloured piece of paper thrust into their hands with the following words:
Rite of Citizenship
I do solemnly declare
That I know not
Of any lawful impediment
Why I, A British Citizen,
May not be disjoined in unlawful warmongering
To George W Bush
I call upon these persons here present to witness
That I, A British Citizen, do not take thee
George W Bush
To be my unlawful pre-emptive Strike
To have and to hold Iraqi Oil from this day forward,
For his betterment or worse, for richer America
For poorer Iraq,
In sickness and in mental ill health,
To love and to cherish Iraqi wealth
Till defeat by the world’s citizens do us part.