As well as marches, there were lots of acts of civil disobedience all over the UK.
In Bradford, on the morning of the invasion of Iraq in March 2003, myself and a group of a dozen or so people chained ourselves together across Leeds Road, one of the main roads into the city. The aim was to disrupt the morning rush hour traffic and make sure people knew what was happening and why we were doing it (some of us were chained up, some were handing out leaflets to drivers.) There were many angry drivers and local residents, they saw us as trouble making hippies. One lad in the chain had a full can of pop thrown at his head.
We were there for about two hours with our arms locked together inside plastic pipes, sat across a zebra crossing. The police arrived after about half an hour. They’d been prepared for protests that day and were not aggressive at all. I’m sure if it took place today, we’d have all been tasered. We weren’t even arrested.
It felt at the time, and in hindsight, like a futile gesture, but we were angry about the slaughter of innocent people that was inevitably going to happen in Iraq, and felt we had to do something, anything really, to make the point that not everybody would acquiesce.
I’m still angry about the terrible suffering of the poor people of Iraq. I consider my country a nation of war criminals, unpunished and unrepentant. No better than Nazi Germany, perhaps even worse – after all, there was no threat of violence from a tyrannical dictatorship stopping people from opposing our government.
By the way, why have you got Jon Snow hosting the q&a after the screenings? The whole of the UK media was compromised by its war cheerleading at the time. Barely a critical voice was heard. Jon Snow was no exception.