LondonNet News Headlines
24/03/03
Police Put Pressure on Anti-War Campaigners
- 'Civil disobedience' warning from the Met

POLICE have warned that this weekend's anti-war protests could turn nasty, as the reality of war fires protestor passion.

"With feelings running high, there may be some civil disobedience," said one senior police officer.

Feelings between the Metropolitan Police and anti-war campaigners have become strained by comments by Met Commissioner Sir John Stevens that appeared to question the right to demonstrate at time of war. Stevens argument is that with London threatened by terrorist attack, police resources could find better use than stewarding demonstrations.

"The actions took valuable resources away from other areas of the capital. Protests such as those seen in Parliament Square draw police away from their very important duties at this time," Stevens said.

Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith made similar comments but leading anti-war group stop the war Coalition made no apology of its intention to continue campaigning vociferously against the invasion of Iraq. "[Saturday's] demonstration will be near identical to last month's," a SWC activist said. "The only difference is that this time there will be no accounting for people's moods."

Last month's demo drew up to two million people to the London. This time round, with less time to organise, around 750,000 are expected to join Saturday afternoon's march from the Embankment to Hyde Park.




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