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17 March 2003updated 09 Sep 2021 5:21am

When the bombs start to fall . . .

When the bombs start to fall how will pro- (and anti-) war organisations respond? A guide to who wil

By Elvira Sklavenitis and Toby Paton

Stop the War Coalition The coalition intends to send a wave of disruption across the country. Initial protests will come as early as noon on the first day of fighting, when there will be mass walkouts from schools and workplaces. These will be followed by demonstrations in city centres at 6pm. In London, the coalition hopes to bring Whitehall to a standstill as protesters march from Trafalgar Square to Westminster. On the first Saturday of the war, there will be a national demonstration in London, followed by a rally at Hyde Park. Andrew Murray, the coalition’s chairman, expects local groups to instigate their own non-violent direct action campaigns.

Contact: 07951 235915;

London Students Students from King’s College London, along with others from across the capital, will meet at 4.30pm outside the London School of Economics on the day war breaks out. From there, they will march on parliament. There will be student speeches outside King’s College.

Contact: 07791 263406;

Globalise Resistance This group plans to organise street blockades in major cities – London, Manchester, Liverpool – and to promote mass walkouts.

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Contact: 020 7053 2071;

Greenpeace The environmental group would not disclose details of its planned response to war, but it says that we can expect action on a par with recent blockades of military bases and Esso garages.

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Contact: 020 7865 8100;

Palestinian Solidarity Campaign The campaign will assemble a delegation of celebrities to visit the occupied territories in the event of war with Iraq, as it fears that Israel may use the war as cover for an intensification of its campaign against Palestinian militants.

Contact: 020 7700 6192;

Amnesty International Amnesty plans to co-ordinate a series of peace vigils across the country within 24 hours of war breaking out.

Contact: 020 7814 6200;

The Green Party is asking the public to lobby their MPs to support a motion of no confidence in Tony Blair; arguing that it will be a choice between the Prime Minister and peace.

Contact: 020 7272 4474;

CND is calling for people to voice their protest at Whitehall at 11am on the Saturday after war breaks out. They hope to see the area blocked off completely, with traffic brought to a standstill. The march starts at the Embankment at 12 noon. In the event of unilateral action by the US, there will be demonstrations outside Nato bases. A protest will be held outside the American Embassy in London.

Contact: 020 7700 4524;

Active Resistance to the Roots of War (ARROW)/ Voices in the Wilderness 4,500 people will take direct and non-direct action on the day war breaks out, gathering between 6pm and 7pm at the statue of Oscar Wilde in Trafalgar Square. Ten days after the war, there will be a mass sit-down. ARROW is organising mass “die-ins” at Nato bases, petrol stations and the headquarters of BP, Shell, Esso and more.

Contact: 020 7837 4511;

Reclaim the Bases If war breaks out, non-violent actions are expected at bases all over the country. They will take the form of gate blockades and peace vigils.

Contact: 07887 585721;

Civil Disobedience The group’s proposal is twofold: e-mail or fax MPs and send untraceable protest e-mails from their site


And as for the pro-war activists . . .

Pro-war Atlantic Partnership According to the historian Andrew Roberts, the group’s commander-in-chief: “There are no demonstrations for war that we organise . . . It is difficult for the views of pro-war groups to be heard; we are a silent majority.”

Contact: 020 7223 1039;

Toby Paton and Elvira Sklavenitis