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Thursday, 20 September, 2001, 09:21 GMT 10:21 UK
British actors call for peace
Harold Pinter
Harold Pinter has long been a critic of US foreign policy
Nine British theatrical figures and artists have urged world leaders not to wage war as a response to last week's attacks on the US.

The letter to the Daily Telegraph came from a group including playwright Harold Pinter, actor Corin Redgrave and artist Maggi Hambling.

The actors made an appeal for leaders to stop what they called the "madness" of a "new world war".

Corin Redgrave
Redgrave played a detective in The Ice House
The letter argued that a war against Afghanistan, Iraq and the world's poorest countries "will not rescue any victims of September 11, or make the cities of America and Europe safer".

The letter went on: "Terrorism cannot be defeated by bombs, bullets or secret intelligence.

'Poverty'

"Terrorism is the language of hatred and despair.

Letter signatories
Lynn Farleigh
Maggi Hambling
Merlin Holland
Byrony Lavery
Roger Lloyd Pack
Jehan Markham
Kika Markham
Harold Pinter
Corin Redgrave
"Out of the carnage and rubble of a new crusade will come new terrorists, even more desperate and ruthless than before."

The letter criticised past Western policies towards Afghanistan and Iraq.

It also said that human rights and civil liberties were being "trampled on" by politicians "fanning the flames of intolerance with their preparations for war".

Harold Pinter is one of Britain's most respected playwrights, while actor Corin Redgrave has appeared in many TV series and films, including the new British thriller Enigma.

The letter concluded with an appeal to make war "on poverty" rather than on states which harbour terrorists.

Pinter was forced to apologise for reported "anti-American" comments he made in Italy only hours before the attacks on the US.

See also:

01 Jun 99 | Entertainment
Harold Pinter takes on Nato
28 Jul 01 | Europe
Redgrave stages Chechen plea
13 Mar 00 | Entertainment
Redgraves hand over archive
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