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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 March, 2003, 23:13 GMT
Protests continue after week of war
Anti-war protesters during last weekend's rally in London
Several peace rallies are planned for Thursday evening
Further protests against the war in Iraq took place in several UK towns and cities on Thursday.

As the war ran into a second week, police said about 250 students marched on the US embassy in central London on Thursday evening.

And an estimated 200 people marched through Cardiff city centre, bringing traffic to a standstill and leading to at least six arrests, according to South Wales Police.

On a lunchtime anti-war demonstration on the Humber bridge in Hull, punches were thrown by motorists angry at having their path blocked by protestors handing out leaflets.

And in Londonderry, police removed up to a dozen anti-war protesters who had stormed the Raytheon defence technologies company building for a sit-in.

The Stop The War coalition held a press conference ahead of the London student rally, to say opposition to the conflict was as strong as ever in the UK.

Protesters at the Londonderry Raytheon site

It said many more civilians were dying in the conflict than was reported in Britain, with between 227 and 307 people losing their lives.

The coalition promised more local demonstrations this weekend in towns and cities across the country.

And there will be a national demonstration in London on Saturday 12 April, to coincide with a demonstration outside the White House in Washington.

The press conference was addressed by political refugee Nadia Mahood, who is an Iraqi Kurd, and novelist Haifa Zangana, who has relatives living in the centre of Baghdad.

Saucepan banging

The two women said it was hardly surprising that Iraqi people were not welcoming the US and UK troops because they saw the military action as an "invasion" of their country.

Michael Williams, 16

On Thursday evening, about 30 women joined what organisers described as an "Argentinean style saucepan banging anti war demonstration" outside Downing Street.

Marion Chester, a human rights lawyer who called the demonstration, said they "made a din to make our point".

She had earlier said the attack on Iraq was a breach of international law and Tony Blair should be prosecuted for crimes against humanity.

The same protest would be held in a fortnight's time, she added.

The Manchester Stop the War group was expecting up to 2,000 protesters to march through the city centre on Thursday evening.

Action was also expected in Newcastle, Birmingham, Portsmouth and Plymouth.

'Patriot rally'

Manchester City Council has been flying the official town hall flag at half-mast in protest at the deaths of civilians in the conflict.

Young people at a previous demonstration in Edinburgh

British service families are to stage a demonstration in support of their loved ones in Exeter at the weekend.

The organiser of the "patriot rally", retired Devon and Dorset Regiment soldier Ken Hill, said: "Our forces in the Gulf and their families back home are not getting the support they deserve from the public.

"There is a lot of insensitivity out there and some families are feeling isolated because they don't have the married quarters blocks they used to."

Royal Marines wife Debbie Roberts, 36, from Tavistock in Devon, whose husband Paul is with 3 Commando, decided to join the rally after a peace protester told her he "had blood on his hands".




SEE ALSO:
Safety warning for peace march
27 Mar 03  |  Scotland


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