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Saturday, 3 November, 2001, 19:05 GMT
Thousands join anti-war protest
Marchers in Manchester city centre
Various groups joined the protest in Manchester
Thousands of people have joined several protests in England against the bombing in Afghanistan.

More than 2,000 demonstrators joined a peace march and rally in Manchester on Saturday.

They walked through the city centre and then held a rally in the Castlefield Arena in the city.

The protest was organised by the Greater Manchester Coalition to Stop the War.

Manchester anti-bombing march
Placards and banners made the message clear
The coalition is made up of various groups and peace protesters, including CND, the Socialist Alliance in Greater Manchester and Earth First.

Organisers say the protest attracted people from all over the country, including Muslims who are opposed to the continued bombing of Afghanistan.

Smaller groups of anti-war demonstrators gathered in a number of other places including Nottingham.

And a silent vigil was held in Trowbridge in Wiltshire.

It was the third week that the Trowbridge Ad Hoc Peace Group had gathered to express concerns.

University protest

Vigils by peace campaigners have been staged outside the Hippodrome theatre in Bristol city centre.

A group of anti-war protesters on Friday stormed a university and took a Royal Navy officer hostage.

Police were called to the University of Sussex when 20 protesters barricaded themselves in a Royal Navy office.

Outside, 200 students also threatened to storm the campus building at Falmer, near Brighton.

Police negotiators spoke with the group inside the university and they came out. No-one was injured.

Several people were arrested on suspicion of false imprisonment and criminal damage.

Chief Inspector Kul Verma said: "People are entitled to protest but this is so long as they do so peacefully and lawfully."


Click here to go to BBC Manchester Online

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See also:

03 Nov 01 | Middle East
Archbishop 'backs' Afghan campaign
03 Nov 01 | UK Politics
Rebel MP to visit refugee camps
02 Nov 01 | UK Politics
MPs rebel over war vote
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