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Friday, 1 November, 2002, 08:08 GMT
Anti-war protesters block traffic
Children protest with pumpkins
Children helped carve peace message into pumpkins
Hundreds of protesters blocked traffic in Southampton in what organisers said was the city's biggest ever anti-war demonstration.

Up to 200 people sat down in the road outside the Civic Centre at rush hour on Thursday.

Protesters in Portsmouth also brought cars to a standstill near Guildhall Square.

The demonstrations were part of a national day of action called by the Stop the War Coalition.


The only thing bombing will do is punish the Iraqi people

Chris Blake, protester

Some protesters dressed as Halloween skeletons to represent the lives that would be lost if military action is stepped up against Saddam Hussein.

Jan Ward, one of the organisers of the Southampton event, said: "People from all walks of life who object to the proposals for war turned up, including people from every political party and members of the Muslim population."

Protesters in Southampton also sent a giant postcard signed by hundreds of local people to Tony Blair, urging the Prime Minister not to attack Iraq.

Chris Blake, a demonstrator from Southampton, said: "Like thousands of other people in Hampshire I am dismayed at the drive to war by Bush and Blair.

Protester in skeleton mask
Protesters warn of high civilian death toll

Meanwhile, anti-war activists in Bournemouth held a candle-lit vigil at the town's war memorial.

"People realise that in modern war 90% of the casualties are civilian. The only thing bombing will do is punish the Iraqi people."

Warren Bell, a protester from Bournemouth, said: "Bush and Blair have only one agenda - control of the region's oil fields."

Last month about 350,000 people demonstrated in London in Britain's biggest ever anti-war march, organised by the Stop the War Coalition and the Muslim Council of Britain.


Click here to go to Southampton
See also:

31 Oct 02 | Wales
31 Oct 02 | England
28 Sep 02 | Politics
18 Sep 02 | Politics
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