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Friday, 24 January, 2003, 16:19 GMT
Anti-war protesters go on the buses
The anti-war protesters
The group will travel across Europe to Iraq
Anti-war protesters are to travel 3,000 miles to Iraq on double decker buses in a peace convoy.

Bus operator Joe Letts, from Shaftesbury, Dorset, is hoping more people will join him along the way as two buses head for Baghdad.

The journey, which begins on Saturday from London, is aimed at drumming up support against military action against Iraq.

The group also hopes its presence will act as a deterrent against any bombing of the country as the UK continues to send troops to the Gulf.

Joe Letts
I think what we have been doing to the Iraqi people for the last 12 years is absolutely appalling

Joe Letts, peace convoy driver

It will not be Mr Lett's first trip to Iraq, he travelled to Baghdad shortly after the 1991 Gulf War.

He said: "I saw the damage that had been inflicted on the city - the broken sewers, no electricity, no food, people dying in the hospital - it was awful."

His experiences have prompted him to protest against the current threat of war in Iraq.

"I think what we have been doing to the Iraqi people for the last 12 years is absolutely appalling, they have suffered too much.

"We have had 500,000 to one million Iraqis die - innocent people because of the sanctions and because of the war before."

Chance call

Led by the two double deckers and a white London taxi the convoy will visit France, Holland, Germany and Switzerland picking up more volunteers.

Mr Letts said he was asked to get involved by the organisers who knew him from the environmental organisations.

"We started talking, and the logical thing was for me to join the convoy and take the buses I already have here."

The protesters are expected to arrive in Baghdad on 8 February, where they have vowed to stay until peace is declared.


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22 Jan 03 | England
21 Jan 03 | Politics
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