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Last Updated:  Thursday, 27 February, 2003, 08:24 GMT
'Unfair' cost of anti-war demo
Centenary Square, Birmingham
Organisers say they cannot afford the cost of the demonstration
Anti-war protesters have been told they will be charged 8,000 to hold a demonstration in Birmingham city centre.

Members of the Stop War Coalition, say they cannot afford the fees being charged by the city council.

The authority is one of only a handful in the UK that charges for demonstrations.

The money will go towards the cost of extra police officers and barricades.

But one of the organisers of the demonstration, Douglas Jewell, said it is nothing more than a "demonstration tax" and is unfair.

He told BBC WM: "This (cost) was only to close three small roads leading to Centenary Square.

"We were trying to calculate this out and if the march in London was the same amount, we would have been talking about a 1m to 1.5m cost.

"It would have meant the demonstration could not have taken place which would have meant millions of people could not show their opposition to the war."

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