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Last Updated:  Friday, 7 March, 2003, 16:10 GMT
Students join RAF base demonstrations
Youth protesters in Fairford
The youths took their peace protest to the gates of RAF Fairford
Schoolchildren have joined an anti-war demonstration at an RAF base housing B-52 bombers in preparation for a possible Iraqi conflict.

Youngsters from Cirencester College and Farmor's School in Fairford, left lessons on Friday to stage a protest march to the gates of RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire.

They were joined by a housewife from Stroud who has recently returned from Baghdad, and who wanted to campaign on behalf of Iraqi children.

Grace Trevett said: "I feel the power of the Iraqi people lies with the women - they have been working against the restrictions and putting the smiles of the faces of the children.

People have the right to make their views known but if they are absent from lessons, their parents will be getting letters from us
Cirencester College spokesman
"I went as a mother and I went with a mother's heart and I saw many many innocent children."

A spokesman for Cirencester College said: "We don't know anything about any trip out there - notices about a demonstration were put up but staff took those down.

"People have the right to make their views known but if they are absent from lessons, their parents will be getting letters from us.

"We would expect them to be here and we haven't had noticeably low numbers at school today."

A spokesman for Farmor's school told BBC News Online: "There were a few sixth-form students involved but there were also quite a few from other areas I think.

'Letter needed'

"They were post-16 students, so they don't have to be in school.

"We got wind of it yesterday and said if they were going to go we would need a letter from their parents explaining why they weren't in school."

Two women protestors have been arrested at the base since the beginning of March.

After breaching the main security fence, a woman managed to climb on to an inner fence where she waved a protest banner.

After being taken to Stroud police station for questioning, the woman was later released without charge.

On 3 March, 61-year-old Lindis Percy from Hull was arrested, and has since been charged with aggravated trespass.

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