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Last Updated:  Thursday, 20 March, 2003, 17:53 GMT
Protesters hold up Celtic fans
Caldew School pupils
Young protesters take to the street in Dalston
Anti-war protesters who forced a train to stop in the Lake District found it was full of football fans.

Celtic fans heading to the Uefa cup clash at Liverpool disembarked to see what was causing the hold-up when four demonstrators from the Stop the War Coalition halted the train.

They immediately stopped their protest to allow the fans to continue their journey, said one of the demonstrators.

Martin Wyness, of the Stop the War Coalition, said: "Although they agreed with our stance, they were keen to get to the match."

Prison sentence

The demonstrators had climbed on to the track to protest against the war in Iraq.

The incident took place at about 1430 GMT when the London-Glasgow Virgin West Coast Mainline train pulled into Oxenholme station, which serves Kendal in the Lake District.

British Transport Police condemned the demonstration.

Sergeant Barry Jones said no-one was arrested, but it was a criminal offence which could lead to a prison sentence.

He said: "It is very dangerous and irresponsible and puts lives at risk."

Disciplinary action

Meanwhile, hundreds of pupils from a school near Carlisle staged an anti-war demonstration.

About 200 youngsters, aged 11 to 16, from the Caldew School in Dalston, marched into the centre of the village chanting anti-war slogans.

Head teacher Andy Abernethy said he supported the students' rights to demonstrate but that he could not rule out disciplinary action against some of the protesters.

Other demonstrations were held around Cumbria, but there was a poor turnout in Carlisle city centre at lunchtime, with only about 16 protesters turning up.

In Barrow nearly 100 people joined a demonstration outside the Town Hall, where some people chained themselves to the doors.

Earlier in the week there were protests in Carlisle, Kendal, and Cockermouth.


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