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Last Updated:  Monday, 17 March, 2003, 16:44 GMT
Pupils march against war
About 250 people took part in the protest
Hundreds of children have marched on Edinburgh Castle to show their opposition to war with Iraq.

The pupils walked out of schools in the Scottish capital on Monday.

About 250 youngsters and anti-war protesters gathered in Parliament Square before walking up the Royal Mile towards the castle, carrying banners and chanting.

Security guards twice tried to block their path, but about 30 activists got into the castle before staff forced the main doors shut.

This trapped some of the protesters and a number of tourists inside.

Pushing and pulling

Anti-war campaigner Angela Maclean, 30, from Edinburgh, was among those inside the gates.

She said: "It was very exhilarating. We just managed to push against one of the doors and get inside before the staff shut the doors.

"We didn't hurt anyone. There was a bit of pushing and pulling but it didn't come to blows."

Police made no arrests
Most of the crowd were secondary pupils from schools including Firrhill, Boroughmuir and James Gillespie's.

Alan Forgie, 16, from Boroughmuir School, said: "The majority of people in this country don't want a war with Iraq. It's all about oil, everyone knows that."

Inspector Brian Hood, of Lothian and Borders Police, said no arrests had been made.

"One or two things were thrown at the doors but in general it was peaceful," he said.

"We are primarily here for health and safety to make sure people can go about their business as much as possible under the circumstances."

A couple of hundred school children later halted the traffic on Princes Street by standing in the road before being moved on by police.

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