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Last Updated:  Monday, 17 March, 2003, 16:33 GMT
Protesters' last call for peace
Anti war protest, Bangor
Protesters met in Bangor High Street
Anti-war protesters in north Wales have been making a last ditch attempt to show their opposition to the impending war with Iraq.

In two separate demonstrations in Bangor and Colwyn Bay, passers-by were being urged to sign petitions for peace as Tony Blair held an emergency cabinet meeting in Downing Street.

The Bangor and Anglesey Peace and Justice Group gathered at the town clock in Bangor on Monday demanding a response from the government.

One of the leaders, Ramsey Isak, said they wanted to draw attention to the "illegality" of the war.

He said: "We want the Government to clarify the position of our sons and daughters who have been committed to the battlefield.

Student Katherine Betteridge signing petition
Student Katherine Betteridge signed the anti-war petition

"Every bomb dropped, every rocket fired, every bullet shot would be a war crime in the eyes of the International Criminal Court.

"And every supporting action, from driving to nursing would be aiding and abetting a war crime.

"We call upon the government to answer the challenge that the UN draft is not the 'licence to kill' that it is made out to be."

Student Katherine Betteridge said she signed their petition because she opposed war "utterly and completely".

"I am sure there is a way of working out an agreement without war.

"It is possible that Saddam Hussein will put his own people in danger to prove a point to America," she said.

'Innocent people'

Their views were echoed by people shopping on Bangor High Street.

Elena Williams from Anglesey, whose son is in the Army, said she did not want to see military action.

"I oppose the war. My son is in Northern Ireland at the moment but I'm scared he could be called to the Gulf.

"I do not want to see the killing of innocent people and that is what will happen," she said.

"No-one wants a war," said Miriam Lloyd Williams from Caernarfon.

"But ministers need to protect us somehow," she added.

Sion Huws, an advertising assistant from Bangor, said he believed a war was justified.

"I think it is right to go now or it will drag on for years.

"I don't think it has anything to do with oil as some people claim, but I think America and Britain want control in the Middle East."

Oil driven

In Colwyn Bay, a group of students from Llandrillo College protested outside a petrol station.

Organiser Tom Johnston said: "We chose to hold the demonstration outside a garage because we believe the entire conflict is driven by oil.

"Passers-by have been signing our petition today and motorists sound their horns as they drive by.

"Our petition is for anyone who is against the forthcoming war, whatever their reason."

He said they hoped to get a group running in the Conwy area to work actively against the war.


SEE ALSO:
Cook quits over Iraq crisis
17 Mar 03 |  Politics
Emergency cabinet meeting called
17 Mar 03 |  Politics
Iraq diplomacy collapses
17 Mar 03 |  Middle East
Protesters urge anti-war walk-outs
17 Mar 03 |  Politics


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