Labour Council Moves to Supress Anti-war Demo by the Families of Dead British Servicemen 2

From BBC Online

Anti-war protesters have accused Labour of censorship after they were banned from holding a peace camp near the party’s annual conference. Military Families Against The War had planned to camp near the conference in Manchester but have been banned by the city’s Labour council.

Providing facilities for the campers would not be logistically possible, a council spokesman said. The Labour Party conference starts at the G-Mex centre on Sunday. On Wednesday, it was revealed the police operation covering the event would be the “biggest the city has ever seen”.

‘Doing government’s bidding’

About 20 activists were denied permission to pitch tents in Albert Square in front of the Town Hall from 21 September on health and safety grounds. Rose Gentle, from Glasgow, whose 19-year-old son Gordon died in Iraq in 2004 said the council were “doing the government’s bidding”.

“We think it’s because it’s the Labour conference and they don’t want us going and voicing our opinions because Mr Blair is going to be there,” she said.

“They say it’s health and safety. They said they don’t want drunks thinking it’s somewhere they can sleep. But we’ve got our own security.”

Mrs Gentle said they were still planning to go ahead with the camp.

A spokesman for Manchester City Council said: “We recognise that it is vital we work together so the city runs smoothly while at the same time protesters are allowed to air their views in a lawful way. We cannot logistically provide facilities for camping in Albert Square.”

A police spokesman said: “Greater Manchester Police supports the public’s right to peaceful protest. However this is a matter for Manchester City Council.”

Extra visitors

Launching the police operation, Assistant Chief Constable Stephen Thomas of Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said that security would be tight.

Up to 1,000 officers each day would provide “robust” policing to cover anyone entering the “island” zone around the G-Mex. He said: “There is no specific threat to Manchester at the moment but obviously the UK’s national threat level is currently severe.

“But, of course, with the Prime Minister and the seat of government coming here we have high-level people to protect and there is an added risk.”

About 17,000 extra visitors are expected to begin arriving in the city from 22 September for the five-day conference.

The Home Office has given GMP ‘4.2m to police the conference.

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2 thoughts on “Labour Council Moves to Supress Anti-war Demo by the Families of Dead British Servicemen

  • spinstress

    Craig – You might like to post the blurb on yesterday's C4 documentary on the American End Timers:

    The programme helped to explain the links between the beliefs of evangelical Christians, their influence in US government and business, their support for Israeli fundamentalism and expansionism, the anti-Islamism, the warmongering and aggression, the deliberate failure to act on global warming, and aspects of policies on Africa. The UK seems to have very little idea that the 'special relationship' is sucking us into this madness.

    At a recent UK StopWar 'Time to Go' meeting, the speakers were weak on explaining the ideology behind US (and UK) policy and action. Evangelism and imperialism were briefly mentioned. For me, the whole thing is capitalism in a new phase. Whatever it is, until the ideology is properly and quickly defined, deconstructed and understood, it cannot be successfully opposed.

    And an opposing ideology is very badly needed. At present the green left in the UK is weak, divided and floundering. There are lots of good intentions and great ideas, but nothing really rousing to rally behind. While we dither, the state has moved several steps further on. It has already used the excuse of terrorism to consolidate its power in the courts and on the streets against the time it meets serious internal opposition.

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