A group of Christian peace campaigners marked the Feast of the Holy Innocents with prayers and protest outside outside the UK's principle military headquarters at Northwood, Middlesex yesterday.
The demonstration started in Northwood town centre where protestors held placards, played music and lit candles in memory of the dead of the war in Syria and Iraq. They then processed up to the gates of the base, replacing the large name plate outside the gate with their own sign saying: 'Northwood HQ Bombs Innocents'. They also held signs saying 'Don't Bomb Syria' and 'Northwood - calling the shots from leafy suburbia' and read out names of victims of aerial bombing in Syria.
Two members of the Catholic Worker movement then lay down outside the main gate of the establishment for over half an hour in a symbolic blockade. They had red paint on their hands, representing the blood of the innocent victims of British wars conducted from Northwood.
The protesters from London, Hastings, Oxford and Birmingham included Scott Albrecht, from the Catholic Worker Farm in West Hyde, Sue Gianstefani, Fr Martin Newell cp, and Quakers John Lynes and Susan Clarkson.
In a group statement, they said: "In a time of cuts, the government have spent over £500m on expanding the role of Northwood, enough to build a new hospital.... they have continued to coordinate bombing ISIS in Iraq and expanded into Syria, with no realistic successful military or political outcome. The bombing merely continues the cycle of violence and the innocent suffer. Like during the time of Jesus, in the wars in today's world, the poor and powerless still suffer from the violence of the powerful. War is terror is war."