Arrests during Whitehall die-in

 Pax Christi members from London, Newcastle, Manchester, Cambridge and Derby joined with the UK group Voices in the Wilderness for a day of nonviolent protest in Whitehall yesterday. The purpose of the gathering was to bring the reality of war to London and to express the growing opposition to war against Iraq. Traffic came to a standstill, as more than 300 people walked along Whitehall, many draped in red-stained bandages, accompanied by the sound of low-flying aircraft and bombing, simulating the horror of war. At three points during the walk which included Downing Street, over 60 people walked into the road and lay down for the die-in. Despite the cold weather, they maintained their poignant witness for almost two-hours. A further die-in took place beyond Downing Street opposite the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The march continued to Parliament Square. In all 34 people were arrested and taken to police stations around London. Stuart Hemsley, Chair of Pax Christi, Fr Giovanni Scudiero Vice-President and Pat Gaffney, General Secretary gave logistical support during the day. Pax Christi has also endorsed the Pledge of Resistance - organised by Voices in the Wilderness. The Pledge encourages ordinary citizens an opportunity to take part in nonviolent civil disobedience should there be a military attack on Iraq.

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