London sees 'largest-ever' peace rally

 Many thousands of people, of all ages and faiths, came to London on Saturday to protest against a military attack on Iraq. While police said more than 150,000 people walked from the Embankment to Hyde Park, the organisers put the figure at 400,000. Media reports described the march as the capital's largest anti-war rally ever. Among Church groups attending the rally from all over the UK, were representatives from Justice and Peace groups, many religious orders, Catholic women's organisations, Pax Christi, Christian CND, Anglican, Methodist and Quaker peace groups, and many thousands of individual people. One woman, who is involved with the Pro-Life Alliance in Manchester, told ICN: "As a Catholic I feel this issue is just as important as my pro-life work. Coming here today is the only way I feel I can make my voice heard." Among the speakers in Hyde Park, there was the Mayor of London, Ken Livingston, UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter and several politicians. Catholic MP George Galloway, told the crowds: "Mr Blair is not going to be speaking in our name if he brings our country into a war. That is no way to send our young men and women into a war that might be a fatal confrontation." In his speech, retired MP Tony Benn said it would be "wholly immoral" for the US and Britain to attack Iraq. "Although when the bloodshed begins, if it does, criminal responsibility for what has happened will rest with those who have taken that decision, there is a share of responsibility with us as well." Film director Ken Loach, who took part in the march, said: "We can't get involved in this war. We can't consider murdering another 100,000 Iraqis simply to pursue America's interest in oil and their dominance in the region."

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