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UK Peace Campaigners Stage Non-violent 'Die-in' Against Iraq War

Photo: Some of the activists wore bandages and bloody clothes to depict the consequences a war would have on Iraqi civilians, following a report issued by the London-based Medact health charity warning that up to 50,000 casualties, mostly civilian, will die in a conventional war against Iraq.

LONDON -- Peace campaigners were staging a 'non-violent die-in' outside government offices Monday to help bring home the human cost of launching another war against Iraq.

The demonstration, organised by Voices in the Wilderness UK, is the latest in series of protests held throughout Britain. The first acts of civil disobedience were staged in October, a month after the biggest peace rally in London for over 30 years.

The latest protest included scores of people, bandaged as wounded and lying down dead on the road outside the Prime Minister's Office, causing traffic chaos.

"The projected war with Iraq is immoral, illegal, unnecessary and counter-productive. Tens, maybe hundreds, of thousands of people will almost certainly be killed if the war takes place," Voices in the Wilderness said in promoting the demonstration.

Those taking part in the non-violent civil disobedience included member of the European Parliament for the Green Party, Caroline Lucas, and political comedian Mark Thomas.

The protesters said that they agreed with US President George W Bush that "inaction is not an option. We must act now to stop the war."

Contingency plans have also been arranged to stage similar events in Scotland, the English southern coastal resort or Brighton and other places. A non-violent action weekend is also planned in January at Northwood Military base in London.

The Voices in the Wilderness UK group was set up in 1998 to campaign for the lifting of economic sanctions against Iraq. In the past four years, it has sent 11 sanctions-breaking delegations to Baghdad.

Its involvement in the war protests follows a report by London- based Medact health charity warning that up to 50,000 casualties, mostly civilian, will die in a conventional war against Iraq.

 
 

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