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Protest at Tony Blair's visit - Friday 23rd November 2001

BU Stop the War Group protests at Blair's visit

Friday, 23rd November 2001.

What a fantastic way to start a Friday morning. 70 Stop the War protestors letting Tony Blair know what we think of him and his government's policies.

Our specially-commissioned slogan for the occasion, which appeared on hand-painted placards as well as being chanted, was:

"Pounds or Euros, we want more
spent on welfare, not on war!"

Pounds or Euros Selly Oak banner
Pounds or EurosSelly Oak STW Group banner

The Birmingham University Stop the War group mega-placard, created with great speed as well as artistry the previous afternoon, led the march from the Muirhead Tower to the ERI building. We were informed - by a bloke not in normal police uniform, was he part of Blair's personal security team?? - that we "were being stupid and would all be locked up". He and his mates agreed to pose for our camera, though:

Incognito cops
"smile, you're on Candid Camera!"

They changed their minds about locking us up, and we were allowed to protest on the pavement opposite the building, in view of everybody passing by on Pritchatts Road, and the staff who had come out of their offices and were standing on the pavement opposite.

Blair had, predictably, already gone inside, but had not started his speech yet. We started the chants at about 9.45 and didn't let up until Blair's cavalcade had departed down Pritchatts Road. They could hear us inside the building. And Blair certainly heard us as he left - my ears are still recovering!

"Blair, Bush, CIA, how many kids have you killed today?"

James got interviewed by Sky TV, and we provided a backdrop to a bloke from the Confederation of British Industry who was being interviewed live for BBC News 24!

Rumy has sent out our Press Release to various media people under the auspices of Bham Stop the War Coalition. Click here to read it.

Thanks to John Cooper, who took some of the photos which appear on this page.

Sue Blackwell

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It was last updated on 17th April 2002