Save Lives – Talk Peace.

Saturday 1404  – 31.08.2013.

If you are new to my blog take a look at my About page here

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Ok last week I wrote my 100th post and speculated that it might be my last. You can read that one here

Well here I am again .. seems I can’t help myself and the reason this week was because I was at a pro-peace, anti-war march and rally in London today.  That is pro-peace in Syria and anti any kind of military intervention in that country. I thought it important to share it with you.

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It was organised jointly by the Stop the War Coalition and CND . (See links for these organisations at the bottom of the page)  I didn’t attend the march because I don’t care about the people of Syria, on the contrary it’s because I care and stand with the mothers of that country that I do not believe more bombs are the answer. 

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Why not what some democrats in Syria itself are calling for?  namely a UN arms embargo, no-fly zone and safe havens for civilians. 

There was an interesting mix of people at the rally who seemed to have many reasons for being there.

I met a lovely couple Alison and Stuart who are Quakers with a strong commitment to peace through non-violent dialogue.. That’s Ali with me below. I devised a cunning way of fixing my Hands off Syria placard between my back and backpack so I was hands-free to use my camera. Good for the posture too!

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I met a policeman who was very enthusiastic about the stance we were taking. I’m not showing his face but this is him below..feeling hot and bothered in that uniform in the midday sun.

the policeman.

Many of you will know that just 2 days before this protest march the British parliament voted not to take part in any military action in Syria which was a great relief but the protest  march continued because what really happened in parliament was that effectively the Tories and Labour voted against each others proposals, both of which would have meant military intervention with just a different time scale, so it didn’t feel so much like a victory to me personally.  However having said that it was evident from what some of those who voted against military action ( and a big thank you to them) said afterwards , that they HAD been swayed by the overwhelming public mood against it and that is both good for democracy and shows that demonstrations, lobbying MP’s etc does work. .   

The voice of peace needs to keep being heard because as Jeremy Corbyn MP and Chair of Stop the War recently said “There still exists the danger of renewed conflict as the interests of the military, arms dealers, and others remains ever-present and very powerful”

This man’s placard said what I feel :-

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After the march there was a rally held in Trafalgar square and by far the loudest cheers were for the veteran campaigners Tariq Ali and the former labour MP Tony Benn. Inspirational as ever.

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I believe it is so important to stand up for non- violent resolution to the world’s problems. Human life is precious and none of us have the right to decide whose life is worth more than another. 

The hypocrisy of the American government who were guilty of killing at least a million people and causing birth defects in hundreds of thousands of children because of their use of incendiary napalm and Agent Orange, a super-strength chemical herbicide, in Vietnam, frankly beggars belief. I don’t think with their history they can take the moral high ground.  

The knee-jerk reaction that the only way to stop conflict is to bomb your way out of it, has been proved not to work and needs to stop.

I leave you with a few other photos from the day.

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Apologies if this last one offends anyone 😉

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A big thank you to The Stop the War Coalition and CND for organising such an effect protest march and rally.

http://www.stopwar.org.uk/

http://www.cnduk.org/

I have written about the cost of war and associated issues before –

https://hellenjc.wordpress.com/2013/04/07/the-human-cost-of-war/

https://hellenjc.wordpress.com/2012/10/14/naming-the-dead/

https://hellenjc.wordpress.com/2012/09/23/is-this-what-we-want-for-our-sons-and-daughters/

https://hellenjc.wordpress.com/2012/03/18/white-feather-caught-in-thorns/

https://hellenjc.wordpress.com/2012/08/05/guns-what-are-they-good-for/

Saturday girl signing off til whenever.

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You can find my photography blog Photomania here 

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11 comments on “Save Lives – Talk Peace.

  1. I am pleased that the vote in parliament has pushed Obama to getting congress to vote on the issue. I’ve been reading the NY Times website recently and it seems that most opinions are against military action.

    • Helen Cherry says:

      Indeed MM.. and it infuriates me that some seem to think if I don’t agree with bombs being dropped it means I support doing nothing.. absolutely not the case. I support peaceful negotiations and pressure as well as humanitarian assistance,

  2. scillagrace says:

    Keep sounding the call to peace, Saturday Girl, joining voices instead of forces. 🙂

  3. LensScaper says:

    Well written, Helen.

  4. Stuart says:

    Hi Helen, great to meet you on Saturday – your blog is brilliant – keep up the good work! A pity the march received no publicity in the mainstream media but there was a good report in the Morning Star today, Stuart

  5. Ali Wallace - Quaker pacifist says:

    Thanks so much Helen for your powerfuly written report and top notch quality photographs.
    Great to meet you on Saturday for the first time. We joined thousands – all ages and backgrounds marching with our placards. There we were walking in unity and purpose through the streets of Central London to be inspired by talks from Tariq Ali, Tony Benn, Lindsey German and Jeremy Corbin and others in an extremely hot and sunny Trafaulgar Square. Keep up the pacifist pressure. Even Germany has no wish to get involved in this invasion which would without doubt lead to more terrorism, bloodshed and thirst for revenge.

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