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Sign the Pledge of Resistance against an attack on Iraq

From dissent to resistance - 17 March to 12 April 2003

In the week that war on Iraq began, the number of protests escalated. This list charts just some of the actions we know about.

Resistance to war increased the political cost of this war and future wars. Resistance to war saved lives.

For details on upcoming protests and actions, see events & actions.
For details of some earlier actions, see what we do.
For other reports and pictures, see Indymedia and Schnews.


'RAF' Fairford on 22 March - more pictures
April 12: National demo against war and memorial for the loss of Iraqi lives in London draws 100,000 protestors; 2000 marched in Glasgow.

April 10: Women (with Saucepans) against war made a din (again) outside Downing Street and Ministry of Defence,
London; Party for Peace in Parliament Square, Sowerby Bridge Esso petrol station is picketed.

April 9: Budget Day protests around the UK - 'not a penny for the war'; 20 peace activists went on a direct action flying picket through central London - targets were EXXON headquarters, the MOD and an army recruitment office; first of the Wednesday night rallies for peace in Parliament Square, London; another bomb convoy is stopped by activists en route from RAF Welford to RAF Fairford.

April 9: Stop the War Rally in Liverpool.

Saturday 5 - Sunday 6 April: protests at 15 bases around the UK in the Reclaim the Bases! weekend; Children Against the War protest outside Downing Street, London.

April 5:
Londoners march on the US Embassy from Broadcasting House; aspontaneous sit-down protest was dealt with very aggressively by police; other demos in Norwich, Worthing, Newcastle, Manchester, and Cambridge

April 4: Dressing of "stone councillors" in anti-war placards in

April 3:
Stop the War! Stop the Town protest in Worthing; Daily leafletting of Government departments continues with the Department for International Development; protestors line up along Whitehall with images of the human cost of war; demonstration outside News International on London and outside the BBC in Tyneside; an Esso petrol station was shut down in Edinburgh.

April 2: To mark the first month's anniversary of the Fairford Peace Camp, there was a 'drag queen' walk from Gate 10 to the Armoury. Daily leafletting of Government departments in London continues with the US Embassy and leafletters are threatened with arrest.

April 1: People in Manchester held a 'Blair's a bloody fool day'; more protests outside the BBC. Daily leafletting of Government departments in London continues with the Foreign Office.

March 31:
A demo was held in Blackpool; grannies, mothers and daughters demonstrated outside the US Embassy in London. Daily leafletting of Government departments starts with the MoD in London. The Guardian reports that 'Three British soldiers in Iraq have been ordered home after objecting to the conduct of the war. It is understood they have been sent home for protesting that the war is killing innocent civilians.'

March 30: Women in Black Mothers Day action took place in Forest Row, East Sussex; other Mothers Day protests around the UK; Amnesty International sends a cluster bomb to Downing Street, London; Norfolk Direct Action Forum start a week of 'Act up for Peace' protests across the county.

March 29: 100 people (with 200 supporters) take part 'die-in' in York; 22 activists (half of them children or teenagers) blockade a Texaco petrol station for half an hour, after an anti-war rally in Portsmouth; anti-war banner-drop from Norwich Castle; rally in Newcastle; 10,000 people march in Edinburgh; other marches in Sheffield, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Cardiff, Oxford and London, Exeter among others.

March 28: 83 people - including nuns, priests, Buddhist monks and rabbis - arrested for anti-war civil disobedience in San Francisco; mass die-in in Birmingham.

March 27: 215 people - including an 81 year old Ursuline nun - arrested at die-in' in New York; over a hundred students blocked roads in Edinburgh to protest the war; Stop the city events in Cardiff and Manchester; demo by University College London students; women whip up a din against war with saucepans outside Downing Street and the Ministry of Defense, London; rally in Newcastle; London; Nabil Shaban, disabled actor, writer and film-maker - and star of 'Dr Who' and 'City of Joy' - returned 25,000 that his film company Sirius Pictures received from the Department for Works and Pensions in protest over the war. Shaban: 'I do not believe this Government is sincere in it's support of the spirit behind the European Year of Disabled People (EYDP). Instead, this Government is only really interested in supporting the "American-Anglo Year for DISABLING People."'

March 26: Hulme bridge in Manchester is closed for 6 hours by anti-war banner drop; Nobel Peace Prize winners Mairead Corrigan Maguire and Jody Williams among 60 people arrested for civil disobedience outside the White House, Washington; Joss Garman and Sam Grafton arrested carrying disarmament equipment inside USAF Fairford

25 March: Activists use their bodies to stop a convoy carrying bombs as it was making its way from the bomb 'depot', RAF Welford in Berkshire, to USAF Fairford in Gloucestershire; a methodist minister and two grannies are arrested for lying across the entrance to an Esso petrol station in Devon to protest the war

24 March: 12 protesters (accompanied by 8 supporters) from Cymdeithas y Cymod/the Fellowship of Reconciliation in Wales, stopped airtraffic at RAF Fali/Valley on Ynys Mon/Anglesey for four hours. They chained themselves to equipment and were eventually cut free, being symbolically disconnected from the war on Iraq. They said: "We do not want to be linked to the destruction of another nation."

22 March: major demonstrations in London, USAF Fairford, Menwith Hill Spy Base and in cities around the country.

21 March: blockades in the centre of Bristol; in London several hundred protestors blocked Old Street roundabout and the A501 near Edgware); in Oxford Esso pumps were chained shut and the local (pro-war) Labour MPs office was occupied; a die-in took place in Stoke-on-Trent; 15 people were arrested for occupying the tax office in Carmarthen; Greenpeace fly over 'RAF' Fairford in a balloon to distribute leaflets.

20 March: school children occupied Lancaster town hall and shut down the centre of Leamington Spa; a dozen activists occupied the ground floor of the Department for International Development to protest Clare Short's U-turn on the war; Oxford activists blocked three bridges; multiple sitdowns took place in Sheffield (the main roundabout into Sheffield from the M1 was occupied 3 times and petrol stations, the local BBC office and the police HQ were also targeted by protestors); in Bristol, the centre of the city was gridlocked as thousands joined protesting students in blocking roads and the M32 was blockaded; in Glasgow 2-3000 people halted all traffic around George Square at the heart of the city and the crowd took control over traffic at the whole Charing X interchange up till midnight, with a peace camp parked in a yellow junction box; in Edinburgh protesters occupied the castle (a military base as well as a tourist attraction) and Princes Street several times; in London 50 Pledge of Resistance Signatories staged a sitdown on Westminster Bridge (which had earlier been occupied by dancing protestors) and later joined sitdowns outside the MoD and in the road around Parliament Square; and in Birmingham 3 students dropped a banner saying "Time 4 peace" from the University Clock Tower and 2-3000 people took part in an illegal march and sitdown. Vigils and protests in towns and cities all over the UK against the start of military assault on Iraq.

19 March: protestors held-up Jack Straw by 1/2 an hour when they turned up and died-in outside his London residence just after 7am, Northwood was again blockaded (this time for half an hour) and thousands of school children walked out - and in one case occupied the road outside Parliament - to protest the war. Angie Zelter and Clive Fudge, who were arrested inside USAF Lakenheath appear in court. Angie Jailed.

18 March: Britain's military nerve-centre at Northwood was blockaded for 25 minutes, two Oxford-based activists were arrested for trying to get into USAF Fairford to disarm one of the B52 bombers currently stationed there, and several hundred protestors took over the road outside Parliament during the vote in the Commons.

17 March: over 20 'die-ins' took place around the country, the MoD was smeared with fake blood, a vicar helped to blockade an RAF base, and 20 peaceful anti-war protestors stopped the trading at the International Petroleum Exchange in London for several hours.

14th March - Margaret Jones and Paul Milling disable 30 b52 support vehicles at RAF Fairford

12th March - Ulla Roder confirms Tornado jet out of action after doing 31 million damage to it at RAF Leuchars

10 March: Roz Bullen and Petter Joelson arrested inside RAF Leuchars -


A memorial to lost Iraqi lives, Parliament Square 12 April 2003

Flowers and tributes to lost Iraqi lives are laid at the Prime Minister's door, 12 April 2003

Women (with saucepans) make themselves heard outside Downing Street and the MoD, Thursday 10 April and every fortnight.

Amnesty International sends a cluster bomb to Downing Street, 30 March 2003

Mothers Day protest in East Susses. Photo by Mike Grenville

Greenpeace hot air balloon delivers anti-war message to 'RAF' Fairford


Register your event

Please register the details of your local event by emailing JNV. Please also inform your local media of your anti-war vigil.