The London protest, which we took part in, was reputed to have been somewhere between 1.5 and 2 million people strong - the official figure halved this figure of course! However, I have no difficulty believing that we were nearer the number quoted by the march organisers. We came out of Charing Cross Station on the morning of 15 February and immediately found ourselves amongst people we knew from the Sussex village where we’d formerly lived for ten years. We shuffled off along the Strand with them, then went down to and along the Embankment taking us through Westminster, and along a route through central London that eventually brought us to Hyde Park. Our progress was at a snail’s pace, and it took more than five hours to reach our destination. The march in London was only one among roughly eight hundred similar protests taking place in cities right around the world on that day and it has been estimated that something in the region of 30 million people mobilised themselves. What was remarkable about the London march was the sheer diversity of the people who took part in it, people from literally every walk of life and background. I remember feeling incensed by the rush to go to war, with Hans Blix and the UN weapons inspectors pleading for just a few more weeks to prove conclusively that the Weapons of Mass Destruction for which they were searching did not exist.
On the day of the March I remember thinking to myself how it was inconceivable that a British Labour Government could ignore the voices of so many raised in peaceful protest. How wrong I was! The true civilian death toll from the Iraq War has never been published; the number is estimated to be somewhere between 500,000 and 1 million. The cost of the Iraq War was about £10 billion to UK taxpayers and somewhere in the region of $2.2 trillion dollars to US taxpayers. All the coalition forces lost far too many of their sons and daughters there - for a cause that has since been shown to be totally erroneous. The Middle East is certainly not a safer place for this intervention and the toppling of the indisputably wicked Saddam Hussein and his foul regime has not made life in Iraq better, in fact it has been shown that simply containing him would have led to far far fewer deaths. It has always struck me as a very bad joke that Tony Blair, shortly after he stood down as UK Prime Minister, was appointed Middle Eastern Peace Envoy working on behalf of the US, Russia, the UN and the EU.
This film is anything but sensationalist, however it is truly disturbing. It doesn’t have any big financial backing so distribution is patchy, but I hope you’ll find a venue and get a chance to watch We Are Many. I highly recommend seeing it.