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Anti-war protesters mass to send message to Commons

London Independent / Terri Judd | November 1 2006

A vocal crowd brought an anti-war message yet again to Westminster last night as MPs debated inside, and they took heart that the need for an inquiry into the Iraq war was at last being discussed in Parliament.

"Two million marched in protest against the war. It is important they know we have not gone away, we have not forgotten," said Alan Chick, 57, a computer programmer, whose wife Diane, a nurse, stood near by, wrapped in a peace flag.

Clutching a banner which read "Time to go", three-year-old Louca - or Spiderman as he liked to be called - seemed entranced by his surroundings.

He attended his first march in the womb, his mother, Ilodie Berland, said.

"I just want things to be resolved and the deaths to stop. I am really disillusioned. The Government doesn't care," said the 32-year-old telecommunications manager.

The Prime Minister had few, if any, friends amongst the eclectic bunch of approximately 150 people gathered last night, from students to pensioners - and all surrounded by police in fluorescent jackets.
"Tony Blair, hear us shout, time to get the troops out," they called in unison.

Simon Byrne, 18, among a large number of teenagers from School Students Against The War, said: "They say we will have an inquiry to see if it is a cock-up but we will wait until the cock-up is over to find out."

Helen Walker, 67, from West Hampstead, said she would be disappointed if the motion did not go through but was equally worried about the effect on troops of an immediate inquiry.

But Andrew Burgin, of the Stop The War Coalition, which organised the protest, said the debate had allowed the families of dead servicemen to finally feel they were being listened to.

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