Up to 100,000 people are expected to march today to protest President Bush’s visit to Britain. We go to London to speak with antiwar MP George Galloway as well as a member of the Stop the War Coalition who are organizing protests throughout the UK this week. [Includes transcript]
- George Galloway, antiwar MP.
- Carol Turner, national organizer with the Stop the War Coalition.
AMY GOODMAN: Well, we’re going to turn right now to Britain, following up on George Gallowway’s interview. We’re going to the streets. Thousands of people are in the streets right now in Britain. Carol Turner is with us from the stop the war coalition. Welcome to Democracy now!, Carol.
CAROL TURNER: Hello and thank you for calling us.
AMY GOODMAN: Can you tell us where you are and what’s happening?
CAROL TURNER: Well, I’m at the head of the demonstration which is already forming up several thousand people an hour in advance of marching. And all signs are it is going to be a very big demonstration.
AMY GOODMAN: Can you talk about what’s going to be happening?
CAROL TURNER: Yes. We’re going to march along the central London routes that we’ve chosen. I’m very pleased to say Scotland Yard has been cooperative and finally agreed with us that it is the best route to take. That means we are going to be marching to parliament and down Whitehall, past Downing street, which, you know, is the residence of the Prime Minister.
AMY GOODMAN: And the reaction of those in the anti-war movement to president Bush’s speech?
CAROL TURNER: Well, there’s not much sympathy for George Bush over here and I’m not just talking about the protesters who have taken to the streets. I’m also talking about the very broad spectrum of British opinion. People don’t feel that the policies of the American government are bringing peace on the country. They think that it’s making the world a far less safe place. They also feel extremely disturbed at the idea that American policy is dictating the policy of Tony Blair and the British government.
AMY GOODMAN: I’m reading from the front page of the "Washington Post" today. It says President Bush presented a spirited defense of the war in Iraq, Wednesday telling European critics on the first official day of a state visit to Britain that the use of force was justified as a last resort to protect freedom. He said the people have given us the duty to defend them and that duty sometimes requires the violent restraint of violent men. Your response, Carol Turner.
CAROL TURNER: Well, people don’t believe the war on Iraq is justified. We were told that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. This has turned out to be lies. The two governments with the most weapons of mass destruction are the united states and Britain with a nuclear arsenal. People no longer are convinced of that case. Furthermore, having watch for the last six months American and British soldiers dying in Iraq because the population sees them as an occupying army, they’re not convinced of the strategy at all.
AMY GOODMAN: Well, Carol Turner, we want to thank you very much for being with us from the streets of Britain. Can you talk about the act that we heard will be taking place this afternoon in Trafalgar Square?
CAROL TURNER: Absolutely. This demonstration will arrive at the square at around 4:00, half past four, our time. And at 5:00 our time, we will be toppling a statue of George Bush. There’s a papier-mâché statue and it will be coming down and that’s part of our rally to end this huge protest. We think it will be the biggest working day demonstration in the capital city for about four decades.
AMY GOODMAN: Carol Turner, thanks very much for being with us.