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Help with book on 15 February 2003 anti-war march in London

#1
Dear All

My name is Ian Sinclair and I am currently writing an oral history of the 15 February 2003 anti-war march in London. The book will be made up of interviews with speakers, organisers, politicians, first time protestors, the police, critics of the march etc. So far I have interviewed over 40 people face-to-face including George Galloway MP, Clare Short MP, Ken Livingstone, Tony Benn and Ian McEwan.

I would like to get an insight into how the 15 February 2003 anti-war march and the wider anti-war movement was viewed by people active in the armed forces at the time/involved in the preparations for the invasion of Iraq. For example was there much awareness of the march? Was it a big topic of discussion? Were people in the armed forces generally positive or negative about the march?

If you were serving in the armed forces in early 2003 and remember the 15 February march and the anti-war movement, I would be interested to hear your thoughts and feelings about the period. If you would like to assist me with my book you can email me at ian_js@hotmail.com.

Kind regards

Ian Sinclair
 
#4
I doubt he knows what he means, he's a communist who writes for the Morning Star.

Anyone considering helping him should bear that in mind.
 
#7
CQMS said:
I doubt he knows what he means, he's a communist who writes for the Morning Star.

Anyone considering helping him should bear that in mind.
I did wonder when I saw the list of cringe making marxists he has "interviewed",
George Galloway MP, Clare Short MP, Ken Livingstone, Tony Benn and Ian McEwan.
I was sure they would give him such an unbiased view! :twisted: :twisted:
 
#8
IanJames said:
So far I have interviewed over 40 people face-to-face including George Galloway MP, Clare Short MP, Ken Livingstone, Tony Benn and Ian McEwan.
Sounds like we can look forward to an objective tome.

With the honourable exception of Tony Benn, a man of genuine intellect & principle, I cannot think of many people's opinons that I would trust or respect less. Add Michael MacIntyre, Graham Norton, Peter Tatchell,George Osbourne and Simon Cowell to the mix and you'll have the set.
 
#9
Were we aware? Yup, couldn't miss the hype on terrestrial and satellite tv.

What was our reaction? Indifferent - but also content in the sense that so many people actually bothered to get out and have a nice day in London. This all made possible by the fact that some others in this country are actually willing to fight and die in order that everyone else can enjoy those freedoms to have a civilised placard waving walk around central london.

Was it a big topic of discussion? Yes, and no - sorry to say, there were other more pressing things to attend to that day, and the week before, and the week after.

One friend of mine did go on the march, to stop us from going to war - whilst I was grateful for the sentiment, the real truth is that I actually owed him £20 which he wanted back!

Ian, I hope you get some useful comments from former serving soldiers/officers - please at least respect their views and try to give an element of balance to your book. George Galloway is not a balanced man.......!
 
#10
Ian

In Feb 03 I was camped in the Kuwaiti desert preparing to go north into Iraq. Sadly we missed all of the media frenzy as we had other things on our minds.

But to be honest looking back to my recollection of 2003 (rather than through the rose tinted lens of 2010) there weren't too many of us that weren't up for it. In fact I do not recall talking to anyone of any rank in any unit or HQ that objected to what we were (maybe) about to do on legal or moral grounds.

Sorry to rain on your parade.

C
 
C

CivPlod

Guest
#11
I policed the Glasgow one, which was full of two faced Iraqis who fled persecution :? , only to moan about the fact that the man who had persecuted them was about to be deposed.

Of course there were also protesting nobbers/nobber students like Tubbs 1970(May Adonai make his face shine upon you and be gracious unto you) who only see one side of an arguement there also.....
 
#12
Have to agree with Chimera here, during this period I was with my old unit in Lydd prior to deploying to the ME & most of my collegues were up for it & just wanted to focus on the job in hand, too busy to care much what was in the media at the time.
 
#13
I left long before 2003. I ran up to westminster to have a look at the march. Thought I had caught the fag end of it and said so to one of the police who told me this was its peak. Watched for nearly an hour and I certainly didn't see the numbers that were reported that evening.

I didn't witness an event that seemed particularly worthy of imortalising in an oral history. It won't be the same event that GG describes and I don't want to sound like one of the tin foil hat brigade but the media reporting of the march was very misleading.
 
#14
chimera said:
Ian in Feb 03 I was camped in the Kuwaiti desert preparing to go north into Iraq. Sadly we missed all of the media frenzy as we had other things on our minds.

But to be honest looking back to my recollection of 2003 (rather than through the rose tinted lens of 2010) there weren't too many of us that weren't up for it. In fact I do not recall talking to anyone of any rank in any unit or HQ that objected to what we were (maybe) about to do on legal or moral grounds.

Sorry to rain on your parade.

C
Totally agree. Myself and the rest of the blokes, sheltering under ponchos in the middle of the Kuwaiti desert had more important things on our mind in Feb '03 other than what some spotty student bastards were up to.
 
#15
FiveAlpha said:
Totally agree. Myself and the rest of the blokes, sheltering under ponchos in the middle of the Kuwaiti desert had more important things on our mind in Feb '03 other than what some spotty student bastards were up to.
Poncho - you were lucky to have a poncho. There were 15 of us in a hole in the ground...... :D
 
#16
Thanks for everyone who has replied to my query.

To clarify:

CQMS – I do write for the Morning Star, but I’m not a Communist. You don’t have to be a Communist to write for the Morning Star. Members of the SNP, Welsh nationalists, Green Party and trade unions also write for the Star, for example. I see it as a broadly left-wing paper which primarily gives support to what I would call ‘Old Labour’ politics – you know the Labour Party that created the NHS, comprehensive schooling, social security, child benefit, nationalised the railways and other industries, the national parks etc. I generally think these things are quite good and have improved the UK immeasurably. Don’t you? In addition I have also written for less political and more mainstream publications such as The Big Issue, Eastern Daily Press and Winnipeg Free Press in Canada.

Ex-Colonial – yes by interviewing people about the 15 February 2003 anti-war march in London the people I speak to will be – by definition – biased (although I’m not sure Clare Short MP and Ian McEwan would appreciate being called “Marxists”). However, I am interested in getting alternative points of view – in my email above I mention that I will be using the testimony of critics of the march. Also, I have posted on ARSSE because I would like to get the viewpoint of those member of the armed services who were on active duty at the time.

Cuddles – the book will not be a hagiography of George Galloway, and will include people criticising the content and style of his politics.

Thanks again for your comments – I hope others can contribute.

Kind regards

Ian Sinclair
 
#17
IanJames said:
Dear All

My name is Ian Sinclair and I am currently writing an oral history of the 15 February 2003 anti-war march in London. The book will be made up of interviews with speakers, organisers, politicians, first time protestors, the police, critics of the march etc. So far I have interviewed over 40 people face-to-face including George Galloway MP, Clare Short MP, Ken Livingstone, Tony Benn and Ian McEwan.

I would like to get an insight into how the 15 February 2003 anti-war march and the wider anti-war movement was viewed by people active in the armed forces at the time/involved in the preparations for the invasion of Iraq. For example was there much awareness of the march? Was it a big topic of discussion? Were people in the armed forces generally positive or negative about the march?

If you were serving in the armed forces in early 2003 and remember the 15 February march and the anti-war movement, I would be interested to hear your thoughts and feelings about the period. If you would like to assist me with my book you can email me at ian_js@hotmail.com.

Kind regards

Ian Sinclair

Like many others I was sat out in the Kuwaiti desert at the time, sharpening my bayonet in preparation for all the baby killing I was expected to carry out once crossing the border.

Was there much awareness of the march?

Probably, BFBS and BBC World Service no doubt reported it. I can't remember being aware of it, but then again I've always been more interested in picking fluff out my belly button than anti war marches.

Was it a big topic of discussion?

Big topics of discussion within my unit was more orientated around the lack of training ammo, lack of desert kit, lack of water, lack of scoff and lack of pretty much everything really. I'd imagine that anti war marches were just below "the pros and cons of **** sex" on the list of hot topics to chat about.

Were people in the Armed Forces generally positive or negative about the march?

I don't know? As you know there are a lot of people in the Armed Forces. Believe it or not they are all capable of individual thought so I think it would be unfair to generalise. I can only offer up my own opinion which is, I think it's a positive thing that people are allowed to protest against such decisions as going to war. However, I still think that the majority of people who attend such events are a bunch of big nosed, ignorant, tree hugging, hippy types who would be better off having a good dhobi instead of offending people’s nostrils with their pong of piss, sweat and treason. How’s that for generalisation? :D
 
#19
Hi haraboy99

You seem to have a pretty negative opinion of people.

According to the Guardian there are 15,644 members of the SNP, 9,960 members of the Green Party and 10,000 members of Palid Cymru.

In 2003 the TUC estimated 7.42 million people were a member of a trade unions.

Are all of these people "Cnuts"?

Ian
 

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