Thursday 31 October 2002

The People Must Protest

by Paul Foot

Forty years ago, I sat down proudly in Trafalgar Square alongside Bertrand Russell and thousands of others in protest against Britain's weapons of mass destruction. We were all breaking the law.

There was a lot of civil disobedience at that time, organised by the Committee of 100. The committee's arguments were founded in the horrific nature of nuclear weapons and the urgency of alerting the government to widespread public disquiet about them. The square was cleared by police in the early morning and the committee eventually vanished.

Now, however, 40 years on, a monstrous war looms in the Middle East for which there is not the slightest justification. Every single charge against Saddam Hussein - that he has nuclear weapons, repeatedly breaks international law by invading his neighbours, and is a constant threat to peace in the region - applies tenfold to the client state of the United States in the region, Israel.

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