For immediate release: 11 November 2003
The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament today called for the right to peacefully demonstrate to be respected by the police and government during George Bush’s visit to the UK next week. The campaign group, which is organising the London demonstration on November 20th jointly with the Stop the War Coalition and the Muslim Association of Britain, is concerned about US and British government pressure on the police to stop the march passing close to Whitehall.

The statement came as Tony Blair prepared for a week of large-scale actions against the visit, saying that he expected anti-war demonstrations and criticising those that oppose “what has been” rather than looking to the future. Liz Hutchins, vice-chair of CND, said,

“The events of next week are not just about what has been but the many terrible things that yet could and will be, at the hands of Mr Bush. The demonstrations are against the man, the administration and the agenda. Yes, they are about the war, but so too are they about Bush’s promotion of a star wars system, his nuclear proliferation, his disregard for international treaties and his bullying foreign policy. Mr Bush faces the outrage of a nation determined to regain its voice in the face of spin, lies and weakened democracy.”

She continued,
“We have every right to demonstrate against the visit by this war criminal and we think it is outrageous for the UK-US special relationship to be put before the rights of the British people. CND is encouraging everybody who is against Bush’s military and foreign policy to join the demonstrations.”

The march is confirmed as starting at Malet Street at 2pm and finishing at Trafalgar Square for a rally. CND is expecting a huge turn-out at the event with CND and peace groups across the UK organising transport to London on the day.