Anti war protests and actions
CARDIFF ANTI WAR PROTEST- 20th March 2003
(report from 'llantwit', u75, Cardiff)
They said 'Stop the City'. We did.
Cardiff was completely stopped on the the first day of the war and campaigners vowed to continue with a campagn of civil dissobedience until the government takes notice.
At noon, as a group of three hundred striking students made their way down Cardiff’s main shopping street one sole pensioner walked out into the road and sat down. She was soon joined by up to two hundred others. Seven lanes of traffic were blocked and the town centre was gridlocked for an hour. This spontaneous act of non-violent direct action was followed by a march to the Welsh Labour Party central office.
The city was again brought to a standstill between the hours of 5pm and 8.30pm by thousands of protestors. Members from the Cardiff Anarchist Network blockaded a main road at 5pm with the help of arm tubes.
Around a thousand protestors joined them and created an autonomous anti war zone in the formerly busy city-centre road. The street was reclaimed for 1 1/2 hours, and then the march moved on to various other key junctions in the city.
The police were impotent in the face of such numbers and the fact that there was no set route, and no clear leader of the protest obviously made them quite frustrated and angry.
This frustration on the part of the boys in blue showed itself when they charged a group of peaceful demonstrators (including pensioners and children)at around 8.20. At least one demonstrator was badly hurt and was taken to hospital with head wounds.
Five peaceful protestors were arrested for 'breach of the peace', and one for criminal damage. Despite the fact a thousand people had obstructed the highway there were no arrests for this 'crime'.
The demo eventually petered out to chants of 'we'll be back tomorrow'. We will.
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