Stand up and be counted

Around 1,500 people of all ages and backgrounds participated in an anti-war demonstration in Newcastle on Saturday March 15. There were many trade unions and political groups represented in the array of placards and banners. Although there was a widespread recognition among protestors that Blair intends to support US aggression, regardless of what the people have to say on the matter, there was nevertheless a determination to stand up and be counted as opposing our government's collaboration in the murder of thousands of Iraqi citizens. CPGB comrades from Teesside and Tyneside sold a healthy number of Weekly Workers to demonstrators - some familiar faces but also many first-timers eager to learn more about the Party's analysis of this imperialist conflict in the Middle East. Predictably, the region's only Sunday newspaper, The Sunday Sun, limited its coverage of the event to a lengthy interview with an 83-year-old World War II veteran who went along, wearing full military uniform and medals, to "stick up for our troops" and bemoan the naivety of the demonstrators. No anti-war views were quoted in the report. Steve Cooke