We Are Many (2014) Script

XFM, 104. 9.

I'm Ricky Gervais. With me Steve Merchant.

I'll tell you what. I was walking here today, and the West End is crammed.

There's helicopters. There's police.

There's about a million people sort of just milling around, standing around with placards and stuff.

They've got too much time on their hands. They need a war.

You don't read the newspapers, do you?

Boring.

BBC Radio Four.

What's thought to be the biggest demonstration in British history is taking place in Central London.

The organizers say nearly two million people have gathered to oppose war against Iraq.

From Auckland to Athens, Berlin to Bangkok, some 600 cities across the world.

Can you do that again?

15th of February 2003.

We're in London, just outside Trafalgar Square.

It's the anti-war march.

There's lots and lots of people here.

It's a terrible legacy...

...for those people who died on 9/11, that we're now killing more people in their name.

That's my opinion, anyway.

February 15th was the single largest mobilization of people in the history of humanity, bar none.

It was the biggest demonstration coordinated in the history of the whole Earth.

Do you think we can stop this war?

I think if we tried really hard, yeah.

I think we can stop this war.

The Prime Minister avoided the protestors outside chanting "No blood for oil."

Millions of British people telling you we don't want this war.

Now will you listen?

Listen to the people, Tony. Listen to the people.

This is a battle with only one outcome.

Our victory, not theirs.

Something began on that day that, uh... that cannot be reversed.

Whoo!


I was in New York. I'm a New Yorker.

I work as a nurse practitioner, and I was at work that day.

I was at work at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma.

It was an ordinary day.

I was in an airplane on my way from Stockholm to New York.

And I remember waking up in the morning, early, jetlagged, and I went out jogging, and I came in and turned on the news.

I'm going to interrupt because of the latest news.

A plane has crashed into the World Trade Center.

We've got Warner on the phone, who's watching and looking at it right now.

You can see the fire, you can see the smoke.

I mean, it's a monster hole, you know.

Oh, my God.

That looks like a second plane.

Oh, my God.

The second tower has exploded in a gargantuan explosion!

And at that point I didn't know that my brother was at the Trade Center.

It was horrific.

And I knew, I knew in a flash, whatever was happening at that moment, this was the beginning of something even worse.

The deliberate and deadly attacks which were carried out yesterday against our country were more than acts of terror.

They were acts of war.

September 12th 2001, was the day that changed the world.

Not September 11th.

Because that was the day that George W Bush announced to the world that the answer to this huge crime would be our war.

It was downhill after that.

The evidence now shows that on the very...

Well, within 24 hours of the attack, they had basically decided to attack Iraq.

Was it Cheney or Rumsfeld, one of those, at the first meeting after the attack on the Twin Towers, said, "That's it, let's go for Iraq?"

And now's an opportunity to do, uh, generations a favor by coming together and whipping terrorism.

It is a long-term campaign which is why we are characterizing it as a war.

Your loss we count as our loss.

Your struggle we take as our struggle.

Now that war has been declared on us, we will lead the world to victory, to victory.

This is a moment to seize.

The kaleidoscope has been shaken. The pieces are in flux.

Soon they will settle again.

Before they do, let us reorder this world around us.

We were fearful. We were concerned.

We were anxious about the way that the US was going to retaliate, and we had very little confidence they were gonna behave sensibly.

Over a few days, we started talking on the phone, getting together, and said "Look, we're gonna set up a Stop The War Coalition."

They set up the Stop The War Coalition.

They asked me to be president of it, which I very happily accepted.

And there was a meeting called.

They knew immediately that there was going to be a war, and so they had a meeting in Friends House here.

I attended that meeting. It was amazing.

Hall after hall after hall. The entire building was taken over.

It took just five days to organize, but the Stop The War protest and meeting attracted so many people, they had to close the doors.

I wrote a leaflet for that meeting, and the title of the meeting was "Stop The War Before It Starts."

That's what was on the leaflet.

And that's why it became the Stop The War Coalition.

It's just absolutely unbelievable that that particular event triggered such a momentous movement.

The war on terrorism begins. America and Britain strike Afghanistan.

President Bush says the campaign will be sustained, comprehensive and relentless.

Afghanistan, I was completely gung-ho for it.

We were excited to be doing our job and exacting retribution on the enemy for 9/11.

And in fact, I even had pictures of myself on a ladder in the bomb bay of a B-1 bomber signing bombs.

Various obscenities and things like "This is for my sister in New York City."

It became clear that phase one was going to be Afghanistan, and, of course, it wasn't going to take much to defeat the Taliban.

It wasn't much of a war, and it wasn't said, but the sense was there wasn't much glory in it, either.

It didn't somehow answer 9/11, and that's when the talk of phase two began.

My fellow Americans, let's roll.

Bush came up with his extraordinary speech in January 2002.

Our war against terror is only beginning.

Iraq continues to flaunt its hostility toward America and to support terror.

States like these and their terrorist allies constitute an axis of evil.

We wanted connection with 9/11, and we pressed that and pressed that and pressed that until we lied to the American people.

I mean, we had something like 51 to 60 percent of the American people believing that Saddam Hussein was connected with 9/11.

From then on we're building up towards a war with Iraq, and we now know how closely involved the British Government was with this.

But to allow weapons of mass destruction to be developed by a state like Iraq, without let or hindrance, would be grossly to ignore the lessons of September 11th, and we will not do it.

We were sharing intelligence. We were sharing preparations for the kind of marketing campaign we'd do if we decided to go to war.

The weapons of mass destruction was an important thing to hold up to the public, and I'm not saying that they were in bad faith, but they had many other reasons that pushed them about, and about which they didn't talk.

8:00. The first element of the government's strategy for winning over the doubters was released.

MPs had three and a half hours to read the dossier.

This dossier is based on the work of the British Joint Intelligence Committee.

It is extensive, detailed and authoritative.

It concludes that Iraq has chemical and biological weapons.

That Saddam has continued to produce them.

That he has existing and active military plans for the use of chemical and biological weapons, which could be activated within 45 minutes, including against his own Shia population.

They were 100 percent sure that there were weapons of mass destruction.

They had zero percent of knowledge where they were.

I felt I knew what had happened in the creation of an interior group of knowing people.

So what was going on in the corridors of power was, "I've been there."

"I've been to the Secret Service headquarters."

"I've seen the papers."

"If you'd seen what I've seen, you'd know how to go through those corridors."

So there was the creation of a bunch of insiders who were also, in a sense, distributing the same lie.

The intelligence was never there.

I remember the dodgy dossier.

I remember the front page on the Evening Standard.

I've got it somewhere in this room.

I remember keeping it, you know, that Iraq could attack within 45 minutes or something.

Those 45 minutes, I think, was what really became famous because they wanted to create a fear.

I remember hearing it on the news and thinking, "45 minutes to attack?"

"That... that's quite a peril."

You just read that, and that seemed pretty far-reaching, but you didn't know what information they had.

You don't want to disbelieve a Prime Minister when a Prime Minister puts out a document like that from 10 Downing Street.

I really wanted to find out what the evidence was.

So I wrote to the government and I got a copy of the dossier.

And I thought, "OK, this is all very technical."

"Can I check any of this?"

So I found two weapons inspectors, and I asked them, "How valid are these documents?"

And they said, "Well, we know this isn't true, we know that's not true, we know this isn't true."

Order!

Now, it's amazing to me that I could do that, and yet none of the MPs seemed to be able to do it.

I think it also destroyed Mr. Blair's credibility.

He lost his credibility in those 45 minutes, actually.

It sort of completely caused me to become a different person politically... because I had to come to terms with the fact, as a Conservative, that the institutions of the British state had set out to tell lies.

That is finally the bottom line.

Lied to in order to go to war.

There was a grand deception in which we all share various amounts of, uh, responsibility and, uh, in which we, everybody, didn't do their job.

In the United States the lies were told endlessly, and in Britain, the Murdoch Press, the Murdoch television networks, some parts of the BBC, all played the game.

So, the military industrial complex is also, you know, has its analogue in the press, the media industrial complex.

America and our allies are called once again... to defend the peace against an aggressive tyrant.

And we accept this responsibility.

I remember saying...

I don't know whether you can say this on tape.

But, "This bastard is actually gonna take us to war."

"This is not just rhetoric."

I remember having these debates a year before the invasion, and we'd say, "Oh, my God, it looks like they're really going to invade Iraq," and everyone would say, "Well, they're not that crazy. It couldn't happen."

US Central Command has been moving aircraft carriers and war planes closer to Iraq.

Now 600 of its specialists are to move themselves to within a few hundred miles of Iraq.

And so the global military enterprise snaps into action.

The public doesn't know about it.

You can see pieces of it here and there.

Units are being mobilized. Tanks are loading on ships.

The Marines are loading up. You can see pieces of it.

The bombing increased over Iraq about 500 percent during the fall of 2002... with the purpose of trying to goad Saddam Hussein into retaliating, to give us a reason to go to war.

And then I saw that. I was witness to that.

But the President's still saying, you know, "It may not..."

"I hope it doesn't come to war."

President Bush knows the real battle is to win support of the United Nations.

When I saw Bush on TV saying, "We're gonna try diplomacy first," but then I saw the reality on the ground, something didn't sit right with me, and I knew there was more to the story.

On some level, globally, people knew that this was not true, and I think that's what led to February 15th and the massive show on the streets was because people felt like something's not right.

Before our kids start coming home from Iraq in body bags and women and children start dying in Baghdad, I need to know, what did Iraq do to us?

We had never raised money for an ad before, and we proposed this "Let the Inspections Work" ad, sent it out to our members hoping to raise, you know, $20,000, $40,000.

And we raised $400,000.

And we made the ads, and we figured out everything we could possibly do to build opposition to going to war.

We organized demonstrations, and it got bigger and bigger and bigger.

Packing the streets to stop the war, the organizers of today's rally claim 300,000 people turned out to show their anger over Iraq.

I am in total opposition to the war.

I think it's an obscenity, and I think Blair is a scoundrel.

The troop movements began to get underway, and that's when we really moved quickly to form the coalitions in the US and internationally.

It took a lot of courage for people to raise their voices early on, prior to February 15th 2003.

People were afraid to speak.

They were afraid of being called unpatriotic.

The Bush Administration and Saddam Hussein are not the only ones cranking up the talk about war.

So are American opponents of war with Iraq.

We have a President that is sending the ships, sending the war machines, sending the bombs, sending the troops.

And look what we have growing here at home.

A mass, beautiful movement that's gonna stop them from dropping those bombs.

I'm becoming consumed with the thought that our country may soon be at war, waged partially in my brother's name and the names of thousands killed last year in the terror attacks.

We had to do something.

To sit back and not do anything was unbearable.

We, as a civilized people, must know better and do better.

We must be a greater nation than that.

You build confidence, and all of a sudden you start daring to do stuff that you never ever thought possible in the past.

And the next step was to call for a global day of demonstrations.

I mean, I don't know what we were thinking, actually, that there could be even a global demonstration.

I mean, nobody had ever done that.

It was a, you know, completely left-field idea even for us, and we'd had a few.

And that day was put at 15th of February.

So we started thinking together what to do, what to do.

We had a very strong European network.

At the end of the European Social Forum, we had a massive assembly in a disused railway station.

There were thousands and thousands of people packed into this meeting.

We made the announcement to say we have to make February 15th into the biggest day of global protest there has ever been.

I now hand over to my final speaker on European coordination, Raffaella.

To all citizens of Europe, we call on the movement and the citizens of Europe to start from now organizing European anti-war demonstrations in every capital on February 15.

We can stop this war.

And the response was just overwhelming.

It was absolutely tremendous.

You need a moment in which somebody says "Yes, we can," and so you start.

And after that, we knew that this day was going to be something special, something the world had never seen before.


The Stop The War Coalition has been meeting in London to make plans for a demonstration against war with Iraq.

The London demonstration is due to take place on February 15th to coincide with marches in several other European capitals.

Somebody said, I don't even remember now who it was, that they had heard that folks in Europe were planning for a day of international demonstrations on February 15th against the war, and we said, "Oh, OK, let's do that."

The notion that we could pull this off on a global level...

Oh, my God, this was huge. This was an enormous challenge.

The notion that we were part of something global was terrifying and thrilling all at the same time.

And Saddam Hussein must understand that if he does not disarm for the sake of peace, we, along with others, will go disarm Saddam Hussein.

This is a matter of weeks, not months.

It was only much later that I came across the single most devastating document, which is the legal memorandum written by Lord Goldsmith, in which Lord Goldsmith tells the British Prime Minister, "You cannot use force without a further Security Council resolution."

If you go down the document, at paragraph four, you've got Lord Goldsmith telling the Prime Minister, "I remain of the view that the correct legal interpretation of Resolution 1441 is that it does not authorize the use of military force without a further determination by the Security Council."

And just to the left of that, a little scribble.

"I just don't understand this."

Who wrote that? Tony Blair wrote that. And then the document was filed away.

The timing of the document is very significant.

It was written and signed off on 30th January.

The next day, 31st January, the British Prime Minister met the American President in the White House, and I've seen the internal British note of the meeting prepared by Sir David Manning.

And that note makes very clear, beyond any possible dispute, two things.

First, by 31st January, President Bush had decided that the war on Iraq would begin in March with or without a further Security Council resolution.

And second point, Tony Blair told Bush at that meeting he was with him, whatever happened.

I do remember the steady drumbeat to war.

There was one sane voice in that crowd, and I remember talking to my dad on the phone from Saudi Arabia and saying, you know, Colin Powell is the only one that's gonna be able to stop this.

It was the moment the world has waited for.

America's best case against Iraq, made by its top diplomat.

When the Secretary finished his dress rehearsal, the night before the presentation to the Security Council, he looked at his watch. It was a little long.

He looked at me, and he turned to Mr. Tenet, the Director of the CIA, and he said, "George, you stand by everything that I just said, right?"

And Mr. Tenet said, "I'm telling you, what you just gave is solid."

And he's telling the Secretary of State it's a slam dunk.

Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction.

I mean, that's not the exact language George used with the Secretary, but it was like that.

And then the Secretary looked at him and got this smile on his face, and he said, "Well, George, you're gonna be with me tomorrow."

"You're gonna be in camera."

That sort of surprised Mr. Tenet cos generally you don't put the Director of the CIA on television.

But you look at that film, and you will see that George Tenet is right over the Secretary's shoulder.

Saddam Hussein and his regime have made no effort, no effort to disarm as required by the international community.

We have diagrammed what our sources reported about these mobile facilities.

Colin Powell made his extraordinary speech to the UN, in which there were sort of ice cream vans which we were told were biological weapons things.

They looked, actually, quite like ice cream vans to me.

They may well have been ice cream vans.

What you're about to hear is a conversation that my government monitored.

"We have this modified vehicle."

"What do we say if one of them sees it?"

His delivery was superb.

He really should have won an Academy Award for that performance.

"I have one." "Which?" "From where?" "From the workshop."

"I'll come to see you in the morning."

"I'm worried you all have something left."

When I sat there in the Security Council opposite Colin Powell and I heard these things, I kept a straight face, a poker face.

But I was skeptical.

And unless we act, we are confronting an even more frightening future.

He did not know that we were perpetrating a hoax, but that is in effect what we were doing.

I mean, we were telling the Security Council, people in the international community and Americans, we were telling them all that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.

He did not. He did not.

I don't really want to criticize him, but it was a debacle, really, for him and for the world.

At that point, I lost a lot of hope about our ability to prevent the Iraq war.

When you sign your life on the line for your country and swear to defend it, the only thing that you really ask for in return is that it be for a good reason, and I didn't feel it was for a good reason.

Yeah, I was in charge of it, and when I finished it and thought about it, I felt miserable because I thought we had just put a whole array of circumstantial evidence up that could be interpreted in any number of different ways.

And we were probably going to go to war, and it sort of bothered me.

And now I feel like it was the lowest point, as I've said before, in my professional and personal life.

I wish I had resigned.

On this February day, as this nation stands at the brink of battle, this chamber is, for the most part, ominously... ominously... dreadfully silent.

You can hear a pin drop. Listen.

You can hear a pin drop.

The battle lines are being drawn in the Gulf and at home, these protestors in no doubt as to whose side they're on and who they're against.

I feel that I speak for, um, a growing number of people in this country.

I think if you stopped anyone now on the road and asked them what they think, they'd say "No."

I've always been, uh... quite passionate about CND.

Uh, it kind of sort of goes back to coming from a family of conscientious objectors.

So I did what little I could, in the sense of I could just talk about it in the media, express myself.

There was a moment where it felt, well, we might be able to intervene.

Inspections, not war. War is not worth dying for.

Inspections, not war. Inspections, not war.

The Iraqis are real people.

The majority of them are under 18 years old.

They're lovely, nice, wonderful people, and we don't want to see them killed.

February 14th. That would be the day the Security Council would hear from the inspectors in Iraq responsible for the UN inspections.

So important is this event that all the main foreign ministers of the United Nations are here, including America's Colin Powell.

They've insisted on turning up because this encounter could even determine the fate of the United Nations.

The chamber of the Security Council had never been as full of cameras as they were in those days.

We walked into this room and looked around.

It was just full of cameras.

How much, if any, is left of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and related prescribed items and programs?

So far, UNMOVIC has not found any such weapons, only a small number of empty chemical munitions.

We have to date found no evidence of ongoing prohibited nuclear or nuclear-related activities in Iraq.

As I have just indicated, a number of...

What the inspectors actually said was very, very unequivocal.

"We have seen no evidence."

They would not, they did not, provide the US with any excuse to go to war, and the Security Council knew it.

When the two branches of the march meet here in Piccadilly Circus tomorrow afternoon, Eros may well be witnessing the biggest peacetime demonstration in British history.

The day before, the Evening Standard and the Mail and all the others had a double-page spread about the march route, what are the ideal clothes to wear at a demonstration, and you suddenly realized we'd become the mainstream.

Saturday's demonstration against the war on Iraq is expected to be the biggest peacetime rally ever seen in this country.

There will be other protests from New York to Tokyo.

In the course of the seven weeks, we must have distributed well over a million pieces of literature.

All of us became aware that this thing was gonna be big.

There is a large number of people that are gonna be on this demonstration that have never demonstrated before in their lives.

Middle England are coming out in their thousands on Saturday, and that is what is going to make a difference.

Tonight, final preparations are underway here in London for the anti-war rally tomorrow.

It's being billed as the biggest peace demonstration in recent years.

The rallies of February 15th followed the sun.

They started in the South Pacific.

After that it was New Zealand, and after that it was Australia, it was Sydney.

They came from everywhere and from every walk of life to walk for life and for peace.

It was an extraordinary display of people power.

So many voices with one simple message.

No war! No war!

I remember getting on the train to go into the rally, and the train was absolutely packed, and you realized something huge was happening and it was just a complete cross-section of liberal concerned Australia.

And then it was North Asia and South Asia.

And then after that it was Malaysia.

It was Indonesia, it was the Philippines, it was India, it was Pakistan.

And then across Russia.

And then down into Africa.

This is a war about the oil reserves of Iraq.

And then across into Europe.

Roma was full of different marches, and we found another enormous march coming against us, and we don't know who they are.

And no, they are us!

And then there was the huge protest in Spain.

In Barcelona was something that we couldn't imagine.

It was no march because, in fact, all passage to the Gràcia was occupied by people.

It was full of people.

All over Spain it's around five million people going into the streets.

So it was the biggest demonstration in the history in the Spanish State.

You're reading all of the wire reports increasingly from all of these cities, and you see France, Paris.

Here in France, everyone is united against the war.

The people, the politicians, the newspapers.

Hundreds of cities. All of a sudden, this sea of humanity.

And then... we had London.

I thought I was on the wrong march.

I did. I thought this must be for something else because there were all these families, people with pushcarts and babies and people I'd just never seen on these things, and the outpouring of rage from the people.

It was so beautiful.

Really passionate and eloquent and beautiful.

People crying out and shouting.

This proposed war by Britain is historically unpopular, and the mother of all focus groups has descended on London to bring that fact home to Tony Blair today.

And then the march began, and we were millions.

It seemed we were millions.

A million people in... on the streets of London.

There hadn't been a demonstration that size in anybody in the government, let alone in Parliament's recollection.

It was... It sort of shut you up.

Virtually everybody I know was on it.

I wish I'd been on it. I should have been on it.

People like my son and my granddaughters.

He, not being a political activist, and he was texting me saying "This is fantastic."

"He can't go to war now."

And it was beautiful.

Many say they've never known an atmosphere quite like it.

Could that be in part because so many were moved to protest for the first time?

I'm not a demonstration type of person, actually.

I mean, it may well have been the first demonstration I ever went on.

I think the world's going mad.

I just feel it's got to be stopped somewhere.

Anybody who could come came, of my lot. And family, I just...

A couple of phone calls, and I should think we must have been a dozen.

And they loved it and were very proud.

This was the future of humanity, and people felt it.

That's why they came.

I managed to get friends of mine, that I never considered for a moment would come with me, to come that day.

I hadn't been an activist before. I hadn't protested anything before.

There was a sense of "Come on, come with me, come and join me."

"We can do this together."

I was very enthusiastic that this was going to do it.

This was going to stop the Iraq war.

If Blair cared about democracy, we wouldn't be doing this march because he would be representing his people.

What Bush and Blair are actually planning is so disgusting, so bloody lousy.

It's a war for oil.

I don't think it was until 15th February 2003, that we really understood the enormity of the divide that existed within the country.

And we came to a halt in Whitehall, and as it happened, my family and I were dead opposite the entrance to Downing Street.

And... a noise went up that I've never heard before or since.

A kind of visceral, feral grumble, roar, rising sound.

I remember coming up to Piccadilly Circus, and there was this just incredible howl of, I don't know...

Joy, really, as the two demonstrations came together.

I always feel like this when, all of a sudden... millions of ordinary people, who are told they can't do this, suddenly do it.

Everybody in the world has a chance today to say no, absolutely no to war on Iraq.

And there was this real desire. "Come on, Tony Blair, listen."

"You have to listen. You can't ignore this many people."

Blair went up to Scotland to speak at the Scottish Labour Party Conference.

His speech is greeted with stony silence, something that never ever happens.

As you watch your TV pictures of the march, just ponder this.

If there are 500,000 on that march, that is still less than the number of people whose deaths Saddam has been responsible for.

If there are one million... that is still less than the number of people that died in the wars that he started.

We are starting something really big, and our first task is peace in Iraq.

Ridding the world of Saddam would be an act of humanity.

It is leaving him there that is inhumane.

But we must not stop until we have achieved the objectives that bring us all to Hyde Park this afternoon.

We had a counter at the background of the stage, and I remember asking "Can I make that announcement?"

"Can I please make that announcement?"

We had those who thought we could never, never pull it together, and we have one and a half million people marching in London today!

Then, minute by minute, the phone calls, the feedback, getting a call from Egypt, people watching on Egyptian TV saying, "What is this? What have you done?"

"This is absolutely miraculous. How have you done this?"

Everyone was in a state of shock to find, like, one million Brits who were willing to take to the streets to protest against the war.

Everyone was shocked that, you know, there are three million in the streets of Madrid.

I mean, everybody was shocked.

We were jealous that this was happening in the West and not happening in the Arab world.

Millions of Egyptians and Arabs and Muslims can watch on the TV screens those white, whisky-drinking infidels taking to the streets on their behalf, while in their own countries, you know, you cannot mobilize on that scale.

The issue was, if they're doing that there, we should do at least as much here.

In Egypt it was one of my most depressing days.

We had tiny turnout for these calls of protest.

On 15th February, we did actually organize something small.

And, of course, we had the huge military police slash military mobilization of the time.

But we knew it's going to happen because of the international mobilization.

It was very frustrating.

I give so much credit to the activists here who didn't give up on the Egyptian people, because I think I might have given up on the Egyptian people.

That day, 15th February 2003, gave us a real mobilization power to get the message across that whenever the US and the UK would start their war against Iraq... we should be on the streets opposing that.

And then, finally, it came to New York.

# This land is your land

# This land is my land I heard the noise from the outside.

Being out in the street early on and as the day was going on, just watching what had to be tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands.

It just... People kept coming.

# To the Gulf Stream waters

# I tell ya I needed some milk and some vegetables, and I went out, and I realized what the demonstration was about.

One, two, three, four!

# As I went walking Five, six, seven, eight!

# Down that...

I felt compelled to fly out on a weekend while I was on active duty to attend this protest in New York City on February 15th 2003.

I do remember getting off the subway and seeing Grand Central Station and just seeing the people that were in there, and it was overwhelming.

I went outside the doors, and I just remember seeing just so many people.

Just people for blocks and blocks and blocks and blocks.

Who knows where they were to? And you could almost...

If you could look to 125th, they may have been as far as 125th.

I'm getting chills right now just talking about it. Uh...

# They tried to stop me

# They put up a sign that said

# Oh, it said "private property"

I felt touched by it.

I felt this is part of the political drama that is played out.

Whose street? Our street!

I also had some little fear that maybe someone would identify me and hoist me up on a truck as a mascot or something.

But no one did that.

Streets and parks and cities across the US and the world were filled with demonstrators today protesting a possible US-Ied war against Iraq.

All told, anti-war demonstrations took place in at least 150 American cities from coast to coast.

We were attempting something on this day that was historic.

There was no way to not take notice.

Surely President Bush must be watching, and surely Tony Blair must be watching.

You know, the size of a protest, it's like deciding, well, I'm gonna decide policy based upon a focus group.

They can't hold us back!

Bush, you can't hold us back!

You can't hold the people!

You can't keep the people down!

# And this land

# Was made for you and me The people will be heard! There will not be a war against Iraq!

There was unbelievable sense that maybe this could make a difference.

Maybe, for the first time in history, we could actually stop the bad guys, right, from doing something horrendous.

People are saying no to war!

And we stand in solidarity, all the people of the world who are marching at this very moment.

I remember Harry Belafonte and his long-time great friend Danny Glover, the great activist actor, who said "We stand here on this threshold of history, and we say to the world..."

Not in our names, not in our names.

"Not in our name."

And I remember the crowd picked it up, and it was echoing.

And I remember thinking, I will never again... have an opportunity like this, to be present at a moment that is changing the world.

And all a sudden I felt elated, and I felt, "Of course we can stop the war, because we are so many people, and there's no leader in any country in the world that could go ahead with a war when they see a global movement saying no."

What do we want? Peace!

When do we want it? Now!

Let you remember and let your children remember that on February 15th you were here, joined by 35 million people.

Stop the war!

Stop the war!

Stop the war!

We had the first global demonstration.

There were demonstrations in what, every continent, and 600 cities around the world had demonstrations, including a demonstration in Antarctica.

Saying this thing even happened in Antarctica is like saying it happened on the moon or it happened on Mars.

I think Antarctica stills exists as this sort of mythological place to most people, that it is the end of the earth.

And it's remarkable to people that there are people there at all.

We knew that there was demonstrations gonna be going on around the world for February 15th, and we knew it was gonna be really big.

And I had a subscription to The Nation that was coming to me in McMurdo, and I was reading a column by Alexander Coburn, and he was talking about the upcoming February 15th demonstration.

He was saying, "Even in Antarctica there's gonna be demonstrations."

I thought, "Huh? Who would that be?"

And I thought, "Wait a minute, he means us."

And so, I thought, "Well, we can't let down the great Alexander Coburn, so we're gonna have to do something."

And so we got this one together in fairly short order.

Saying what you think isn't something that's easily done down there.

First we were told no protest at all would be tolerated, and I think they were saying, "Well, it's OK to be for peace, but you can't be against the war."

"You do that, you'll go home in a box."

"Try that, you'll go home in a box."

I'm not sure I was aware that you could actually lose your job for stuff like this until I actually lost my job for stuff like this.

And, that said, even if I'd known, I think I would have done just the same thing.

If we could get enough people who were willing to do it, that just was hopeful to me, and when we did, it was joyful to me.

And so we fervently hoped that we could be part of this movement that was going on, this February 15th movement.

Just... we want this to stop. We don't want this to happen.

This is how we'd look. That's right.

And there was 70 of us who looked just like this.

This is "Democracy Now."

The world says no to war.

Sites included Australia, Johannesburg, Tel Aviv, Syria, Tokyo, Bangladesh, South Korea, Hong Kong, Thailand, Puerto Rico, Brazil, East Timor, India, and even the South Pole.


And when, the next day, The New York Times, on the front page above the fold, said this great truth, "Once again there are two superpowers in the world."

"The United States and global public opinion."

That was huge.

Some of my friends in the anti-war movement got rather puffed up about it.

I thought they were gonna do t-shirts. "Second Superpower."

You know, there was a bit of that.

My view was, this is fantastic. We worked for it.

It's not gonna last for long, but it's a marker.

It was a big marker. Tremendous.

I think I made an observation at a critical period as our country was spooling up for war, that there was another power out there, and I think we live at our peril in ignoring it and certainly in denigrating it, because that tends to be the next generation, and that is the future.

I was actually overseas when the big demonstration took place.

The whole of my family went on it.

My parents, my sisters.

There was a real feeling that actually you could make a difference because going to war was an absolute nonsense and there had to be another way out of this.

I was trying my best to see whether there was anything behind the scenes I could do to, you know, hopefully avert the war.

To an extent, Saddam Hussein was now a cornered animal, and an animal when they're cornered is extremely dangerous.

With the build-up to the war, the likelihood was that he was going to end up being executed or killed.

And therefore I felt that there was a reasonable chance in trying to persuade him that he should bow out and go to another country.

We'd definitely had these conversations beforehand, and there definitely did seem to be an alternative than doing what we did.

I was fortunate enough to know Nelson Mandela.

One power, with a President who has no foresight, who cannot think properly...

...is now wanting to plunge the world into a holocaust, and I'm happy that the people of the world are standing up.

Nelson Mandela had spoken vehemently out against the idea of the war and against the invasion, and so I felt that there was a chance that if he came to see Saddam Hussein, and if he agreed to fly out on the same plane as Saddam Hussein, that we might have a success.

Kofi Annan also agreed to go on the trip, so we arranged a plane to go to South Africa to pick them up to take them to Baghdad.

I can think of nothing that Saddam Hussein could do diplomatically.

I think that time is now over.

The time for diplomacy has passed.

Sadly, the very week that they were due to go to Baghdad to sit down with Saddam Hussein, bombing started, and the visit never took place.

Now, whether the Americans or British had discovered what was going on, we don't know.

I mean, we had on purpose not informed the authorities because we felt they might bring the war forward if they knew this trip was to take place.

But I still think every time he looks at the news, he must think, "If only, you know, if only it had worked."

It was that close to having a solution.

After the big march, February 15th, it was clear that the waving of placards wasn't going to be any good and writing letters wasn't going to be any good.

And I decided, you know, I was going to do something, and I was prepared to get arrested, and da-dee-da-dee-da.

So my friend Dave and I were talking about it one evening.

"Where would the most effective place to paint a slogan in Sydney be?"

And I said, "Well, to put it bluntly, it's on the sails of the Sydney Opera House."

And it was this sort of real sinking feeling because, of course, he was absolutely right.

It was the, you know, the iconic place that the thing, that the message was inescapable, and it was, you know...

I sort of swallowed three times and said, "OK."

There I am, feeling very strongly about this.

Do I feel strongly enough to, you know, probably to go to prison for quite a long time?

He said, "I could well get deported if we do this," and I said, "Well, ring me back when you've thought that one through."

And sure enough, he rang me back.

Well, yes, I mean, the answer was yes.

It was this once-in-a-Iifetime thing where if we didn't...

Even if we failed to stop it, at least if the world could see that the people didn't want what was being done in their name.

With death-defying bravado, the anti-war movement's protest scaled new heights.

It was all very amateurish.

We had paint, we had backpacks.

We had great long paint rollers, like three or four of them to join together.

We climbed up without any trouble. Dave climbed up after me.

Will, being a nonsmoker, got to the top way quicker than I did.

When he got up there, he said, "Will, I should tell you I'm very scared of heights."

I felt sick.

This sort of overwhelming feeling of not wanting to stuff it up.

This sort of terror that you were going to paint "No Wa" or that the "N" would be the wrong way around or, you know, something like that.

To my amazement, the font came out beautifully.

And the police finally arrived just as we were touching it up for the last time, and I said to the policeman, "Can I just finish this bit?"

And he was very polite. He said, "No, I think you've done enough."

This afternoon, the two men were released on bail.

We're charged with malicious damage, which is quite ironic, because if war isn't the ultimate malicious damage, I don't know what is.

But freedom for Will Saunders was short-lived.

A scientist from Britain, he was quickly rearrested by immigration officers.


People say this place doesn't matter anymore, but hours before a war, your MP can vote for or against it.

And if that doesn't matter, I simply don't know what does.

The more momentous the particular decision you're dealing with, the more you feel that obligation to do it on the basis of your own analysis of what's best.

And...

But isn't it better to carry the country with you?

Of course. Of course it would be better to carry the country with you, but the demonstration indicated that a great seam of the country wasn't with us.

What do you do then?

You look to Parliament for support, and if you can't get support in Parliament, then you don't do it.

Now, the night before, Robin Cook resigned and made an astounding resignation speech.

Iraq probably has no weapons of mass destruction in the commonly understood sense of the term.

Namely, a credible device capable of being delivered against a strategic city target.

It probably does still have biological toxins and battlefield chemical munitions.

But it's had them since the 1980s, when US companies sold Saddam anthrax agents and the then-British government approved chemical and munitions factories.

Why is it now so urgent that we should take military action to disarm a military capacity that has been there for 20 years and which we helped to create?

Hear, hear.

Mr. Speaker, the longer I have served in this place, the greater the respect I have for the good sense and the collective wisdom of the British people.

Hear, hear.

I intend to join those tomorrow night who vote against military action now.

It is for that reason and that reason alone, and with a heavy heart, that I resign from the government.

Hear, hear!

It made a most profound impact.

I think for the first time in my life, I heard people actually clapping in the House of Commons when he sat down.

Because normally you don't do that. You just say "Hear, hear."

But people actually applauded him as he sat down.

And then, all through the day, MPs that were thought to be skeptical about the war were being hauled in to see Tony Blair or Gordon Brown, and Blair was sort of straight at them saying, "OK, are you with me or against me?"

And there were all kinds of deals done, no doubt.

The Noes to the left 149...

We had estimated at the start of the day there were possibly 200 Labour MPs, more than half the Parliamentary Labour Party, a crucial figure, who were opposed to the war.

By the end of the day, that had come down to 139.

The Ayes to the right 412, the Noes to the left 149.

The Ayes have it.

An awful day because of the consequences.

MPs knowingly voted for lies to go to war, which has killed thousands of people.

Back! Get back! Get back! Move!

Many of them now come out and say, "If we knew then what we know now, we wouldn't have supported the war."

"We wouldn't have believed Tony Blair. We were misled."

It's rubbish.

When you had two million people telling you the truth and giving you the strong case for why this war would be a disaster, you cannot say you did not know. You just did not care.

This was when people suddenly realized well, what is a democracy if you can demonstrate like this but it doesn't make any difference to what happens?

And war suddenly happened one night in March 2003.

At this hour, American and coalition forces are in the early stages of military operations to disarm Iraq, to free its people, and to defend the world.

Tonight British servicemen and women are engaged from air, land and sea.

Their mission, to remove Saddam Hussein from power and disarm Iraq of its weapons.

On my orders, coalition forces have begun striking selected targets of military importance to undermine Saddam Hussein's ability to wage war.

I hope the Iraqi people hear this message.

We are with you.

Our enemy is not you but your barbarous rulers.

And then "shock and awe" came.

And then, and then the horror.

It was over.


I think a lot of us cried.

And a lot of us screamed in fury that these demons had started this war.

When I'm watching these missiles or rockets or whatever they were flying across Baghdad, it's kind of like when you see imagery of the World Trade Center.

To most people, it's this iconic image of a tower burning.

To me, it's an image of my brother dying because it's very, very real because I know he's on the 106th floor.

There's a piece in all of us that intuitively knows that someone's being killed and some family is being harmed.

I think kind of the challenge for all of us is how much of that are we willing to let in and how much is too much to bear and we have to turn it off.

When the hope was dashed and the war began, I think that depressed people, and it led to a simplistic concept that we had the biggest demonstration in history and nothing happened, so we're giving up.

The morale just dropped.

It's hard to put "George Bush" and "brilliant" in the same sentence, but one of his more brilliant moves was just to see 20 million people around the world saying, "We want you to do something," and then him turn around and say, "We're gonna do it anyway and you have no power."

All that sense of hope and possibility that maybe we could prevent this, we couldn't in the end.

We were still not strong enough.

Everybody please onto the sidewalks in an orderly fashion.

Everybody on... Keep on walking.

Once you get past a demonstration, a big demonstration or a couple of big demonstrations, what do you do?

We can identify probably in retrospect positive things, and maybe we averted other conflicts, and all that kind of stuff, but we didn't stop the Iraq War.

That was something that I think, you know, it was painful.

And it made a lot of us then reflect on why have we failed, and certainly for me, now running 38 Degrees, I think I can see the roots of some of my thinking and my ideas which lead me to want to start a people-powered campaigning movement.

That did come out of the experience, I think, of feeling the failure.

I got the sense from the people on the podium that they in a way felt the job was done, that this was gonna change the government's opinion.

Now, we will never know what Tony Blair and his advisers were thinking on the eve of that day.

I'm sure they gambled on us not coming back.

Now, I really believe that if we'd have come back the next weekend, they may not have changed then, but they would have certainly been nervous.

But if we'd have come back the weekend after that, then you never know what would have happened.

And in that sense, I feel very frustrated and a deep sense of regret about the fact that we just didn't finish the job.

I did believe, I think as many of us believed on that march, that we could actually change something, and the fact that we couldn't has stuck in our craws ever since.

It was a huge missed opportunity because I don't think the march in itself would ever stop the war because people go home and the government can live with that.

What they can't live with is serious organization, and that's what we needed out of that.

You have a couple of days of mass demonstrations during a weekend in London.

What does that do to the powers that be?

Nothing, nothing.

You need to escalate.

We had this decision that on the day of the attack, on 1:00pm, we're going to assemble in Tahrir Square.

Once the strikes begin, we all go to Tahrir.

Once the war starts, at 12 noon, everybody would go out on the streets towards Tahrir.

So I went with my high heels, thinking it was going to be just an hour-Iong demonstration and that the anti-riot police are just going to break it, and, you know, I had evening plans, and, uh, I went home at midnight.

That's when hell broke loose in Egypt.

You had the biggest protests that this capital had witnessed since 1977.

Young people, old people.

Poor people, rich people, middle class people.

Men, women, students.

Everybody was there. Everybody was there.

I arrived on Tahrir Square with 15 people.

14 out of the 15 never demonstrated in their lives before 20th March 2003.

It was like, for the first time, we could see a popular movement.

From 30,000 to 40,000 or 50,000, even, protestors were in run-in clashes in with the police.

Briefly taking over Tahrir.

That really was a turning point.

The protests here were huge on the night of the Iraq invasion.

It was the first time I had ever seen that protestors had overwhelmed the security forces.

They withdrew, and I remember a comrade, a friend, said, "Oh, my God, oh, my God, oh, my God."

For the first time, the really first time, we are able to win this small victory.

The American occupation of Iraq is the occupation of the entire Arab world, including Egypt, and therefore, the impotency of our regime is very clear.

That's exactly when I was thinking, and others, that if we were triple that number, or four times that number, we could take down Mubarak.

Little did we know that that was a rehearsal for the 2011 revolution.

That spring of 2003 was really the beginning of the democracy movement.

Iraq was torn to shreds.

It was a consequence of the invasion, but it wasn't presented that way.

Like the Fallujah attack, which was a major war crime.

For example, I haven't seen a word in the United States, in the mainstream, at least, about the fact that the radiation levels and effects of excessive radiation in Fallujah are apparently worse than Hiroshima.

We know exactly how many people were killed on September 11th, exactly.

We have no idea how many civilians were killed in Iraq.

Why is that?

Hey, back up! Back up!

Sure, Saddam Hussein was awful. He was a murderer.

But when Saddam was harming his own people, that was on him.

But the American invasion is on us, and the people who are harmed post-invasion is on us.

It's on our collective national conscience.

Every person is important, and every person does matter, and we should know exactly how many people have died as a result of this invasion.

This was a total failure.

Cost, most of all for the Iraqis, lives and property and now ten years near anarchy.

My father fled Iraq when I was barely a year old.

I have all my life been an opposition figure to the Baathist regime.

But as horrendous and as dark and as bad and as miserable as things got in Iraq under Saddam Hussein, incredibly enough, now they are far, far worse.

That's what we were there for on 15th February 2003.

To stop this from happening.

My husband is going to make a short statement.

He has felt extremely upset of the injustice of the war, and he remains very upset.

Professor Stephen Hawking.

The war was based on two lies.

The first was that we were in danger from weapons of mass destruction.

The second was that Iraq was somehow to blame for 9/11.

It has been a tragedy for all the families that have lost members.

As many as 100,000 may have died, half of them women and children.

If that is not a war crime, what is?

The deaths in Iraq mount daily, but we haven't had a running total or indeed an accurate body count.

Now we have a shocking figure.

American and Iraqi public health experts calculate that about 600,000 Iraqis have been killed as a result of the invasion.

The number of orphans created by the Iraq war, 1.25 million.

Iraqi children suffering from chronic malnutrition, 28 percent.

The number of refugees created by the Iraq war, four million.


So tonight I'm gonna do one of my slideshows.

These are actual unstaged photos pulled from the files of the White House photo office.

Those weapons of mass destruction have got to be somewhere.

Nope. No weapons over there.

Maybe under here.


Yes, there are consequences of war.

People will die and some will be innocent, and we must live with the consequences of our actions, even the unintended ones.

I wanted to ask him, "Have you ever seen what happens as somebody rolls a grenade into a tent?"

"Have you ever imagined what it would be like to kneel down beside a soldier you sent into battle and tell him why he's dying?"

Well, I'd never say that the mass loss of life of those in the conflict, civilians, is worth intervention.

But I would say that, were I in the same situation with the same information and the same perspective, I would have done the same again.

I mean, now we know so much more.

I believed, and I believe, that the decision was right.

The Secretary General of the United Nations, a man who's always insisted that America and Britain went to war without the legally required authority of the UN.

Well, Kofi Annan was asked whether he thought that the action was legal.

I have stated clearly that it was not in conformity with the Security Council, with the UN Charter.

And then the next question was, "So you mean it was illegal?"

It was illegal?

Yes, if you wish.

Which I think the vast majority of international lawyers in the world would say yes, he was right, and I certainly affirm that it was true.

Crimes against humanity were plainly committed.

War crimes were plainly committed. There's no issue.

The photographic and documentary evidence is overwhelming.

The holding nations accountable, you know, that's for Liberia, or that's for some small country.

None of the major heads of state, when they engage in these crimes against humanity, are made accountable.

He's probably the only British Prime Minister there has ever been who cannot appear on the streets of London or anywhere in the country without there being near riots.

Why are the people who basically pressed the button and said go not accountable for the fact that they blatantly lied to all of us?

It was a crime of the century.

We've campaigned now for an inquiry for six and a half years.

Please, Mr. Blair, give us 15 minutes of your time.

That's all we're asking. Our loved ones gave their lives.

They gave the rest of their time.

Tony, we want just 15 minutes of yours.

We have formally sent a letter through to his office, and that request has been totally ignored.

We, like you, have also experienced at first hand the anger which is still felt by many people in this country.

Can I ask whether you have regrets?

Responsibility, but not a regret for removing Saddam Hussein.

Come on! I think he was...

Be quiet, please.

They've got to give the appearance of an inquiry because people are so angry about what happened, but it's set up and framed in such a way that nobody will be challenged.

Um, and it's...

It's what we call a whitewash.

Blair will go to his death with Iraq printed on his heart, and unforgiven.


Injustice doesn't go away. It stays in the psyche.

It will eventually need to come out. It will come out. Blood will have blood.

Sir Roderick...

There may be things said behind closed doors.

There may be doors that are closed silently to Tony Blair.

But from my point of view, I'm sorry, I think he should be, you know, at The Hague.

He should be tried for war crimes against society.

I think he should.

If it were my choice to have Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, George Bush go before some kind of tribunal, and I had to go with them in order to be... in order for that tribunal to be successful or to even have a chance for success, and that it was also possible I would be in that conviction, if you will, I'd do it in a heartbeat.

You feel that strongly about it? I feel that strongly about it.

Hello, ladies. Hello, Mr. Rumsfeld.

Hi. How are you. Hi.

How are you doing? Terrific.

They're all war criminals.

I saw Donald Rumsfeld on the street in Washington last year one time, and I was aghast.

"They let you walk around on the street like a normal person? Why aren't you in jail?"

What are you here for tonight? It's the Correspondents' Dinner.

OK. Well, enjoy your evening, sir.

Thank you very much. And madam.

Thank you.

Good evening. Hello, folks.

Welcome back. Thank you.

Mr. Secretary. War criminal!

War criminal! War criminal!

Arrest this man! Arrest the war criminal!

War criminal!

Arrest this man! Joyce, Joyce.

War criminal!

War criminal!

You're protecting a man who's responsible for the deaths of millions of Iraqis!

Shame on you!

Here comes the war criminal Donald Rumsfeld!

War criminal!

He killed people in Iraq!

War criminal!

We follow Rumsfeld and Cheney and Bush and Condoleezza Rice and Karl Rove and the people in these think tanks that lied to get us into the war and the journalists who lied to get us into the war.

We are constantly following them.

We feel that we are the sanity in this country.

We are the people who are the conscience of this country, and I think history will prove that we are.

Donald Rumsfeld, war criminal!

He killed people in Iraq!

War criminal! There's the war criminal!

After seeing everything that the media was feeding us and being misled by the Bush administration, seven of us young veterans got together in the same place at the Veterans For Peace Conference and formed this organization called Iraq Veterans Against The War.

We continued to demonstrate throughout all those years... and ever since February 15th 2003, we now thought of ourselves as a global peace movement.

I never blinked. I never blinked.

I knew what my morals were.

I knew that the war was wrong, and every ounce of my being compelled me to continue protesting that war.

No NATO, no war! No NATO, no war!

We don't work for you no more. We don't work for you no more.

My name is Jason Hurd.

I spent ten years in the United States Army as a combat medic.

I deployed to Baghdad in 2004.

I'm here to return my Global War On Terrorism service medal in solidarity with the people of Iraq and the people of Afghanistan.

These were lies. I'm giving them back.

I'm one of 40,000 people that left the United States Armed Forces because this is a lie!

Our enemies are not 7,000 miles from home.

They sit in boardrooms. They are CEOs.

They are the millionaires and billionaires who control this planet, and we've had enough of it.

So they can take their medals back.

Egypt is tasting its own dose of people power.

Such defiance here is rare and could mark the beginning of something bigger.

There is a big myth both in Egypt, in the Arab world, as well as the West that this revolution in Egypt broke out of the blue.

Some people deliberately tried to call it a Facebook revolution or a Twitter revolution or an internet revolution or even a youth revolution, uh, in order, more or less, to dismiss the fact that this revolution has been in the making for at least ten years.

The demonstrations did not stop after the invasion of Iraq. They went on.

True credit goes to these people who were out there ten years before it would actually flower into something.

So God bless. That's what... That's what revolutions come from.

11th February at 6:00 p.m., my mother told me, "Open the TV."

This huge, you know, headline was spread across the screen.

And I was screaming and jumping up and down and saying, "He's gone. He's stepped down. He's stepped down."

I don't know. I lost control.

The first thing people of my generation when they met, obviously, you know, you get the hugs and kisses and so on.

But the first words we would say is "We lived to see it."

No matter what happens, even if we end up in the short term having an authoritarian military regime, I think we realize that nobody can do to us what used to be done.

Nobody can boss us around anymore.

No one can enslave us anymore the way Mubarak did, and eventually I think we're going to get rid of the military.

This is one of the fruits of the anti-war movement, of the global anti-war movement, of course.

This, according to a UK intelligence document released today, was a chemical attack which killed more than 300 people in Damascus.

This kind of attack threatens our national security interests.

I don't believe we can let that stand.

Every war that comes along, it's the same damn language.

"They are horrible. They are not human."

"They cannot be trusted. We cannot negotiate with them."

How many times and how many wars?

Take out Vietnam, put in Afghanistan. Take out Afghanistan, put in Iran.

Take out communism, put in terrorism. The same thing.

Hands off Syria! Hands off Syria! Hands off Syria! Hands off Syria!

It was like this feeling that...

Take a deep breath and go full steam ahead.

Once again we are out on the streets to stop yet another war.

The controversial decision to go to war in Iraq, made here ten years ago, has had a profound influence over this debate.

Overwhelmingly, the people of Britain are telling us no to immediate action, no to strikes.

MPs are doing their job.

They are listening to what the public want.

All of our constituents are scarred by the Iraq and Afghanistan experience.

I cannot sit in this House and be duped again.

The well of public opinion was well and truly poisoned by the Iraq episode, and we need to understand the public skepticism.

The MPs in Parliament should do what not enough of them had the guts to do ten years ago and vote against!

Order, order.

Recite.

The ayes to the right 272, the noes to the left 285.

The House of Commons sees itself in a new light today after last night's historic defeat for a British Prime Minister.

It is clear to me that the British Parliament, reflecting the views of the British people, does not want to see British military action.

I get that, and the Government will act accordingly.

What? The retrieval of democracy in the UK?

This is one of the occasions when something sensational has happened in Parliament.

Parliament matters. Yeah.

As of now, I think we would all agree that we're in some kind of state of social revolution.

Quiet, quiet revolution.

MPs have, as you say, listened to the public, and the public was so appalled by what happened under the Prime Ministership of Tony Blair and the Iraq War and the dodgy dossier that actually they say, "No more."

And I have been on this platform over many years, from the time of Suez onwards, over 50 years, and usually we've found that we have lost a battle.

But what we must remember is that all the campaigns we've been engaged in have culminated in the decision taken by Parliament last week.

It's been without any doubt the most powerful political campaign in my lifetime.

We said, "Wow, if the British Parliament is actually listening to the British people, then why can't the US Congress listen to the American people?"

Protestors have been outside the White House almost constantly.

The President has spent days huddled with his advisors at the White House, but when he emerged from the Oval Office, no one expected this outcome.

Many people have advised against taking this decision to Congress.

And undoubtedly they were impacted by what we saw happen in the United Kingdom this week when the Parliament of our closest ally failed to pass a resolution with a similar goal.

Then came the decision that borrowed from David Cameron's playbook.

I will seek authorization for the use of force from the American people's representatives in Congress.

Now we must stand up and act.

Thank you, Mr. Secretary.

The Committee will be in order.

The Committee will be in order.

We don't want another war! May I ask the police to escort her?

Wait a minute! Nobody wants this war!

Launching cruise missiles means another war!

Easy with her. The American people do not want this!

You know, the first time I testified before this Committee when I was 27 years old, I had feelings very similar to that protestor.

That is exactly why it is so important that the Congress itself will act representing the American people.

It was like a magical moment.

It was one of the rare moments that our Congress people were actually listening to us.

And we won. That was the extraordinary part.

We're finished.

History will record this vote on Syria as the time that the American people, thanks in large part to the British people, were able to stop the empire from going to war before it started.

What everybody now knows is that these deranged lefties were absolutely right, that the Stop The War Coalition was incredibly right, whereas all the people with MI6, the CIA, the British Foreign Office, the Prime Minister, the Conservative Party, the mainstream Labour Party, were wrong, and that's quite something.

This handful of people have kept this movement going, and the result is good because it maintains an anti-war presence in British political culture.

If you keep coming back, at some point you will make the change.

If a million people come out on the street in the future, then what government is going to say they're wrong now?

When the last time the public expressed the opposition that way, namely 15th February 2003, history said that the people on the street were right and not the people in the government.

I think it shaped people.

The fact of that march has shaped political debate and the public understanding ever since.

The Iraq War marks a turn in history in this respect, and I'm optimistic about it.

I think there will be less use of military action in the future.


They are few, and we are many, and if we come together, we are a force.

There are two forces at work always.

A hatred of injustice, which makes you angry, and a belief you can make a better world, which makes you optimistic.

And anger and optimism coming together are a very powerful force.