It was wan o da proudest moments of my life, standing at da Market Cross wi da idder folk who had helped organise the march and rally.
From 11.30am onwards folk kept coming, streeming doon da lanes, coming up fae da pier, fae north an south alang da street it wis da rallying cry: “No In Wir Name” fir folk in Shetland tae march against the American President George W, Bush led crusade against Iraq.
British Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair and Australian Liberal (Tory) Prime Minister John Howard were willing deputies all shouting the same lies about “weapons of mass destruction”.
Many other countries/American puppets joined in the destruction and rape of Iraq.
An estimated 750 folk marched that day, percentage wise it probably was the largest in the whole country.
Millions marched around the world. Two million in London; 250,000 in Melbourne.
The oilmen were going to war again. President George Bush senior had led the first war, killing thousands of civilians.
The embargo leading up to Bush junior’s war was estimated to have killed over one million bairns through the denial of medicine – pure murder.
Vice president Dick Cheney was head of Halliburton, one of the major players in the petroleum industry.
Halliburton were granted most of the contracts, including employing thousands of mercenaries at one point.
In the second Iraq war the mercenary forces outnumbered the US Army – the privatisation of war had begun.
The last ten years are history now – millions displaced, many hundreds of thousands killed and murdered, Iraq split into sectarian gangs, Saddam Hussein brutally hung.
He was a loyal friend of America, the Central Intelligence Agency CIA helped to eliminate all opposition to him, they supplied weapons in the war against Iran.
They also supplied weapons of mass destruction, along with British and European companies, gas that was later used on his own people, especially the Kurds.
There was no evidence found that any weapons of mass destruction existed when the war began. They had all been destroyed under United Nations supervision. Hans Blix, the UN Monitoring Verification and Inspection Commission in Iraq 2000 to 2003, confirmed this fact.
In one of the most deceitful acts in history governments lied to their people to go to war, lives were destroyed on all sides, and suicide has claimed as many American soldiers as the battlefield.
Afghanistan has a similar history – an unwinnable war with thousands of innocent civilians murdered by “smartbombs” and “drones”.
America went into billions of dollars of debt to finance the wars. In an honest and just world Bush, Blair and Howard would have to face an international court charged with war crimes, crimes against humanity.
Ten years ago we organised our opposition to a criminal act by the Tony Blair led government, cheered on by the Tories.
Folk in Shetland didn’t believe the lie; it was courageous action.
A smaller but no less passionate demonstration was held later outside Sullom Voe Oil Terminal under the banner “No Blood For Oil”.
Steven Gordon’s poster is a masterpiece, I’ve had it in my care since.
The Shetland Times took an anti-war position, most political parties in Scotland were against the invasion – Scottish Socialists, Greens, Nationalists, Lib Dems, while Shetland Labour pathetically toed the party line.
I have had a lifetime of marching:
The 1969 Vietnam Moratorium, in London, was my first march, 20,000 folk.
The 1982 National Health Service defence rally in London with 400,000 was the biggest, in response to Thatcher’s cuts.
Marching wi me family, cousins, schoolmates, workmates, an something which was unusual, folk you didna kent, was very inspirational.
Tae march and have an anti war rally probably was a first at the Lerwick War Memorial where aa wir ancestors are remembered.
Hundreds couldn’t get in tae the Town Hall.
This Friday will be the tenth anniversary of the March and Rally. “Shock and Awe” began, over the following years death and destruction reigned.
Yours in solidarity