2 December 2015: Emergency die-in and protest in Parliament Square as MPs debate and vote on bombing Syria
Thousands returned to Parliament Square for an emergency protest and ‘die-in’ outside parliament on the evening MPs voted on bombing Syria to call on MPs to oppose airstrikes in Syria, which will take the UK into its fourth pointless and bloody war in the last 14 years.
One of the first MPs to come out to speak in Parliament Square was Diane Abbott, told the crowd: “In 24 hours British bombers could be bombing Raqqa. It will be a tragedy. It will not keep the British people safer and will bring forward a further spiral of violence in the region.”
SNP MP Mhairi Black told protestors they were being heard inside parliament.
And she encouraged protestors braving the cold outside, letting them know there are people inside Parliament who stand with them:
Stop the War Coalition chair, Andrew Murray, said MPs from Labour and other parties who support the government should be “branded with infamy for the rest of their political careers”.
Lindsey German, the convener of the Stop the War Coalition, said: “I believe that those Labour MPs are acting against the interests of their constituents and their members. I would say to them: ‘Think again and go into the lobbies to vote no. The war and its consequences will be on your consciences. You will not be able to escape the consequences of this war.’”
Actions took place across the UK, in: Sheffield, Manchester, Barnsley, Bristol, Nottingham, Belfast, Bournemouth and Plymouth. To see a full list, see here.
And internationally, Codepink tweeted from the US:
Peter Brierley, whose son, L/Cpl Shaun Brierley, died in Iraq also spoke.
Even as MPs debated, constituents phoned The House of Commons switchboard, insisting to leave a message against bombing for their MP, while 60,000 wrote to their MPs using Stop the War's online lobbying tool.
The speeches wrapped up around 8pm, but hundreds stayed in the Square under the lights of Westminster’s Christmas tree until after the vote at 10pm.
Source: Stop the War Coalition