How Sheffield protested against the Iraq War in 2003

Thousands of people from Sheffield and South Yorkshire joined massive public protests against the Iraq War in early 2003 as the conflict loomed on the horizon.

Wednesday, 6th July 2016, 1:16 pm
Updated Wednesday, 6th July 2016, 2:17 pm
Flashback from The Star of Iraq war protests following the recent Chilcot report

Sixty coaches from South Yorkshire took around 3,000 people to a massive anti-war march in London attended by an estimated one million people.

That happened a couple of weeks before a demonstration in Sheffield city centre attended by 4,000 people - the biggest peace march ever seen in the city.

Flashback from The Star of Iraq war protests following the recent Chilcot report

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John Parsons, from Greystones and then aged 71, told The Star at the time he was attending his first peace march.

He said: “Bombing innocent civilians will solve nothing.

“While Saddam is an evil man, there must be other ways of dealing with him.

“I haven’t been on a peace march before but I had no hesitation this time. It is the only thing we can do to try and stop this madness.”

Flash back from The Star of Iraq war protests following the recent Chilcot report

Among those to travel to the earlier London protest from South Yorkshire was grandmother Ivy Marshall.

She said at the time: “I am absolutely horrified by the prospect of war. I have lived through one already.

“I came to the march for a better future for my grandchildren and I really hope it makes the difference.”

Mum-of-two Kath Swinney said: “I am thinking of the ordinary people in Baghdad who are the same as us.

Flash back from The Star of Iraq war protests following the recent Chilcot report

“For me, it is the human issues which are bigger than the politics.

“I can visualise that people will die if they drop bombs on Iraq and that is what I can’t stand.”

Despite the protests, MPs voted overwhelmingly to back the decision to go to war in March 2003, with 421 in favour and 263 against.

Those in favour included Sheffield MPs David Blunkett, Clive Betts, Richard Caborn and Meg Munn.

Flashback from The Star of Iraq war protests following the recent Chilcot report
Flashback from The Star of Iraq war protests following the recent Chilcot report
Flash back from The Star of Iraq war protests following the recent Chilcot report
Flash back from The Star of Iraq war protests following the recent Chilcot report
Flashback from The Star of Iraq war protests following the recent Chilcot report