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Protests against British intervention in Syria

Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets across the UK last night in rallies to protest against British military intervention in Syria ahead of parliamentary vote on whether Britain should join France and the US in their bombing campaign in Syria.

“We are here to say one simple thing: ‘Don’t bomb Syria’,” the convenor of the Stop the War Coalition, Lindsey German, said addressing the crowd in Parliament Square, London.

Prime Minister David Cameron maintains that military action in Syria is needed to prevent Daesh-linked terrorist attacks in Britain.

In 2013, the British parliament rejected military action against Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad. However, the Paris attacks last month appear to have swayed parliamentary opinion.

Richard Burgeon MP, who also spoke at the demonstration, said: “Our parliament which got it so disastrously wrong on Iraq, our parliament which got it so disastrously wrong on Libya is, in my view, about to get it disastrously wrong on Syria.”

Chants of “Don’t bomb Syria” and “No more war” rang out across Parliament Square as approximately 4,000 protesters marched to the Labour and Conservative party headquarters, calling on MPs to vote against military intervention.

George Galloway, the former MP for Bradford West, told MEMO: “I haven’t given up hope that we can win this vote in parliament tomorrow evening, and I am certain that we can deprive the prime minister of the clear majority which he said was necessary before Britain entered the war in Syria.”

Christine, a protestor from Eastbourne, said she was furious with the UK government for suggesting bombing Syria. “Where they intend to bomb there are innocent people, innocent women and children, that have nothing to do with ISIS,” she told MEMO, using another acronym for Daesh.

“Syria might have terrorists that could attack us, but ISIS is not going to be stopped by bombing Syria. In fact, what could happen is that by bombing Syria we may turn some people against us and make them join ISIS.”

Calling for yesterday’s emergency protest, a statement by Stop the War Coalition read: “Britain has been the most aggressive country in Europe over the last 15 years, leading military interventions in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. Yet it has done little to help the victims of the wars it so enthusiastically pursues and it has been at the forefront of opposing a humane policy towards refugees. Another destructive bombing campaign is no solution whatsoever. ”

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