November 27, 2005

100,000 Rings: In Remembrance of the Iraqi Civilian and Military Dead

Two women were arrested on Friday 25th November while holding a
bell-ringing ceremony outside Parliament as part of an international peace
event to mark the anniversary of the release of the Lancet study on 29th
October 2004 which estimated 100,000 people had died since the
beginning of the war in Iraq.

Anna-Linnéa, the other bell-ringer, said:"The fact that two women,
unarmed and totally open, accountable and nonviolent, get arrested for
ringing a bell in a remembrance ceremony outside Parliament proves how
much the authorities fear the truth. What we have to say is clearly
important since the government clamps down on us in this way."

The women were arrested for being 'participants in an unauthorised
demonstration'. The police were very reluctant to arrest and briefly
authorised the protest but then banned it again when the women refused to
give their details on the grounds that if the demonstration was now
'authorised' they should not be obliged to give their names.

The police also helpfully suggested that the two women join Brian Haw
on the opposite pavement as he is the only person exempt from the laws
ironically introduced to prevent his permanent anti-war display.

One policeman was heard saying 'I wish I could join you. I wish I
could do what you're doing. This is filthy. This is very hard for all of

The women were taken to Charing Cross police station but later
released without charges. As well as being reluctant to arrest, the Police
also seemed concerned at the possibility of two more people challenging
the new laws.

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