by New Worker correspondent
HUNDREDS of people gathered in Parliament Square, Westminster on the evening of Monday 4th August to make a counter balance to the official ceremonies commemorating the start of the First World War exactly 100 years ago.
Peace campaigners came to express their horror at the glorification of war and to express concerns it could all too easily happen again.
Chris Knight was one of the protesters. He wore a Tommy's helmet and with a placard around his neck emblazoned with the words of First World War veteran Harry Patch: "War is nothing better than legalised mass murder."
"I think that we do have the country with us,” said Knight, “and the Government are going to have problems, for example, when it comes to the war's Christmas truce, when they will try to conceal the fact that it was fact a mutiny by ordinary British and Germany troops."
The rally was organised by Stop the War and was one of dozens of similar events around the country.
Speakers included Neil Faulkener, Lindsey German and Jeremy Corbyn MP, who read Keir Hardie's anti-war speech of 1914, and supported in absentia by Carol Ann Duffy, whose poem [The Last Post] was read aloud by the writer AL Kennedy.
Neil Faulkener sought to link the Great War to present-day conflicts, telling a crowd of about 150 people: "The first world war created the Middle East of today."
Lindsey German spoke of the role of British imperialism in the Middle East at the time of the First World War, in dividing up the region and creating the problems that have created strife and misery for the people there ever since and laying the basis for the suffering of today’s Palestinians.