LIVERPOOL WAS swamped by police and American security personnel on 31
March as US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice visited Liverpool and
The Socialist Party and Socialist Students helped build for the demo,
including an interview on Radio Merseyside. Protesters gathered outside
the Catholic cathedral, angry that Jack Straw had invited one of the
masterminds behind the US and UK-led invasion of Iraq here without
consulting the people about whether they wanted this visit.
An estimated 2,000 people demonstrated at a concert at the
Philharmonic Hall. Socialist Party members sold papers and magazines and
handed out hundreds of leaflets about the Socialist Party and Socialist
Many young people attended the demo; some of them carried a coffin to
remind Rice of the thousands of dead Iraqi civilians. Although,
predictably, ‘Condi’ was screened and did not come face to face with the
demonstrators, the huge amount of noise from protesters could be heard
within the theatre.
After the demos in both cities, Condoleezza Rice tried to make light
of them saying she was glad that people were using their
"democratic right" to free speech and protest. However, she
publicly admitted that America had made "thousands of tactical
errors in Iraq" but refused to recognize that this had resulted in
the current climate of violent chaos there.
So, the Socialist Party and the anti-war movement still have work to
do but at least they can’t ignore us.