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When Jack met Condi, thousands protested
LIVERPOOL WAS swamped by police and American security personnel on 31 March as US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice visited Liverpool and Blackburn.
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 Students.
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.
In The Socialist 6 April 2006: