In what must go down as one of the most moving and powerful statements ever to be heard at a Trafalgar Square protest, Stop the War Coalition treasurer Jane Challice read out a statement from the father of US contractor Nick Berg, the young man who was beheaded in Iraq recently.
Michael Berg's statement said, 'My son, Nick, was my teacher and my hero. He was the kindest, gentlest man I know; no, the kindest, gentlest human being I have ever known... George Bush doesn't know my son, and he is the worse for it. George Bush, though a father himself, cannot feel my pain, or that of my family, or of the world that grieves for Nick, because he is a policymaker, and he doesn't have to bear the consequences of his acts... Even more than those murderers who took my son's life, I can't stand those who sit and make policies to end lives and break the lives of the still living... Many have offered to pray for Nick and my family. I appreciate their thoughts, but I ask them to include in their prayers a prayer for peace. And I ask them to do more than pray. I ask them to demand peace now.'
This was only a part of the statement - the full version can be obtained from the Stop the War Coalition.
The thousands who marched on the demonstration are now part of a majority of people who are against war and determined to end the occupation of Iraq. (For more on activities of the Stop the War Coalition see www.stopwar.org.uk.)