The first was a demonstration organised by York Against the War on Saturday 15th March. I followed a group that marched first along New Walk to the Eye of York. The main march then made its way to a rally under the Rose Window of York Minster.
The second was an impromptu demonstration on 20th March, the day war started. At lunchtime a group of students, trade unionists and the general public met outside the Mansion House and then demonstrated around the City Centre. That evening a vigil was held and further impromptu demonstrations were held on the streets of the city.
Through all of this, a group of people had set up a peace camp on Fulford Ings just south of the Millennium Bridge. Artworks were created; a tree decorated; parties were held. The camp was short-lived. The peace protesters set up the Rainbow Peace Hotel, squatting in a disused hotel (still empty today). They then moved on to a boarded up public house on the Fulford Road. In August, two of the peace protesters, a mother and daughter, died in a house-fire in Acomb.
Millions of us protested, but the politicians went on with the war regardless. We now know that they lied, lied and lied again in order to take us into these pointless, illegal acts of war. Many, too many, people have died.
And for what?