Anti-war protesters stage rally in Portsmouth

Whitehall watchdog hits out at ‘unaffordable’ defence plan

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Anti-war protesters have gathered in Guildhall Square to make their voices heard about the potential Syrian conflict.

The group felt that it was still necessary to protest despite the government voting to not get involved with the war on Thursday.

RALLY Anti-war protesters in Guildhall Square, Portsmouth

RALLY Anti-war protesters in Guildhall Square, Portsmouth

The Portsmouth protest coincided with another protest taking place in Trafalgar Square in London.

The protest had been organised by anti-war website stopthewar.org.uk and saw dozens of people take to the steps of the Guildhall in the centre of Portsmouth.

John Ridden, 42, from Denmead came to the protest.

He said: ‘I came to stand in solidarity with the other people here today. War is not the answer. A lot of people get hurt, killed and maimed in the process and it is big business for some countries.’

Jon Woods, 49, from Southsea took to the microphone to address the crowd. He said: ‘We are protesting against the bombing of Syria by any of the Western governments. We think bombing would make the situation worse, cause civilian casualties and make a horrible situation worse.

He added: ‘The regime in Syria is an appalling regime with war crimes but bombing it would not solve the situation, it would develop a logic of its own which would be very liable to escalate, spread far beyond Syria and inflame the Middle East. That’s a very real problem. We have to keep the pressure on the government not to get involved.’

Dave Fysh, from Southsea, said: ‘I think we need a belt and braces approach. Just because it’s been decided that Britain is not going to bomb doesn’t mean the situation is over.’

Another protest will take place if a strike was to be made by Britain.

The protest would be held at the Portsmouth Guildhall at 6pm in any such instance.

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