Vigils across the country mark UK's 100th military casualty
"I did not think it was his place to be there, it was not his war. I think it is a damn disgrace - these lads should be taken home to their parents. They shouldn't be there at all. I don't think Tony Blair should have put any kids out there."
Across the country on Tuesday and Wednesday vigils marked the UK's 100th military casualty, Cpl Pritchard (pictured right with Tony Blair last year).
Almost every paper took led with the story - even the Daily Mail's front page was taken up by a photo of Cpl Gordon Pritchard, accompanied by the headline “How many more Mr Blair?”, and the Daily Express announced “Our 100th soldier is killed for a lie”.
These vigils read out the names of the British soldiers that had been killed and also just some of the names of those Iraqis who have been killed during the course of the war and called for the occupation to end.
The Green Party has been
highlighting the fact that since the occupation began around 250 academics
have been assassinated in Iraq. Not a single person has been brought to
any of these murders.
MEP Caroline Lucas has called for a UN investigation into the killings and pointed out many thousands of Iraqi educators have been forced to abandon their jobs and flee in fear of their lives.
Speaking as news broke of the 100th British soldier to die in Iraq, Dr Lucas said: “Iraq is undergoing a major brain drain, and can ill afford to lose academics and teachers to a continuing wave of violence. Iraq’s education system, once one of the best in the region, has been decimated: some 84 per cent of the country’s higher education institutions have been burnt, looted or destroyed, according to the United Nations University.
“These assassinations, which appear to be countrywide, non-partisan and non-sectarian, must be investigated by the UN Special Rapporteur on summary executions – and those responsible brought to justice. Iraq needs security and stability, but it is clear that the continued US and UK occupation is contributing to the problem, not the solution.”
Colin Fox, the convenor of the Scottish Socialist Party said that "Tony Blair now has the blood of 100 soldiers of the British Army and countless innocent Iraqi's on his hands and for what?
"We are sending our young people to die thousands of miles from home in a war that does not concern them, a war for oil, a war about which the government have persistently lied to the people. Our troops are not in Iraq to keep the peace, they are there as an occupying force, and as such, Iraqis resisting the illegal invasion will continue to target them.
"We demand the immediate
withdrawal of troops from Iraq - no ifs, no buts, no 'maybe next years'."
Some of the press
Demonstrate on Saturday 18
March Troops Home From Iraq
Don't Attack Iran
Assemble 12 noon Parliament Square
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