MPs George Kerevan and Angus MacNeil attend Iraq vigils amid Chilcot Report fallout

Nathanael Williams

In response to the release of the Chilcot Report there have been protests and demands for full accountability and atonement

THIS morning in Edinburgh, Glasgow and London there were strong protests and vigils in reaction to the formal publication of the Chilcot Inquiry in to the 2003 Iraq war. 

At 10.30am this morning gatherings were organised by the Stop the War Coalition, known for its firm opposition to the conflict. Thirteen years ago it was the driving force behind the large protests seen in Scotland and around the rest of the UK.

"After seven years the truth must out. The Chilcot Report must not be a whitewash. Chilcot must tell the world that Blair lied." Chris Nineham

The Stop the War Coalition was founded in 2001 to stop the military intervention in Afghanistan, then proposed by the US and its allies in the aftermath of the attacks on the World Trade Centre.

In 2003 it brought together two million people – Britain’s largest demonstration – in opposition to the UK invasion of Iraq.

Hundreds of people, including families who lost loved ones in Iraq, were at the Queen Elizabeth Conference Centre in London demanding the truth from Chilcot seven years after its opening. 

A press release from the group stated: "We demand to know why Blair took the country to war. What deals Blair made with George Bush and the extent to which parliament was mislead."

The event publicised as 'Iraq war: Naming of the Dead' was attended by prominent members of the group, long time opponents of the war and parliamentarians.

Read more: 8 key findings from the Chilcot Report and why they matter

Veterans, MPs and celebrities stood at landmarks and began proceedings by reading the names of both British troops and Iraqi nationals who lost their lives during the war and occupation of Iraq. 

Prominent Scots MPs from the SNP were present, including George Kerevan MP and Angus MacNeil MP alongside notable journalist and critic of US foreign policy John Pilger. A leading campaigner, Chris Nineham, said: “After seven years the truth must out. The Chilcot Report must not be a whitewash. Chilcot must tell the world that Blair lied."

Sir John Chilcot had previously stated that the inquiry was not commissioned to assess or accord blame but instead to see "what lessons could be learned in future." This already increased fears of campaigners and allies of the group that the inquiry has not answer the questions they feel necessary.

Picture courtesy of  Julia Davidson

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