Thousands gathered across the UK on Saturday in rallies organized by the Stop The War coalition to stand against British Prime Minister David Cameron’s proposal for airstirkes in Syria.
The main protest took place at Downing Street in Central London.
Protestors carried signs that read “Don’t bomb Syria”, “We say no bombs listen this time,” referring to the previous British involvement in the 2003 Iraq war.
Labour Party MP Diane Abbot was at the protest to support the party leader Jeremy Corbyn’s stance towards the conflict.
“David Cameron has not made the case at this point for bombing Syria. At this point, I do not believe bombing Syria will make it safe anymore than bombing Iraq made Iraq safe, “Abbott said in a short speech at the demonstration.
The opposition Labour Party, which has not announced its position on Cameron’s plans, is publicly divided on the issue after party leader Jeremy Corbyn announced he would not personally back them.
“I do not believe the Prime Minister’s current proposal for airstrikes in Syria will protect our security and therefore cannot support it,” Corbyn told party colleagues in a letter sent Thursday evening.
Lindsey German, who organized the Downing Street protest for Stop the War had a message for MPs s in parliament, “You have made a disastrous mistake in 2003 when you voted for war. Do not make the same mistake again.”
Syria Solidarity UK published a statement on its webside saying that they did not support the demonstrations.
“Syria Solidarity UK and Stop the War have very different concerns regarding Syria: Syria Solidarity is concerned with ending the suffering of Syrians under the Assad dictatorship; Stop the War with opposing any UK military involvement regardless of consequences for Syrians,” said the statement.
Britain has been striking Daesh targets in Iraq from the air since September 2014, although Cameron has long wanted to broaden the mission to include the northern Syrian city of Raqqa. Such a move would require parliamentary approval.
Britain cannot wait for a representative government to emerge in Syria and must launch immediate airstrikes to eradicate Daesh, U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron has said in a statement at House of Commons on Thursday.
Parliament is expected to vote next week.