Anti-war protesters pile dung outside Labour HQ

Wednesday March 5, 2003 3:37 PM

Anti-war protesters led by comedian Mark Thomas have heaped fertiliser on the steps of the Labour Party headquarters.

Bemused passers-by looked on as seven sacks of dung were spread near the door of the party offices in Old Queen Street, Westminster, in a protest against conflict in Iraq.

Mr Thomas told a camera crew at the scene: "This is what the people of Britain think of the second UN resolution, which despite the Government's claims, does not specifically call for war on Iraq."

The comedian, who has been involved in a number of protests in the past, left shortly afterwards with the rest of the group after police arrived at the scene.

On top of the heap of dung they left anti-war white ribbons and signs on posts stuck into the pile saying: "US/UK 2nd Resolution" and "Blair-Bush 2nd Resolution" over the picture of a cow.

A blue van carrying the dung and about five protesters made it to the security sensitive Westminster HQ without being challenged.

The protest took place just 50 yards from the Queen Elizabeth II Conference centre, which is hosting an annual Ministry of Defence symposium.

Freelance journalist, Richard Bingley, said: "This blue van just rattled down the road at about 15 miles an hour before it stopped and the group started spreading the manure on the steps.

"It was just before the morning rush and there were people looking on a bit bemused and bewildered by what was going on.

"Everyone just said 'good for them' and people were obviously aware that this was Labour's HQ. It suggested there was sympathy for what they were trying to do."