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ON FRIDAY 14TH OF MARCH 2003, members of Manchester's expatriate Kurdish community staged a demonstration in Manchester. They wished to highlight the crimes and atrocities committed by Saddam Hussein and are mostly in favour of military action in Iraq to remove Saddam Hussein. They gathered at Whitworth Park and walked along Wilmslow Road and Oxford Road to Piccadilly, where I found them after getting off the 42 bus.

'DO NOT FORGET HALABJA' proclaims a green banner carried by Kurdish protesters who have gathered in the new Piccadilly Gardens after walking from Whitworth Park. Overlooked by the white facades along the east side of Piccadilly, participants are listening to one of the speakers, who is giving a talk in the Kurdish language.

EWM says: The protesters made little attempt to interact with the people around them. All the speeches were given in the Kurdish language.

TWO KURDISH MEN stand proudly next to the Kurdish flag . In front of them is a poster which describes an atrocity committed by Saddam Hussein against the Kurdish people. The men are dressed in brown and grey ethnic costumes with baggy trousers wide belts and white shirts.

EWM says: The Kurdish protesters are quiet and dignified, but don't appear to speak very much English.

A MAN DRESSED IN KURDISH COSTUME carries the Kurdish national flag, horizontal bands of red white and green with a yellow sun in the middle.

EWM says: Whatever your views on the conflict, you can't help being impressed by the dignity and integrity of the Kurdish protesters, who have endured so many injustices in their home country.

A KURDISH PROTESTER wearing a black open-necked shirt and jacket carries a photograph of victims of the 1988 Halabja gas attack.

EWM says: The experience of the Kurdish people deserves careful consideration.


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