Anti-war protesters gathered in Chester ’s Town Hall Square to express anger at the West’s bombing of Syria.
The demo was called by Stop the War coalition in opposition to President Donald Trump, Theresa May and Emmanuel Macron ‘sending bombs to Syria’ with placards bearing the tag line ‘Not in my name’.
Organiser Helen Rutherford-Gregory, who is also a member of Chester Labour Party , said: “Stop the War is mainly about influencing our own government to realise that war isn’t the answer.
“There’s been an opportunity to go through the UN , follow the investigations process, diplomacy, things like that, but it’s been ignored and they’ve gone straight to bombing.”
She added: “I cannot speak for Theresa May or Donald Trump but it feels like it was predestined, that they were ready to bomb.”
“If we had a nerve gas attack on our own soil then yes there could be a threat but there’s been no real investigations. It’s a lot of speculation at the moment and contradictory information,” added Helen, who fully supports Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s call for a War Powers Act that would compel UK governments to seek parliamentary approval before going to war unless the country was in imminent danger.
Helen, who lives in Chester with husband Chris, supports the ‘brave’ stance of her Labour leader who has been a peace campaigner all his political life.
She said: “Corbyn wants to get in there and broker peace. I think that’s what the Syrian people need. We need them to stop being attacked with chemical weapons and bombs.
“We are hearing messages saying the Syrians were welcoming the attacks. It’s a terrifying thing that people are welcoming bombs on their own country because they’re frightened of Assad. But do they really want a proxy war between Russia and America in their skies because all we’ve helped to do is ignite it and escalate it.”
Many have questioned the wisdom of bombing chemical weapons plants in case dangerous toxins are dispersed into the air.
Helen, who is the founder of the SisterHub network for women in business, commented: “You’ve also got to think if you are damaging the chemical weapons factories, is that equipment going to be available for people to come and loot and take away from those bomb sites?”
Helen criticised the government’s decision to ‘turn away’ 3,000 Syrian child refugees by scrapping a commitment to offer them sanctuary on top of the 20,000 refugees already being resettled here.