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04/04/2006

Anti-war protestors to stage demonstrations at the BBC

Anti-war protestors are planning a series of demonstrations at BBC offices across the UK today.

The Stop The War Coalition said that the protests were in response to the BBC's failure to cover a previous demonstration last month, as well as in protest at the "general pro-government bias" in some of its reporting on the war.

In a letter addressed to BBC Director-General Mark Thompson, the campaign group accused the BBC of displaying a "systematic hostility to the anti-war movement and to those critical of the government's Iraq policy".

The letter added: "We believe that this represents an abandonment of the BBC's charter obligations to impartiality and fairness on matters of political controversy."

The demonstration took place in London on March 18. The Stop The War Coalition estimated that between 80-100,000 people attended the protest, including parliamentary figures from the Labour, Liberal Democrat, Plaid Cymru and Respect parties, as well as famous musician Brian Eno and the parents of several British soldiers who had died in Iraq and an SAS soldier who had recently served there.

The letter said: "It defies belief that you found this event unworthy of the slightest mention. Such an attitude can only undermine belief in the power of peaceful democratic protest."

Protests will be held at BBC offices in London, Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Cambridge, Cardiff, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Norwich, Oxford and Southampton on Tuesday afternoon.

(KMcA)

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