Full Text :COPYRIGHT 2004 Birmingham Post & Mail Ltd
Byline: LISA MCCARTHY
THOUSANDS of Bir-mingham anti-war protesters, some dressed in Guantanamo Bay-style orange boiler suits, set off for London today to join a mass demonstration against the continuing occupation in Iraq.
Amongst the protesters heading for the march, which marks the first anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, were a thousand Birmingham Muslims. They were calling for Birmingham terrorist suspect Moazzam Begg to be set free from the Cuban prison camp.
Three of the coaches set off from Birmingham's Central Mosque this morning including chairman
Dr Muhammad Naseem and several supporters dressed in orange boiler suits imitating the prisoners at Guantanamo. It was not clear whether Azmat Begg, Moazzam's father, who has recently been in America to campaign for his son's release, had joined the march.
Adam Yosef, spokesman for the mosque, said: 'We have got about 1,000 people heading to London.
'Our aim is to demand the release of Moazzam and justice for the other detainees.' Moazzam Begg was arrested in Islamabad, Pakistan in February 2002 under the orders of US officials.
The 35-year-old father of four from Sparkhill, who is suspected of having links with Al Qaida, has been holed up in Guantanamo Bay for the past two years. He is being held with fellow Briton Feroz Abbasi, aged 23.
Stop The War Coalition (STWC), CND and Muslim Association of Britain, who organised today's march, claim tens of thousands of people from across the country were joining the London event. Speakers at the rally, which started at Hyde Park before finishing at Trafalgar Square, included London mayor Ken Livingstone, MPs George Galloway, Alice Mahon and Jeremy Corbyn and
MI5 whistleblower David Shayler.
FORTY suspects have so far been captured as fierce fighting in northwestern Pakistan continued today.
Pakistani troops have surrounded a group of Al Qaida fighters.
It is thought that Osama Bin Laden's right hand man, Ayman Al Zawarhi, may be among them.
MARCH: Protesters leaving Birmingham today, and right, Moazzam Begg. Picture: John Reavenall
Source Citation:"THOUSANDS OFF TO RALLY." Birmingham Evening Mail (England) (March 20, 2004): 2