Friday, January 30, 2004
Contribution of Bill Hayton Europe Region editor, BBC World Service
>>We obviously covered the big demonstration [on February 15] in a fair and proper way but we should have reached out more to dig out these voices of dissent.
The stuff that was going on in [RAF] Fairford [the air base from which US B52 bombers took off to bomb Iraq] was staggering. The bombs were on one side of the road and they had to be taken across a public highway into the airfield and they were being driven along at five miles an hour and people would chain themselves on and bomb vehicles kept moving with people chained to them, this is a fantastic story but we didn’t cover it. There was a protest where people went out in buses from London, they were held at a road block several miles from Fairford, for a couple of hours, then turned around and bundled off, they would have been arrested if they didn’t, there was a police escort on all four sides of the coaches. People on the buses rang the BBC newsroom and were told they were lying this couldn’t possibly be happening. These stories were not getting on because we weren’t reaching out to these protestors and these non-traditional voices to get them in.<<<
(Emphasis added, EB)