Photos of the activities of the Free Kuwait Campaign in London, UK, August 1990 through March 1991
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The Free Kuwait Campaign

For more about the FKC committees and other organizations, visit Committees.
For scenes from a later protest at the Iraqi Embassy, click here.

Kuwaitis at home and abroad awoke on the morning of August 2, 1990, to the news that Iraq had overrun their country and, within a week, to the news that their nation had vanished. Their immediate response: resistance at home and appeals abroad for help to oust the invaders.

Though as yet nameless, the UK’s Free Kuwait Campaign began within hours of the invasion when a few Kuwaiti graduate students gathered in London to react to the crisis. They issued the first written statement denouncing the invasion, and they held a hastily organized march from the Kuwaiti Embassy to the nearby Iraqi Embassy, where a protest letter was delivered to the Embassy staff. The next day, these students formed the Kuwaiti High Committee to coordinate and oversee handling of the crisis. To no avail, street protests continued at the Iraqi Embassy daily for several days.

To achieve restoration of Kuwait’s nationhood, the High Committee aimed to motivate all Kuwaitis in Britain and Ireland to work toward this end and to enlist British, Arab, and world public opinion to back their cause.

 

As the crisis persisted, the High Committee created 19 subordinate committees with a combined total of nearly 200 members to carry out a multiplicity of functions including public relations, research, social activities, and assistance for Kuwaitis in need. Public relations efforts encompassed media monitoring, contact, and interviews; creation of literature in English and Arabic; participation in debates, political meetings, conferences, and TV news programs; and organization of such newsworthy events as ceremonies, marches, and rallies. The social activities aimed to create cohesion among Kuwaiti exiles and to boost morale. Despite a communications blackout in Kuwait, evidence of the FKC’s activities regularly reached and reassured the beleaguered population that they had not been forgotten and that hope for liberation was no pipe dream.

Instrumental in facilitating the FKC’s work was the prior existence of the National Union of Kuwaiti Students. Its student administrators formed the High Committee, its headquarters in London became the FKC headquarters, and, due to NUKS, a structure was already in place for liaison with Kuwaiti campus activists throughout the UK and Ireland.

A member of the British public, in a letter written 2 days after liberation, summed up the achievement of the FKC.

 
Invasion Protested in London
Invasion Protested in London
Kuwaiti protests at the Iraqi Embassy began on the afternoon of the invasion. On the evening of August 3, Michael Lorrigan (on left), with his cardboard Saddam effigy, left his home in Bristol and the next day and the day after joined Kuwaitis protesting at the Iraqi Embassy. By his 3rd day in London, Lorrigan discovered the nascent Media Committee and for the next 7 months became one of its most dedicated members. Lorrigan had previously worked in Kuwait for 8 years as a teacher and deputy headmaster.
(Photo by George Jaworskyj, August 4, 1990, for the next day’s Sunday Times.)

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