WOMEN stood in silent protest against a possible war with Iraq, in a vigil at the University of York.

The event last night echoed the vigils of Palestinian and Israeli women over the last 15 years.

Members of the all-female society known as 51% were led by Laura Potts, of worldwide peace group Women In Black, for the half-hour candle-lit vigil.

"Who, apart from the powerful few, have an interest in war and death and destruction?" Laura asked the women.

"People want to live their lives quietly and peacefully with the people they love."

She said: "I really hope one of the things that will come out of tonight is building a Women In Black group in York."

There will be a Women In Black section at the national demonstration against war in London on Saturday, with a special vigil held outside the National Gallery.

"There is a particular strength in women-only vigils and the kind of message that it sends," said Laura.

Updated: 11:15 Thursday, February 13, 2003