Socialist Worker

Anti-war movement plans protest outside airbase

by Matthew Cookson
Issue No. 2029

 (Illustration: Leon Kuhn)

(Illustration: Leon Kuhn)


Stop the War and CND activists are set to protest outside the Brize Norton RAF base in Oxfordshire this Saturday, 2 December.

This is the main transport base from which British troops fly to join the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan.

The national demonstration will march to the gates of the base to demand the immediate withdrawal of British troops from both countries.

Andrew Burgin of the Stop the War Coalition spoke to Socialist Worker about the protest.

“Brize Norton is the base used to take troops and equipment to Iraq and Afghanistan. It is also the place where troops are brought back when they die,” he said.

“We are going there for two reasons. The first is to express our opposition to the war and the continuing transportation of troops and equipment.

“But we are also protesting there to express the futility of the deaths of British soldiers. We will be marking their deaths and those of all who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan because of Tony Blair’s unnecessary and disastrous wars.

“This will be an important demonstration. People are travelling from across the country to attend.

“It will be a significant protest in the light of defence secretary Des Browne’s comments about the withdrawal of British troops from Iraq.

“It is one of a number of demonstrations and meetings that the Stop the War Coalition is organisng in the campaign to get the troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Brize Norton is also a crucial base for the US and its “war on terror” operations.

It was used to refuel US military flights taking weapons to the Israeli army for use during its assault on Lebanon in July and August this year.

The CIA uses Brize Norton as a staging post to fly people to secret destinations to be tortured as part of its “extraordinary renditions” programme. Brize Norton is also used to deport asylum seekers back to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Activists can still get to the Brize Norton protest.

Coaches are going from Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge, Leicester, Liverpool, London, Oxford, Reading and Swindon.

Assemble 12 noon, Carterton Road, Brize Norton Village, Oxfordshire. For details go to www.stopwar.org.uk or phone 020 7278 6694.


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Sat 2 Dec 2006, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 2029
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