Socialist Worker

Activists building for mass anti-war protests

by Esme Choonara
Issue No. 2037

Across England new people are getting involved in building the 24 February demonstration called by Stop the War, CND and the British Muslim Initiative.

Hind Hassan, president of Leeds University Stop the War society, said, “New students are getting involved – far more than last year. Students from Amnesty, People and Planet, Respect and others came to our first organising meeting to build the demo.


“We are organising a day of stunts on campus on 19 February to publicise the demo – with a public meeting to discuss some of the issues around the occupation of Iraq to end the day.”

Also in Leeds, activists in Harehills Stop the War report growing interest in the demo. “Lots of shops around Harehills are putting up posters in their windows,” said Katie Wheatley. “We have also been out leafleting and we are mailing a lot of supporters in the area.

“Twenty people from our group recently lobbied our local MP George Mudie at his surgery in Harehills. We have collected hundreds of signatures on the Stop the War open letter against Islamophobia, including those of a couple of local councillors, so we took that along too.”

Tom Woodcock from Cambridge told Socialist Worker, “We have already filled our first coach for the demo.

We are getting a great response when we are leafleting or doing street stalls. People want to talk about how to get the British troops out of Iraq and what will happen if the troops leave.

“We are getting support from the unions. My own union, the NUT teachers’ union, has donated £150 to help subsidise students to come on the coach.

“Support is also being raised in the CWU and Unison unions.”

In Waltham Forest, north east London, 90 people came to a public meeting last week. Speakers included Clare Short MP.

Rob Ferguson, convenor of Waltham Forest Stop the War, said, “About half the audience were new people, including several Labour Party members.

“Clare Short powerfully expressed her anger at the government’s lack of accountability for the war on Iraq. She was adamant in her opposition to an attack on Iran and reminded the audience that what we do can make a difference.”


In Handsworth, Birmingham, around 50 people went to a Stop the War public meeting last week. Matt Raine said, “The meeting brought together people from the Labour Party, the Indian Workers Association, the Muslim community and Respect.

“The terror raids took place that morning and the meeting was united in the need to stand alongside the Muslim community and not leave them isolated as the police and the media stoked up Islamophobia.”

There is growing support for the Scotland-wide Stop the War conference this Saturday, 10 February, in Glasgow.

Trade union support now includes the Scottish TUC general council, the Scottish regions of the T&G and FBU, Glasgow University joint trade union committee, the UCU lecturers’ union at Dundee University and Stirling University, Edinburgh City Unison, Glasgow University’s SRC student body as well as a number of teaching union branches and trades councils.

Conference organisers have taken out an advert in the Big Issue, paid for by one-off donations from a number of supporters, including author Iain Banks.

Keir McKechnie, secretary of Glasgow Stop the War, said, “The response has been really good. At Carrington Street mosque in the West End of Glasgow, one activists has sold 25 tickets on his own.”

Go to

  • Saturday 10 February, 10am-5pm
    Resistance to war,

    building for peace
    Sir Charles Wilson building, Glasgow University, Gibson Street
    Speakers include:

    Kate Hudson, Craig Murray, Yvonne Ridley, Anas Al?Tikriti, Walter Wolfgang, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Lindsey German, Moazzam Begg, Rose Gentle, Pauline McNeill MSP, Sandra White MSP, Mike Brider, Kenny Ross,

    Dr Azzam Tamimi,

    John McDonnell MP
    E-mail [email protected]
    Phone 07866 176 960

  • Thursday 15 February, 7pm
    No Trident replacement
    London rally
    Friends Meeting House, Euston Road, WC1
    Speakers: Tony Benn, George Galloway MP,

    John McDonnell MP,

    Sophie Bolt CND, Lindsey German StWC, British Muslim Initiative speaker

  • Sunday 18 February, 7pm

    Inn on the Green, 3-5 Thorpe Close, Ladbroke Grove W10.
    Music from: Nizar al-Issa (Oud and voice), Sameh Moussa (Arabic/Flamenco guitar), Anushka Nanayakkara (Voice), Parapar (Bengali folk blues), Hamra (Jazz and Persian).

    Words from: Elvis McGonagall (World Poetry Slam Champion), Poetic Justice. £7 (£5 concs) Phone 07729 464 497

Across the country local Stop the War Coalition groups are holding rallies in the run up to the 24

demonstration February.

For details of rallies in Coventry, Huddersfield, London, Manchester, Merseyside and York go to Meetings, events and demonstrations

For more events go to Phone 020 7278 6694 e-mail [email protected]

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Article information

Sat 10 Feb 2007, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 2037
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