Socialist Worker

New Stop the War petition connects with mood

Issue No. 2052

The Stop the War Coalition has launched a national petition to be presented to Gordon Brown as an open letter when he takes office.

The petition demands that Brown withdraw the troops within 100 days of coming to office, pursues a foreign policy independent of the US, and declares against an attack on Iran.

Signatories so far include playwright Harold Pinter, writer Iain Banks, former Guantanamo detainee Moazzam Begg and Labour MPs Jeremy Corbyn and Diane Abbott.

A number of activists who have taken the petition round their workmates told Socialist Worker that it connects with the anger felt by many.

Tony Phillips took the petition round at the London fire brigade headquarters. He said, “Everyone in my office signed it and it helped me to build our union meeting.

“One person said that she thought that Brown would pull the troops out of Iraq. But after we had a discussion about Brown and the war and why we need to keep the pressure on, she signed the petition anyway.”

A postal worker in Leicester told Socialist Worker, “A group of us took the petition round our delivery office last week. It was received very well.

“It fits into the general bitterness and anger that people feel over the war and over pay and office closures.”

Rob Jackson, a Unison union rep at Chorlton social services in south Manchester, said that he raised the petition last week at a lunchtime meeting for activists in his building.

“I did a short introduction in the meeting about Brown and public sector pay,” he said. “Then we got on to the Stop the War petition.

“At the end of the meeting, one of the new reps took the petition to other sections.

“Quite a few people at my workplace have been on anti-war demonstrations in the past.

“We have a workplace banner that we made saying ‘Fund pensions, not war’. It’s easy to make connections.”

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Tue 22 May 2007, 18:46 BST
Issue No. 2052
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