Socialist Worker

Military families warn Brown on Iraq disaster

Issue No. 2054

Rose Gentle from Military Families Against the War confronted Gordon Brown when he attended the Labour leadership hustings in Glasgow last Saturday.

Tony Blair repeatedly refused to meet with Rose, whose son was killed in Iraq in June 2004. Rose told Socialist Worker how she collared Blair’s successor.

“I was standing with other anti-war protesters outside the meeting when Brown walked past,” she said.

“I shouted at him, asking if he is going to follow Blair’s legacy in Iraq or whether he is going to bring the troops home.

“Brown turned to look at me but he wouldn’t come over or speak. I asked him when he’s going to come and talk to the families who have lost relatives in Iraq, and whether he’s going to break with George Bush.

“It’s good that we got our message over to Brown before he becomes prime minister.

“We let him know we’re not going away. Military families will be there in Manchester on 24 June when Brown is made leader.

“We’ll be there outside Downing Street on 27 June on the day Brown takes over.

“The following day will be the third anniversary of the death of my son Gordon in Iraq. We won’t let Brown forget what this war means.”


Over 100 anti-war activists joined Rose on a lively lobby of Brown’s meeting.

Keir McKechnie, secretary of Glasgow Stop the War Coalition, told Socialist Worker, “We only found out the venue of the hustings the night before, but anti-war activists were determined to be heard.

“Brown and his entourage had to pass a sea of chanting and singing to get into the meeting.

“We also talked to a lot of Labour Party members going in, and around 25 of those attending signed the Stop the War petition to Gordon Brown.

“Our movement has ensured that the issue of Iraq continues to be a central question in British politics – not least here in Scotland.

“We are following up the lobby of Brown with a fringe meeting at the EIS Scottish teachers’ union this week.

“A teacher from Edinburgh is moving a motion at the conference calling for military recruitment to be banned from schools.”

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Tue 5 Jun 2007, 19:11 BST
Issue No. 2054
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