Socialist Worker

Video of Manchester demo at Gordon Brown's 'coronation'

by Chris Edwards
Issue No. 2056

The video shows scenes from the demonstration and rally as Tony Blair handed over to Gordon Brown at an Emergency Labour Party Conference in Manchester. Thousands of anti-war protesters march past the conference venue at the Bridgewater Hall.

It begins with a 'naming of the dead'. The names of 100 dead people from all sides in the Iraq and Afghan wars are read out. At the end, Stop the War Coalition chair, Andrew Murray, says that it would take 24 hours a day from now until the beginning of October to read the names of all the dead from these wars.

Other scenes show lively singing and chanting by School Students Against the War. The leaders of the Stop the War Coalition (StWC) and Military Families Against the War (MFAW) hand a letter addressed to Gordon Brown to a Labour Party official outside the conference venue. This calls for a radical change of policy and an immediate withdrawal of British troops from Afghanistan and Iraq.

MFAW leader, Rose Gentle, and StWC national chair, Andrew Murray, are seen handing over the letter. Rose Gentle takes the opportunity to request a meeting with Gordon Brown on behalf of the Military Families.

Blair had consistently refused to see them. The answer is evasive and non-commital. The clip ends with a shot of John Rees reminding us that it was the anti-war movement that drove Blair from office after he failed to call for a ceasefire in the attack on Lebanon last year. This was his 'war too far' he said.

Video made by » Chris Edwards

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