Socialist Worker

Anti-war feeling in colleges helps build day of action

Issue No. 2077

The Stop the War Coalition is mobilising against the US, France and Britain’s threats against Iran. Its recent conference called for two days of action next week to highlight the growing danger of the extension of the “war on terror” to Iran.

Students across the country are mobilising to make the day of action planned for Thursday of next week as big as possible.

Essex

Dominic Kavakeb, from the University of Essex Stop the War group, told Socialist Worker, “The huge audience for anti-war ideas was shown by a 250-strong meeting in Essex with former Guantanamo prisoner Moazzam Begg on Wednesday of last week.

“Afterwards people from other university societies approached me to say they wanted to join in the day of action. Thirty people came to our organising meeting on Monday of this week to discuss our plans.

“We decided we want to have a visual presence on campus all day. A representative from the Amnesty group was at the meeting. They are ordering a number of Guantanamo Bay type jumpsuits, which we will use to draw people over to the stall.

“We will be asking people to sign the pledge to take part in direct action if Iran is attacked.”

Manchester

Andrew Cunningham, the campaigns officer for the University of Manchester student union, told Socialist Worker, “We are organising alongside students from Manchester Metropolitan University for the day of action.

“We are planning to hold rallies outside each student union at 1pm on the day and then march down Oxford Road to meet up together. Both Stop the War groups are leafleting and postering for the event.

“At Manchester we are also defending our union being twinned with the Palestinian An Najah university in Nablus on the Palestinian West Bank. There is a threat of this being overturned at a general meeting on Wednesday of this week.”

London

Clare Solomon, from the Stop the War group at the School of Oriental and African Studies, said, “We’re going for a visual protest stunt on the day of action and are planning a mass ‘die-in’ at 12 noon on the steps of the main college building.

“We want to spark a debate and to make our feelings clear to the government. We are calling for everyone to wear black on the day and we will be handing out black armbands as a symbol of support and mourning for those who have already died in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“In the run-up to the day of action we will be distributing poppies handmade from recycled campaign flyers and asking for donations towards Campaign Iran.”

John Cooper from King’s College Stop the War in London said, “We are planning a ‘die-in’ at the main entrance to King’s to raise awareness about the threat of an attack on Iran.

“We are also holding a public meeting that afternoon with Sami Ramadani. At the meeting we will have a speaker talking about how we can organise on campus in the event of an attack on Iran.

“We are holding weekly organising meetings, and we are trying to get different groups from the student union to come along to the meetings and help build the day of action.”

Two days after the student day of action Stop the War groups around the country will be organising their own campaigning day on Iran on Saturday 24 November.

For more information about the Stop the War Coalition go to » www.stopwar.org.uk


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Tue 13 Nov 2007, 17:50 GMT
Issue No. 2077
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