Socialist Worker

Support grows for Stop the War protest in Manchester

by Chris Nineham, Stop the War Coalition (pc)
Issue No. 2116

There has been a sudden burst of interest in the Saturday 20 September anti-war demonstration at the Labour Party conference in Manchester.

The war in Georgia has shaken people by raising the prospect of confrontation between major powers.

New Labour's support for Georgia has proved it is still shoulder to shoulder with George Bush, even as he marches towards the exit.

Despite Gordon Brown's promises, the same number of British troops are in Iraq as last year. The situation in Afghanistan is critical.

Union branches have been sending messages of support and money to the Stop the War Coalition.

On top of the usual national backers, Bectu, the broadcasting union, has donated to Stop the War and said it is bringing its national banner to the protest.

Tony Benn, Seumas Milne, Lindsey German, Terry Eagleton, Sami Ramadani and others are touring the country in the next few weeks to speak at meetings.

Coaches have been booked from a host of towns and cities. Activists report a fantastic reception when they campaign against the escalation of the war in Georgia.

All the indications are a huge number of people blame Nato expansion and Western provocation for the Georgian crisis. For the first time members of military families are speaking out against the occupation of Afghanistan.

At a time of turmoil and discontent in Labour, the Manchester demonstration is a big chance to make our voices heard.

Stop the War has printed up Tony Benn's appeal to the public to protest against the war at the conference.

We are asking every group to order thousands of copies, to put on at least one coach to the Manchester demonstration, to organise a meeting about the current crisis and to draw up a campaign to publicise the demonstration with stalls, stunts, workplace visits and mass leafleting.

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