Socialist Worker

War has radicalised millions of young people

by Sundara Jerome
Issue No. 2119

The start of the war was a catalyst for thinking about the world and activism for me.

I looked around on the two million strong march in London on 15 February 2003 against the invasion of Iraq and saw all these people who had seen through the lies of our rulers.

When I went to university I found the people involved in Stop the War, and so did lots of other people who had been on that demonstration.

The anti-war movement helped young people to see that war isn’t just an isolated blip, but an integral part of the capitalist system.

Many people, who have grown up with the horrors of this war, are now getting involved in the movement. The movement remains very much alive, with a whole range of experiences and history.

The anti-war movement has helped to politicise and change a generation of young people.

In the universities, students have got involved in other campaigns, such as fighting for free education, in defence of civil liberties or in support of striking nurses.

All of the issues are connected. The money for war should be spent on education and other public services.

For students, the drive to recruit young people to the army has to be resisted on every campus.

With top-up fees set to rise and many not being able to afford to study, the army tries to pose as an attractive prospect for poor students.

It’s the movement’s responsibility to keep up the pressure on our government for the immediate withdrawal of all British troops.

The crisis that our rulers face is down to the pressure piled upon them by the global anti-war movement and the resistance to their occupations.

This has produced splits and divisions among the ruling class, and led to the stalling of George Bush’s plans for increasing US domination of the Middle East and other countries.

The movement will stay on the streets until these bloody occupations have ended.

Sundara Jerome is a student at the University of Manchester

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Article information

Tue 16 Sep 2008, 18:05 BST
Issue No. 2119
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