Socialist Worker

British politics at the crossroads

Issue No. 1877

Manchester

OVER 300 people packed into a lecture hall at Manchester's UMIST university to hear George Galloway MP, Salma Yaqoob from Birmingham Stop the War Coalition and John Rees from the Socialist Alliance.

The meeting was held following the huge 'British Politics at the Crossroads' meeting in London last week.

An Oxford post office worker who had been involved in the recent wildcat strikes and a local rep from the firefighters' FBU union also addressed the meeting. They set the mood for the rest of the meeting by their defiance of New Labour and Tony Blair.

The meeting reflected the radicalisation and confidence of people brought together in opposition to Bush and Blair's war in Iraq. When the call was made from the platform for a united left opposition to New Labour in the European elections it caught the mood of the audience.

This was the biggest meeting of the left in Manchester for years and shows the potential for a left opposition on the streets as well as the ballot box.
AMEEN HADI

This meeting is available as a video stream from http://tv.oneworld.net/tapestry?storystation887


Harlow

GEORGE GALLOWAY MP spoke to the biggest political meeting in Harlow for at least a decade on Friday of last week.

Despite arriving over an hour late due to traffic, over 120 people stayed to greet him with tremendous applause at the rally.

Galloway attacked the government's lies over the war, the non-existent weapons of mass destruction and their bloody collusion with George Bush's imperialist war aims.

Harlow's New Labour MP, Bill Rammell, one of Blair's ministers, stood condemned for the carnage in Iraq.

Galloway's call for the left to unite and stand a list in the so called 'Super Thursday' elections on 10 June 2004 really caught the mood of the meeting. He argued that it was absolutely essential that the Stop the War Coalition continues to be wide enough to attract Labour Party members and that it must do all in its power to stop Bush's visit to London.

However, he added, 'Beyond the immediate task of organising this, the time has now come for a united political challenge from the left against New Labour's privatisation, racism and war.'

Harlow Socialist Alliance will now host a meeting to discuss how to turn the mood for a united challenge to Blair into a reality in Harlow.
TONY SULLIVAN


London School of Economics

STUDENTS AT the London School of Economics have passed a motion through their students' union general meeting condemning the erection of the 'apartheid wall' through the West Bank in Palestine.

There was a turnout of over 500 students at the meeting. A video link had to be set up to allow them all to take part in the discussion.

Students at the meeting recognised that even in the early stages of construction the wall has already barred some 210,000 Palestinians in enclaves and separated 67 villages from their means of livelihood.
ANNA CROWTHER


Stroud

SOME 200 people came to a rally in Stroud, Gloucestershire, on Thursday of last week.

George Galloway MP addressed the rally. He urged the audience to get to London for the Stop Bush demonstration, saying that Stroud had a proud record in the campaign against the war.He also talked about his idea of an electoral coalition for the elections on 'Super Thursday' in June.

On 10 June the European parliament, London Assembly, Mayor of London and many local councils will be holding elections.

This proposal opened up a debate in the hall, especially from Green Party members, who questioned the wisdom of having several anti-war candidates on the list.

In response to an appeal for unity from a member of the Green Party he said he would take their call a little more seriously had they not devoted the front page of their newspaper and their website to an attack on the Stop the War Coalition. A wide section of the audience applauded him warmly.
PHIL JONES


Brighton

SOME 150 people attended a Brighton rally organised by the Morning Star newspaper at which the editor spoke alongside George Galloway on Tuesday of last week.

George Galloway condemned Bush and Blair's imperialist occupation of Iraq. Both speakers talked about the need for a political alternative to New Labour, a coalition of left wing and anti-war forces, which could challenge Labour in the elections in June.

This was well received by the audience and now the task is to build that alternative locally.
MICHAEL WARDLE


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News
Sat 15 Nov 2003, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1877
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