Over 200 activists met last Saturday at a conference on the “war on terror” organised by the Stop the War Coalition as the tenth anniversary of the Afghanistan war approaches.
Sessions ranged from imperialism today to the Middle East uprisings. It ended with a call for an occupation of Trafalgar Square on 8 October, the anniversary itself.
“We’re fed up of marching from A to B,” said George Galloway. “We’re going to occupy public space in London until these wars end.” US anti-war author David Swanson agreed, saying, “We are going to Washington to stay.”
The conference heard from Tunisian and Bahraini activists. Saeed Shehabi, a Bahraini, highlighted the role of Saudi Arabia, saying, “When it invaded Bahrain it was supported by the West.”
Kaouther Ferjani said, “As a Tunisian, an Arab and a human I’ve been proud of the bravery people have shown.”
She admitted that she was “one of the people who got excited when the no-fly zone was voted in” over Libya. But she added that what has happened since has “woken us all up”. “Our countries don’t need any Western intervention,” she said.
Author and activist Tariq Ali agreed. “The task of removing those regimes is the task of the people in those countries,” he said.