Socialist Worker

Stop the War activists debate how to fight imperialism

Issue No. 2293

Over 150 delegates and observers attended Stop the War Coalition’s annual conference last Saturday.

Activists spoke from Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq and across the Middle East.

Mitra Qayoom from Afghans for Peace began the conference by reading out the names of children killed by Nato airstrikes in Afghanistan in the last few months.

She said, “I returned to Afghanistan last year for the first time in 20 years—no progress has been made. The lives of women are getting worse.”

There were debates about Syria and a possible attack on Iran.

Longstanding peace campaigner Tony Benn, who is also president of the coalition, said that “internal disputes are used as an excuse by the West for intervention”.

A motion was passed recognising that “many anti‑war activists have differing views on the nature of the struggle in Syria”.

But it called for unity “around the demand on which we all agree—no Western military intervention”.

George Galloway rounded off the conference with a speech about Iran and imperialism. There he announced that he will stand for MP in the upcoming Bradford West by-election.

The conference also heard from students building Stop the War in their universities and from people building Stop the War in their towns and localities.

Hugh Lanning from the PCS union addressed the conference saying, “We have to put the argument against warfare and link it to the defence of welfare.”

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Tue 6 Mar 2012, 18:39 GMT
Issue No. 2293
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