ANTI-WAR activists are preparing a campaign over the summer to end the occupation of Iraq and to bring the government to account for its lies and war crimes. That was the message of a spirited meeting last week which brought together representatives of London Stop the War groups to discuss how to build effective action in the next two months.
Around 120 people attended, including representatives of local groups, CND activists, campaigners for an international war crimes trial of Tony Blair, people from trades councils, union branches, the Green Party, the Socialist Workers Party, the Communist Party and Labour activists. It was generally agreed that the demonstration on 27 September in London can become a major focus for protest at the illegal occupation of Iraq, for opposition to the lies over weapons of mass destruction and for solidarity with the Palestinians.
It can be of a comparable size to previous demos if we start mobilising now by putting up posters, leafleting and holding stalls in local areas, and winning support from unions, school students, community and religious groups. The People's Assembly for Peace, due to take place on 30 August, was projected as examining and discussing the evidence for war, the terrible attacks on civil liberties - most notoriously in Guantanamo Bay but also in Iraq - and the deeper role of US imperialism in the region.
Keith Flett from Haringey Trades Council said that he was arguing for a delegation to the Assembly. These two dates are the most important in the anti-war calendar. Many other issues were discussed - local direct action, the Cairo Conference in October, war crimes trials and solidarity with the Iraqi people.
The mood was that the anti-war movement has been vindicated by recent events, and that the autumn will bring even greater crises for Blair.
With video nights, meetings and interventions in festivals like the Notting Hill Carnival all planned, we are geared up for a big campaign. Already Campbell, Hoon and even Blair are on the rocks. We're determined to make them pay for this terrible war.