Socialist Worker

Make 31 October a day of mass protests

Issue No. 1823

GEORGE BUSH IS as determined as ever to attack Iraq. Some newspapers last week claimed a United Nations (UN) deal had averted war. But despite all the manoeuvring at the UN Bush is preparing to attack Iraq. Last week the US continued its huge build-up of weapons in the Gulf. US troops are pouring through the Suez Canal in Egypt. One ship carrying fighter jets has arrived in the Persian Gulf, and another is heading there.

Blair is wholeheartedly behind Bush. British army reservists could be called up within ten days for action against Iraq. Bush and Blair are pushing full steam ahead for war - we have to redouble our efforts to stop them. The Stop the War Coalition day of action on 31 October is more important than ever.

Marches, sit-downs, occupations, and a whole range of activities are organised to make 31 October a day of mass protests and civil disobedience. Inspired Thousands of young people were inspired by taking part in the magnificent anti-war demo on 28 September.

Now they are organising against the war in their colleges. Over 350 London students took part in a rally on Wednesday of last week. The spirit at the rally showed how energetically students are organising college occupations across the city.

Students at the LSE in central London held a 300-strong union meeting where an overwhelming majority passed an anti-war motion. They will meet on 31 October to decide whether to occupy their college in protest against war.

London students are planning their own demonstration that will join a mass demonstration in Parliament Square organised by the Stop the War Coalition. It wants people from every area of London to converge on Parliament Square - along with children, Halloween gear and pumpkins. But it's not just happening in London. Exciting events are being planned for many towns and cities.

Susan from Scarborough told Socialist Worker, 'We're planning to create massive sand sculptures on Scarborough beach saying 'Don't attack Iraq'.' 'This has created controversy in the local press, which has been good for the anti-war campaign.'

We can organise anti-war activities everywhere. Even small towns and villages are organising for the 'Don't attack Iraq' day of action. Gamlingay, a village in Cambridgeshire, has a vigil and procession already planned. And the anti-war movement is growing in workplaces.

The York city branch of Unison agreed to 'ask members to support a five-minute work stoppage at 11am on 31 October in memory of the 500,000 Iraqi children who have died due to US/UN sanctions, and protest against the deaths of any more'. With unprecedented levels of union support for the Stop the War Coalition, there are hundreds of workplaces where similar motions could be passed.

For more information on activities in your area phone the Stop the War Coalition on 020 7053 2155 or go to

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Sat 26 Oct 2002, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1823
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