Socialist Worker

Build the movement to stop war on Iraq

by LINDSEY GERMAN, national convenor, Stop the War Coalition
Issue No. 1811

'IT COULD not be clearer. George Bush is going ahead with his invasion of Iraq. Tony Blair is his closest ally in this deadly operation. Blair has, according to some newspaper reports, already agreed to back the US. He plans to avoid a vote in parliament and wants to pretend that most people in Britain agree with him.

October is being suggested as the likely date of an invasion, backed by massive air strikes. There is mass opposition to such a war. We have to make sure that our voice is heard in the coming weeks. There is no time to lose if we are to break Blair from Bush and stop potentially the worst war for decades.

The Stop the War Coalition is mobilising a mass demonstration on 28 September. It is organised with the Muslim Association of Britain and supported by CND. It demands 'Don't attack Iraq' and calls for justice for Palestine. We want every single one of our supporters to turn up themselves, but also to bring their workmates, friends, neighbours and fellow students. We need to turn this into the biggest anti-war rally yet.

On the day of an attack we are urging everyone to follow the call by Tony Benn earlier this year to stop what they are doing in protest at the carnage. This can be walkouts from work or school, lunchtime meetings, student sit-ins, or protests and vigils in town centres. Many of the trade unions, including all the rail unions, the CWU post workers' union and Unison, have policy against war on Iraq. A letter to the Guardian this week rejecting Bush's push for military action and urging the British government not to support war was signed by many union leaders.

They included Bill Morris, Andy Gilchrist, Billy Hayes, Jeremy Dear, Tony Dubbins, Mick Rix, Paul Mackney, Judy McKnight and Bob Crow. Pass a resolution supporting the march and book transport for it now. Win policy for some local action on the day of an attack. Organise activists' assemblies this month to pull together trade unionists, peace campaigners, students and school students to discuss what form the protest will take in your locality.

Get out on the streets with our petition, jointly organised with CND, against the attack. Hold public meetings and film showings to organise opposition to the war. Challenge pro-war MPs to a debate and get anti-war MPs on the platforms. What we do in the next two months can make the difference. We all have to urgently start organising now.'


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Sat 3 Aug 2002, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1811
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