Tony Benn led the line-up of speakers at a meeting packed with over 400 students hosted by the Goldsmiths College Student Union Peace Campaign, and the Islamic Society last week. Also speaking at the south London university were Lindsey German of the Stop the War Coalition, Pat Arrowsmith from CND and Azzam Tamimi of the Muslim Association of Britain.
The successful meeting was one of an array of anti-war events building up to the demonstration on 19 March.
“If this is the size of a student union meeting at Goldsmiths College, you must have a very good student union,” said Benn.
“We’re a peace movement with a positive message. On 19 March we have a big demonstration, and that’ll be on every television channel in the world. Gradually this peace movement will become so strong, no government in the world will dare to take the line they took on Iraq, Afghanistan, and so on. When you’re my age, you’ll be able to look back and say, ‘I did my bit’.”
Rachel Thomas is a third year media and communications student, and activist in the Peace Campaign. She said, “The meeting inspired people to get behind the Peace Campaign and fight for an end to the slaughter of innocent kids in Iraq by that warmonger, George Bush. We built the meeting using chalk on the streets, putting up post-it notes all over college, and writing on the college white boards. This was in addition to thousands of posters and flyers.”
The meeting was an excellent relaunch of the peace campaign on campus, and hundreds of people signed up to join the society.
A Goldsmiths College students union meeting also voted to support interned IT worker Babar Ahmad, as well as calling for the release of all the prisoners who have been detained without trial in Belmarsh prison. The vote was unanimous. Students are now mobilising for the die-in outside parliament called for 15 February as part of a nationwide day of civil disobedience.