Socialist Worker

Building up a head of steam

by Tracy Martin, Stop the War Coalition
Issue No. 1937

Anti-war protesters at the World Social Forum in Brazil	(Pic: Jess Hurd

Anti-war protesters at the World Social Forum in Brazil (Pic: Jess Hurd

ANTI-WAR ACTIVITY has stepped up around the country in the build up to the 19 March national demonstration demanding an end to the occupation of Iraq.

In the last week we have seen a 500-strong meeting in Birmingham, while 200 people from Lambeth and Southwark, south London, heard former minister Kate Hoey speak out against the occupation of Iraq.

Another 170 people in Tottenham, north London, heard former Territorial Army (TA) soldier George Solomou explain why he had resigned from the TA in protest against the war. More than 50 school students held a conference at the weekend to plan their next round of activity against the war.

We are also getting ready for our annual conference next Saturday, 12 February, with Tony Benn, RMT rail workers’ union leader Bob Crow and Iraqi academic Sami Ramadani speaking.

As well as discussing building for the national demonstration on 19 March we will be talking about the issues raised by the elections last weekend and the withdrawal of troops from Iraq.

On the anniversary of the huge demonstration on 15 February 2003, we are planning a mass die-in at Parliament Square. It starts at 4pm and we are hoping students will have canteen meetings and march from their colleges down to the square.

Round the country public meetings and rallies are being organised, under the title Iraq — Bring the Troops Home (see Meetings).

In London, there will be a rally on 14 February, the evening before the die-in, at 7.30pm at Friends Meeting House, with Tony Benn, Rose Gentle, George Galloway and John Rees.

People are phoning the Stop the War office to get leaflets and posters for 19 March. The interesting thing is that a lot of the calls are from fresh, new people getting involved for the first time.

Some people have peeled away from the pro-war side —t hey just can’t justify it any longer.

Others are young people wanting to get involved.

You can play your part in building the demonstration.

  • Leaflet your street for 19 March, fix a meeting in your college, school or workplace — book a nearby cafe for a meeting after work if need be.
  • You can move a motion of support for the demonstration in your trade union or student union and organise public leafleting in your market, high street or local station.

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Article information

Sat 5 Feb 2005, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1937
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