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Stop the War demo part of the anti-G8 protests

Activists need to make the anti-G8 summit protest in Edinburgh a huge demonstration against poverty and war, says Chris Nineham of the Stop the War Coalition

Issue No. 1954

Chris Nineham

Chris Nineham

The anti-war movement scored a big victory in Scotland last week. It overturned a decision by Scottish police to ban a Stop the War Coalition rally set to take place after the Make Poverty History march in Edinburgh on 2 July.

As soon as the ban was announced Stop the War had immediately contacted the media and the police to condemn this attack on the freedom to protest.

Scottish TV and radio carried our comment that it was not practical politics to have George Bush and the G8 in Britain without anti-war protests, and that protests would take place with or without police permission.

The result was that the next morning the police dropped all objections to our event and Edinburgh City Council agreed to cooperate.

This means that we can bring together the issues of war and poverty on 2 July.

At the end of the demonstration there will be two Make Poverty History stages and one organised by the Stop the War Coalition headlined “Fight Poverty Not War”.

Speakers are expected to include anti-war and anti-globalisation campaigners from around the world. We hope to have leading figures from the British movement like Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn, Respect MP George Galloway, CND chair Kate Hudson and Stop the War Coalition convenor Lindsey German.

The authorities also agreed that Stop the War would hold a procession through Edinburgh city centre on the evening of Sunday 3 July.

This will march down Princes Street around 6.30pm and end with a “naming of the dead” ceremony on Calton Hill.

It is important to connect the themes of poverty and war during the anti-G8 protests.

World Bank figures show that just one quarter of the US annual military budget would be enough to eradicate poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa. Tens of thousands are coming to the G8 demonstrations not to plead for crumbs for the poor, but to demand a real change of priorities.

The Stop the War Coalition will be campaigning for the maximum possible turnout for all the protests from the 2 July demonstration in Edinburgh to the Gleneagles demonstration on 6 July.

See also Gordon Brown’s debt relief plan is a sham, figures reveal

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