ANTI-WAR campaigners across the world are preparing to demonstrate on 20 March against the carnage that Bush and Blair have brought to Iraq. The call for protests was raised at the 50,000-strong European Social Forum in Paris last November. The 100,000 who gathered at the World Social Forum in Mumbai, India, in January backed that call.
Achin Vanaik is one of the activists in India urging for protests on 20 March. In an appeal sent out to campaigners in India, he argued why it is important to protest:
'We are living in a time when a decisive struggle of historic consequence is taking place. The United States government is out to establish a universal empire, to cow all countries and peoples to accept its dominance. US efforts at establishing hegemony go hand in hand with the efforts to institutionalise a social and economic order in which the already rich and powerful will become even richer and more powerful and more exploitative and oppressive.
One of the central arenas of this struggle is Iraq, where growing popular resentment is leading to a fierce resistance to the US, and its illegal, brutal and undemocratic occupation. The US government and its allies understand full well that they can only succeed in their regional and global ambitions if people worldwide passively accept their domination.
On 15 February 2003 more than 15 million people worldwide demonstrated against the impending US assault on Iraq. It is because of that mobilisation and because of the resistance within Iraq that the US is in serious political trouble. The greater the worldwide mobilisation, the greater will be the boost to the Iraqi freedom struggle and to all progressive forces, and the lower will be the morale of the US and its allies. It is this declining legitimacy that can ultimately defeat them.'
Demonstrate at Labour's spring conference-assemble 12 noon this Saturday, 13 March, All Saints Park, Oxford Road, Manchester.
20 March is a day of global protest
THERE WILL be demonstrations in scores of countries next Saturday. They include the US, where protesters will march in New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and in many other cities across the US, supported by the anti-war coalitions ANSWER and United for Peace. Protesters will also march in cities across Canada including Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal.
In Australia there will be marches in Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart in Tasmania and other cities. In Japan marchers will take to the streets of Tokyo. Anti-war campaigners will be marching in cities across Spain and Italy, including the capitals, Madrid and Rome.
Protesters will hit the streets of Brussels in Belgium, Berlin and other cities in Germany, Amsterdam in the Netherlands, and Athens in Greece. There will be anti-war marches in Poland and Portugal, Dublin in Ireland and Santiago in Chile. Protests will also take place in Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina and South Africa.
In New Zealand protesters will take to the streets of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. Anti-war campaigners will march in Valletta in Malta. In Egypt protesters will be rallying in Cairo.
They will all be showing Bush and Blair that just as the war in Iraq has not gone away, neither has the anti-war movement.