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Join 15 March protest’s cry of anger at war and occupation

This article is over 13 years, 10 months old
With two weeks to go until the 15 March demonstration, Chris Nineham of the Stop the War Coalition explains why the anti-war movement is staying on the streets
Issue 2090

Just about everything the two million anti-war marchers in London predicted five years ago on 15 February 2003 has come true.

Iraq has been turned into a sectarian prison. In Baghdad alone 100,000 sections of concrete wall impose sectarian division. The bare figures of a million dead and four million displaced only suggest the agony of a country torn apart by foreign rule.

Afghanistan is a hidden catastrophe. The 2001 invasion was sold to us as humanitarian intervention. Now Oxfam and the Red Cross report that the occupation is itself causing a humanitarian crisis.

The warmongers used to talk of liberating women – now Afghanistan has the second highest rate of maternal death in childbirth in the world.

Life expectancy is down to 44, and health provision is virtually non-existent. Not surprisingly, the occupiers are bogged down in heavy fighting.

Even the most delusional of the war’s few supporters don’t dare claim the world has become safer.


From the Horn of Africa to Central Asia the war has spread instability. The Turkish invasion of northern Iraq last week shows how the war can detonate new conflicts.

The West’s unwavering support for Israel as it bombards the Palestinian enclaves deepens hatred for the US and its supporters across the Middle East.

And the squalid facts of Britain’s involvement in the “war on terror” are still coming to light.

Last week it was confirmed that Tony Blair’s infamous “dodgy dossier” was sexed up by the government, and the claim that Iraq could deploy weapons of mass destruction in 45 minutes was pure spin.

It was admitted last week that Britain has colluded in torture flights.

Efforts to suppress the truth only show our public life has been poisoned by the war. The majority turned against George Bush’s wars years ago, yet our politicians continue to behave as if nothing had changed.

Despite hints of a different approach, Gordon Brown has maintained British troop numbers in Iraq and increased them in Afghanistan.

The anti-war movement has from its beginning tried to address this democratic deficit.

Given the absence of dissent in public life it has become the main channel for popular anger.

We have helped isolate the pro-war politicians on both sides of the Atlantic. We have forced the US to put its plans for an attack on Iran on hold.


We shamed Blair over his support for Israel’s 2006 invasion of the Lebanon and forced his resignation last year.

We have been part of creating a crisis in Nato over Afghanistan. On 15 March there will once more be protests around the world.

We need to use the day to show Gordon Brown that opinion against the war here is stronger than ever.

When we marched five years ago we launched a campaign that will not stop until we have achieved peace and justice. We will continue that campaign on 15 March.

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