lest we forget ~ Record of Success

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lest we forget ~ Record of Success

Postby Tripz » Sun Feb 17, 2008 3:38 pm

IT has become fashionable in certain circles, even by some people who opposed the Iraq war, to question what the huge demonstrations in 2003 achieved, since the occupiers are still there and the blood is still running.

It is important to differentiate between those who are simply frustrated at what they perceive as failure to prevail over the warmongers and those with another political agenda.

The fake-left, pro-imperialist B-52 liberals, with their humanitarian motif of Democracy through Mass Murder, are not alone in their negative comments about the anti-war movement leadership.

No-one is above criticism and everyone, especially those at a leadership level, has to be accountable for their conduct.

But it is a remarkable choice of priorities that would single out for harsh words a movement with unparalleled success in mobilising the people of Britain against imperialist wars.

Any sober assessment of the role of the Stop the War Coalition, which was set up in 2001 in opposition to the invasion of Afghanistan, and its alliance with the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and the Muslim Association of Britain would have to conclude that it had performed beyond all expectations.

When controversy over how many people actually attended the February 2003 march and rally in London centres on whether it was one or two million, this indicates the scale of the movement's achievement.

This initial success - the largest ever political demonstration in Britain - was followed by a number of impressive developments.

Local anti-war movements convened hundreds of meetings, from dozens to thousands strong, while the largest ever protest against a war in which British troops were currently deployed was followed by the largest ever protest on a working day.

And the campaign also took on a global character, with anti-war movements all over the world co-ordinating their protests to maximise their impact and to emphasise the international unity behind the cause of peace and justice.

This is a record of which any movement could be proud, but this is not the time to write historic assessments.

The movement has not been stood down, because the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan continue, as do the dispossession and demonisation of the Palestinian people, and imperialism still has its sights on Iran.

In such circumstances, it is essential that, on March 15, people in this country rise up once more in a worldwide World Against War protest to mark the fifth anniversary of the illegal invasion of Iraq.

What will it achieve? It will tell our leaders that, just as in 2003, we want our troops back home.

It will tell them that we don't support their attempts to turn Iraq into a vassal state, with US superbases and foreign control of its oil reserves.

Does anyone imagine that, without protests, Britain would have only 5,000 troops in Iraq, withdrawn from the front line, and that Gordon Brown would constantly be hinting at year-end withdrawal?

The anti-war movement has brought about the close working of Muslim communities with the organised labour movement, strengthening anti-racist campaigns.

Its record has been successful and, with ongoing unity and dedication to principle, it will continue to play a positive role.

Stop the War Coalition
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