Newsletter – 22nd April 2016
The Western powers are planning a major military escalation in Libya. The UN is trying to impose a new government on the country, despite the fact that both of the two existing and competing authorities have rejected their plans. The reason the West backs the man they call ‘Prime Minister designate’ Fayez al- Sarraj, is that they expect him to invite the West in to support.
This helps them avoid a public debate about intervention. On Monday, Michael Fallon made it clear the government disapproves of democratic scrutiny over going to war when he announced a promised bill to enshrine parliamentary debate on military action would be dropped. Their unseemly haste to intervene in Libya is driven by two things. Firstly, a desire to control the oil and gas fields and secondly, a plan to stop refugees crossing the Mediterranean from Libya by force. We need to widen our campaign against the government plans.
Stop the War is holding a public meeting on Libya this Tuesday 26th April at the Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church in Central London (235 Shaftesbury Avenue, London WC2H 8EP). Please join us to discuss the situation and how we can oppose another disatrous intervention.
Convoy to Calais – Saturday 18 June
Stop the War is part of an intitative to support refugees through a Convoy to Calais on June 18th. We are planning – alongside several trade unions including Unite, CWU and TSSA as well as campaigning organisations Stand up to Racism, the People’s Assembly against Austerity and War on Want – a mass convoy bringing food, clothing and other goods to the refugees in Calais. We see it as a focus for the very high levels of solidarity and support which have already been shown from trade unionists and campaigners in Britain.
The vast majority of refugees are fleeing war, from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. European governments have no answers to their situation, and have brokered a deal which involves deporting many back to Turkey. This week alone, hundreds of refugees died in the Mediterranean.
Everyone can take part in what promises to be a mass event, either by joining the convoy, collection goods and donations, and getting your organisation to support it where appropriate.
The delay to Chilcot moved into farcical terrain when reports emerged of a parliamentary inquiry into what was holding it up. The establishment is clearly terrified of any revelations and reluctant to reopen discussions about the calamity of Iraq. There are reports of new protocols being used to limit revelations in the offical report.
In response, Stop the War Coalition is hosting a People’s Chilcot Tribunal to establish who was to blame for the catastrophes of the Iraq War. There will be testimony from a wide range of people including Ben Griffin, UN envoy to Iraq – Hans Von Sponek and Iraqi dissident Sami Ramadani.
Bookings will open in the next few days.
We have long warned of the growth of Islamophobia in Britain as a result of the war on terror. Latest examples this week include David Cameron’s attack on London Labour mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan for alleged links with extremists; and the attacks on the first black and Muslim woman president of NUS. See Lindsey German’s article here. We will be doing everything we can to oppose this rise in racism.
15th Anniversary Conference: Mark these dates
This October is the 15th anniversary of the War on Terror which started with the bombing and invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. We will be holding an anniversary conference on October 8th and a gala evening onOctober 7th, plus many other events. Please keep these dates. Further details tba soon.
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