Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/291/14015
What We Think
Stop Work To Stop The War
DESPITE THE biggest demonstration in the history of Britain and unprecedented anti-war protests, Blair is determined to go to war with Iraq over the next few days.
Like Bush, he believes that vital capitalist interests are at stake. He will only be stopped if a movement develops in Britain that threatens the interests of the capitalist class which he represents more than not going to war.
We need to continue to organise mass protests, student strikes and civil disobedience at a national and local level. Most importantly, we need to prepare for industrial action and protests in the workplaces. Strikes bring everything to a halt. They demonstrate that it is working-class people who create the wealth and have the real power in society.
The European TUC has called for mass walkouts for Friday 14 March. Several other European unions have called for a day of workplace solidarity against war on 21 March, as well as calling for mass action on Day X - the day that war is declared.
In Britain, the national executive of the communication workers' union CWU passed a resolution, moved by a Socialist Party member, calling for protest action against the war on Day X. Workers will have been inspired by the thousands of young people who walked out of schools and colleges last week. Schools are already planning to walk out again on Day X.
The next few days should be used to test the mood through meetings, consultative ballots etc in the workplaces and to give confidence to workers that they can take collective action against war. At the same time, we should campaign for the Left union leaders to come out decisively in favour of industrial action and to give their backing to any groups of workers who walk out against the war.
Action in the workplaces will vary depending on the level of organisation, leadership, preparation, confidence and mood of workers. Some will be prepared to take action for a day, others for part of the day. Some will leave work early to join local demonstrations, others will organise lunch-time protests.
On the magnificent 15 February demonstration and other protests, anger against the war combined with discontent against privatisation, low pay etc, to create the potential for generalised strike action. By linking these issues together we can build for mass workplace action to stop the war.
In The Socialist 14 March 2003: