Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/277/24481
Build The Anti-War Movement
MANY as one million people took to the streets of Florence, Italy, on 9 November to show their opposition to war on Iraq (see our report here).
This was the biggest show of strength of the anti-war movement so far. The demo followed on from the 200,000 strong protest in Washington and the 400,000 who marched in London on 28 September.
Bush feels strengthened by his victories in the US elections and securing a unanimous resolution in the UN Security Council. But the size and scope of the anti-war movement clearly shows that opposition to war against Iraq is growing.
As the resolution was being passed the US build-up of troops in the Gulf was accelerating - with the final aim of having a force of up to 250,000 in readiness for an invasion. 15,000 British troops could be despatched to the region.
Bush and Blair are both preparing for war. The UN resolution means that the US could decide at any time that Saddam Hussein is not complying and begin an attack without further UN agreement.
A war against Iraq will be a war for oil and the power and dominance of US imperialism. Oil companies have already been plotting how to carve up the oilfields in a post-Saddam Iraq. The carrot of oil profits was dangled in front of UN Security Council countries to get their agreement for the resolution on Iraq.
A war will mean thousands of innocent people being slaughtered for profits and prestige.
The US has the biggest arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in the world and is prepared to use them in a pre-emptive strike to defend its economic interests in the Middle East and beyond.
Blair has hitched his cart to the US war machine. He says there is no money to pay firefighters, council workers, nurses, teachers, college lecturers and all those fighting against low pay. But he can find millions to wage war against the Iraqi people.
He seems determined to wage war on two fronts - for oil in Iraq and a war against public-sector and low-paid workers at home. But he is facing enormous resistance to both.
We need to build the anti-war movement as well as building the struggle for decent pay. And we need to build a socialist alternative to war and the inequality and exploitation that Bush and Blair's profit system creates.
In The Socialist 15 November 2002: