Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/379/4268
ISR and Socialist Students:
Balloting against the occupation
On 29 January, on the day before the elections in occupied Iraq, ISR and Socialist Students in London organised a protest outside Aegis Defence Services Ltd.
Suzanne Beishon Hackney
Aegis was given a $293 million contract to co-ordinate security operations amongst thousands of private companies in Iraq by the Pentagon. Whilst over 100,000 Iraqi's have died, Aegis is making massive profits. Our protest outside 118 Piccadilly was both enthusiastic and attractive to passers by, and we met and spoke to many young people who were all very angry at the situation in Iraq.
Rosemary Lew, from the US, who first got involved in the anti-war movement when Dick Cheney visited her campus in Wyoming, said: "It's hard to have an election where people can't vote in it because of fear and the lack of safe polling places, so the whole thing is a farce".
Jack Nakama, also from the US, agreed: "I think it's just a sham, it's just something to legitimise why we went in there, and say that we can let the Iraqis control their own destiny but it's really not. It's just a top down strategy, power is coming from the top, it's not coming from the grass roots. Democracy comes from the people, not from big corporations or US presidents".
Finally, Florian Koosbauer said: "I think it's no real election, it's far more of a dictatorship". These opinions really show the growing consciousness of young people today and the anger there is towards the continuing occupation of Iraq. The protest was really lively and I think our ability to chant and rhyme with 'Aegis' impressed all, including the police.
In The Socialist 5 February 2005: