Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/231/9252
50,000 Demo Answers War Propaganda
FIFTY-THOUSAND CHANTED, whistled, drummed and marched against the war on Afghanistan on 18 November.
Demonstrators converged on Hyde Park from Glasgow to Cornwall; large contingents of Muslim protesters mingled with thousands of young people and students. This was an emphatic answer to the propaganda barrage from the government and the media that the war is over and the West has won.
Hundreds of young people came up to the International Socialist Resistance (ISR) and Socialist Party stalls wanting to discuss what was going to happen and our socialist perspective on the events. Many signed up for the anti-capitalist/ anti-war demo in Brussels on 14 December. This will be a very important event as it will mark the re-emergence of the anti-capitalist movement after 11 September and will show how much of an impact the anti-war campaign has had in mobilising a layer of young people.
Socialist ideas are key to building the anti-war campaign and providing a programme for the anti-capitalist movement. Over 750 Socialists were sold on the demonstration.
Only Socialism Can Guarantee Peace
A MIXTURE of speakers at the huge Stop the War Coalition demo last Sunday - including socialists, trade unionists, pacifists, religious leaders, etc. - all condemned the state terrorism of the US-led coalition as being equally as destructive as the 11 September terrorist attacks.
Dave Nellist, Coventry Socialist Party councillor speaking on behalf of the Socialist Alliance, opened the rally at Hyde Park.
He condemned the imperialist intervention into Afghanistan and said peace and social justice in the war-torn country could only be secured by the people of the region through the forging of a socialist society.
At Trafalgar Square, where the march ended, several speakers correctly linked the struggle against the war to the anti-capitalist/globalisation movement. Rebel Labour MP Paul Marsden, who has been denounced as a 'traitor' by the Blairite leadership, called for the scrapping of capitalist financial institutions, the abolition of poor countries' debt and for a tax on multinationals profits to pay for social spending.
Tony Benn called for the building of a world-wide peace movement.
These laudable aims and reforms raise important questions as to how the wealth and power of capitalism can be challenged by the working class internationally.
At the moment the Stop the War Coalition has very limited aims and demands. But as the Socialist Party consistently argues, the struggle against the capitalist warmongers like Bush and Blair and reactionary regimes around the world poses the need to develop a socialist programme for the transformation of society.
In The Socialist 23 November 2001: