Friday, 27 March 2009

Open Letter to Stop The War Offcers

An open letter to all officers of the STOP THE WAR COALITION

Chair: Andrew Murray (Unite – T&G section)
Convenor: Lindsey German
Treasurer (acting): Robin Beste
Steve Bell (Communication Workers Union)
Andrew Burgin
Jeremy Corbyn MP
Noreen Fatima (StWC Muslim Network)
Kate Hudson (CND)
Sabah Jawad (Iraqi Democrats Against Occupation)
Chris Nineham
Trevor Phillips (University and Colleges Union)
John Rees (SWP)
Jane Shallice
Carol Turner

As a officer of the Stop The War Coalition you have borne and continue to bear a heavy responsibility. You are charged with the leadership and co-ordination of the efforts of all those who seek peace, who abhor war as an instrument of Government Policy. You have taken this role upon yourself.

That places an even heavier burden upon yourself.

I am writing to you to enquire as to why neither you, nor the Stop The War Coalition leadership, did not call for a general strike in the UK to block the UK Governments role in the Iraq War? To bring this Government to it’s knees, as they so utterly deserved, for such a heinous crime?

History tells of the power of a general strike, and of the feebleness of ‘permitted’ protest.

Is it not the case that an all out general strike, by well informed and committed people might well have dislodged all those who conspired against humanity to pursue this Illegal War of Aggression, that was obviously, from the start, going to harm many, many innocent civilians? WMD were used by coalition forces. These are the facts. Those in power KNEW that this would be the case.

Yes such a strike may well have been tumultuous, and would have been opposed by Government and Media alike, with all the forces they could have brought to bear, forces that are not inconsiderable, yet pale into significance when confronted by a united people..

Yes it would have divided the country, though not in equal measure. Those who sought war were and remain in the minority in terms of the whole population of the UK. It would have served peace for that divide to be forced to reveal itself. It still would serve peace for that divide to be forced.

Yes such a strike might have meant hardship and sacrifice for many people in the UK. Yet at the same time, it would have been so much less a sacrifice than that imposed upon innocent people in Iraq.

Would that you and your colleagues had had the courage of your convictions to suggest such a small sacrifice on our part, on behalf of those we sought to protect!

I write because I want to understand what happened, back in 2003, when so many people took to the streets, not just in London, but world-wide, in order to prepare for what is to come. These are dangerous times, with the media and politicians hyping the prospect of a summer of rage.

Someone must give voice to the powerful urge and intent of the various movements for peace, for the environment, for justice, to lead towards effective and peaceful action - one with out the other is futile and at best abdication of responsibility. At worst cowardice and deluded folly.

I write because I assume that you share my same love and compassion for all human life, for all life, and that you share my commitment and determination to radically alter the way Power is exercised in our democracy.

I have less access to and far fewer of the facts or resources that you have. I admit that my perception is limited. I write to enquire, to learn. I write because my children will reap the benefits of bear the consequences of my actions. I write because I care.

Kindest regards


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