Brent Stop the War Notes of Meeting 31st March 2003
un | 02.04.2003 13:56 Michael Letwin from Labor Against the War in New York, addressed the meeting. He spoke of growing opposition in the States to the war, particularly in San Francisco, Washington and New York, and particularly amongst women and ethnic minorities.
Michael Letwin from Labor Against the War in New York, addressed the meeting. He spoke of growing opposition in the States to the war, particularly in San Francisco, Washington and New York, and particularly amongst women and ethnic minorities. The majority of trade unions supported war, but there was growing dissent. By early this year the US equivalent of the TUC, the AFL-CIO had issued some statements critical of the potential war, a significant step away from their usual support for the government. There has been some backtracking on this since the war began. But unlike here the anti-war movement was quite divided into at least three main factions. Pressure had forced the US invasion to hold back on eShock and Awef and the American public was not prepared for large numbers of civilian casualties.
In the USA since 9/11 there had been the most appalling violations of civil liberties for ethnic minorities, with internment, special registration, and deportation, – sometimes applied to people who had lived in the US most of their lives, as well as torture being committed in Guantanamo Bay.
During a thorough discussion, both Michael Letwin and Mike Marquese (who was accompanying him on the tour) gave interesting insights into the situation in the USA. Blairfs part in propping up U.S. opinion was identified as very important. The question of boycotts of American goods was raised, and it was suggested that perhaps US oil companies should be targeted. There was debate on the extent the war on Iraq is linked to the question of Palestine.
Reports March on the BBC. There had been a stall in Harlesden, followed by a march from Harlesden and from Ladbroke Grove, as well as other parts of West London, all successful, and a good crowd outside the BBC. Labour Against the War there had been a local meeting of about 50 people, including some local councillors, and a meeting in Central London on Saturday with quite a number of M.P.s. Labour Against the War was growing, and some rejoining the Labour Party to reclaim it.
Future Activities Public Meeting 7th April The speakers already found were agreed Mark Steel, and Asad Rehman. It was agreed we should approach other local people, representing as wide a range of opposition as possible, inviting them to speak from the floor eg, Palestinian speaker, Students, (Preston Manor and Hands Up for Peace) Councillors, relations of troops, someone from the Pakistan Centre, etc It was agreed to ask Anne Drinkell to Chair. It was agreed to arrange for speaker slips. It was agreed to show Euanfs video of the picket of Paul Boatengfs surgery and the march. Ian agreed to do the collection. A schedule of leafleting was agreed.