Daevid McKnight | 04.10.2002 22:43
I see out there the banner of the great British Fire Brigades Union and the first question I want to ask Tony Blair is this: If there’s no money to pay Britain’s firefighters, then how come there’s money to go around the world, setting fire to other people’s countries? I’m looking out on this ocean of people and the back of this crowd can simply not be seen. People are still marching in Piccadilly, five and a half hours after the front left the demonstration point. And I tell you this, when Tony Blair turns on his TV set in his five star hotel in Blackpool this evening his face will turn several shades of green! Today is the second anniversary of the Palestinian uprising, the Al Aqsa intifada. Now I want you to join with me, so loud that they will hear it in the camps of Jenin, of Gaza, of Ramallah, of Nablus; ‘Victory to the Intifada! Victory to the Intifada!’ ‘Free, Free Palestine! Free, Free Palestine!’. When I asked in the House of Commons of Tuesday I asked the Foreign Secretary who was boasting about the Security Council resolution passed on Tuesday demanding that Israel end Ariel Sharon’s siege of President Arafat’s compound I asked him ‘Will Sharon treat that resolution the way he treated the resolution to allow the inspectors, UN inspectors, to go to inspect reports of mass destruction of the Palestinian refugee camp of Jenin. He answered ‘I hope so’. So he hopes that Israel will accept the UN’s decisions but we’re asked to believe that we must plunge the Middle East into devastating war in the name of UN Security Council resolutions. Well I say this, whatever the decisions of the United Nations Security council, and I ask the great countries France, Russia, and China ‘Don’t humiliate yourselves in the way that our country is being humiliated. Stand up to George Bush.’ But whatever the decision of the Security Council, millions of people in Britain and tens of millions around the world will oppose this war for oil. Because that’s what this war is about. Hundreds of years of supply of oil lies in the Arabian Gulf. Only two countries in the Arabian Gulf are not the puppets of Britain and America. One of them is Iraq and one of them is Iran and if we allow the attack on Iraq, Iran will quickly follow so that they can control the oil reserves of the world as part of their imperialist domination. This great movement says ‘No war for oil! No war for oil!’ That’s the demand of this great movement. And though this is the highest point of our great struggle it is not the last. On the 31st October all over this country, we want people occupying their universities, occupying their factories, occupying public buildings, sitting down in the street, demonstrating their disobedience to this civil slavery, which Tony Blair has delivered us into. My last point is this, the world is reading today about the love affair of John Major and Edwina Currie and even more revolting love affair is the one between Tony Blair and George W Bush. It’s a love affair just like the love affair between Monica Lewinsky and Bill Clinton. Because it is unequal, undignified, it requires us to spend our time on out knees, and we will not put up with it anymore! We, the British people, demand a British policy which speaks for Britain and an end to the slavery of this country to the most right-wing Republican Government that we’ve seen in living memory. Al Gore, no friend of ours, got it right this week, when he said that ‘it’s come to something when the world is more afraid of the United States of America than it is afraid of international terrorism’. Victory to the Intifada! Don’t Attack Iraq! Keep this campaign going!