London Indymedia

March 15th Stop the War March in London.

Guido | 17.03.2008 00:07 | Palestine | Terror War | London

Can I be the first to congratulate the Stop the War Coalition (STWC) for its consistency. Arriving in Trafalgar Square for the rally we are treated to some truly insomnia curing speeches from the usual speakers who have absolutely nothing new to say. Same old faces, same old rhetoric. This time however they get heckled by a small but load group at the front of the rally. To be honest I am surprised this has not happened before now. Yet again we have another A to B march where everyone is expected to obey the Police and do nothing to rock the boat. Unsurprisingly there is absolutely zero coverage of the event on the local/national news or the papers the following day. Perhaps they are trying to get heir own episode of ‘Unreported World’? Worse still the STWC have previously been turning a deliberate blind eye to the blatant harassment of certain sections of their marches by the Police in general, the FIT team in particular. Their stewards always seem to side with the cops and were even seen trying to forcibly end a sit down by students in Parliament Square at a demo last year. Galloway suggests during his speech that the STWC are going to start breaking the law soon…

Oh really? Now remember this: “I never thought I would say this but we have to take whatever steps necessary to stop this war. If that means taking direct action like blocking the roads and railways then so be it!” Encouraging words from Tony Benn. Just one problem. He said that in Hyde Park over five years ago and fuck all has happened since then.









The march itself has its moments. The samba band liven up one section of it and further the totally awesome Kingblues band have brought their own sound system and are playing a roving gig for the entire route of the march. Fitwatch play cat & mouse with their namesakes and the autonomist block steadfastly refuse to go where they are told.

Another particularly loud and angry section are a contingent of Somali refugees who are totally pissed off about the occupation of their country by US backed Ethiopian troops which no one seems to care about.

Don’t get wrong. Not everyone is up for taking direct action over issues like genocide in Iraq/Palestine/Somalia/Afghanistan ect. Some folks want to take part in a lawful demo which is fine, and their choice. But if the STWC want the coverage they crave and to make even the smallest impact then they have to start being a bit more creative than a strategy of cooperation with the Police and government. These marches got boring a long time ago and now the numbers are visibly dwindling.

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They don't support people resisting the war -not even members of their own party

17.03.2008 06:44

Yeah well, it's not just a case of the SWP/ StWC not organising NVDA against the war...they don't support people who are before the courts, in jail or who are organising further resistance.

I set off for the march to increase awareness of the upcoming Raytheon 9 trial in Belfast in May . This is a significant resistance trial of 9 activists who nonviolently disabled the mainframe computer at Raytheon in Derry during the bombing of Lebanon (with Raytheon equipment) in the summer of 06. The SWP/StWC are well placed ot make this trial very widely known and encpourage support fo the defendants. They have chosen not to

My pathetic cardboard sign and a few goes at street speaking to the assembling crowds was the only mention of this trial at the rally on Saturday

When an SWP member took a break form selling the paper to ask me how are those people doing?
I responded "You tell me, three of them are your party members looking at years in jail. Why aren't they mentioned at this rally etc etc?"

A farly heated debate ensued.
Concluding with my reponse "For all if it's rrrrrrrrrrrevolutionary rhetoric, your party are a bunch of moderates who rather provide a platform for Labor Party politicians than support anti-war resisters before the courts. You have hung out your own people to dry etc."

This was my experience in Ireland as we went through 3 trials for $2 1/2 million crtiminal damaage to a U.S. war plane being refueled at Shannon

The SWP primarily see the anti-war movement/ these biannual rallies as marketing/brand profile lifting opportunities for their party, newspaper selling and recruitment. They are the first line of policing of the anti-war movement. Whether they have been infiltrated (as were similar groups in the '60's) or whether such a strategy of groundhog day rallies, cattle drives through empty streets, centralisation and dissipation just dovetails into their short term aims - it probably makes little difference.

A good anarcho critique of the SWP, authoritarian and moderate left screwing the anti-war movement in Ireland can be found on the following link.....

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Display the following 6 comments

  1. Ignored for the fifth year running. — Mike Dobson
  2. Easy to blame — MC
  3. new times — starter
  4. Response to MC "Easy to Blame" — Ciaron
  5. Whose side are they on? Bush? Blair? The Police? — Its obvious.
  6. RE. Whose side are they on? Bush? Blair? The Police? — Guido


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