Back on the streets against the occupation
SATURDAY 20 March was an international day of action against the occupation of Iraq. In Belfast a small but lively demonstration of 300 took to the streets to show their opposition to the brutal and continuing imperialist adventure in Iraq.
By Chris Loughlin
As the situation in Iraq continues to deteriorate day by day now more than ever it's important to register our disgust against Bush and Blair.
Youth Against the War mobilised for the march and had one of the liveliest contingents. Young people who came out to demonstrate before the war started last year, but were disappointed that the big demonstrations did not stop it, are now prepared to come out again against the occupation and the mess that Bush and Blair have created in Iraq.
Jim Barbour, FBU executive member and Socialist Party member spoke from the platform outlining our solidarity with the Iraqi people in their continuing fight for justice and freedom from imperialist occupation. He went on to say that only the working class, rural poor and radical youth can offer a real alternative to capitalism and ethnic strife, that is a socialist Iraq. A socialist Iraq would guarantee the benefits of Iraqi oil would go to the betterment of the living standards of ordinary Iraqis and not into the profits of American oil multi-nationals.
The one defect of the march which will have to be discussed by the anti war movement was its one sidedness. Members of Sinn Fein youth marched with a banner which read "Brits out of Ireland and Iraq." The Socialist Party and Socialist Youth oppose all imperialism across the world but the above slogan could only appeal to one side of the sectarian divide in Northern Ireland. Whatever the intent of those who carried this banner, its only effect is to alienate Protestant support from the anti-war movement and weaken it.
The next event for Youth Against the War is the mobilisation against the Bush visit to the South in June. School students who organised the walkouts against the war last year should start now to mobilise in their schools for people to let the warmonger Bush know that he is not welcome here.