Millions March to Say No War

Kevin McLoughlin Socialist Voice supplement, March 1st 2003

15 FEBRUARY was a day that made history. The 150,000 who marched in Dublin, joined millions around the world in sending a clear message to Bush and Blair - we don't want your bloody war. In Ireland demonstrators also told Ahern and Harney to stop the US military from using Shannon.

Fianna Fail's response that they were "glad" of the turn out and believed the demonstrators were "in line" with government policy shows the spinelessness and guff of Ahern has reached new depths. The PDs attempts to slander and discredit the demonstrators as dupes and anti American has enraged people. Harney has tried to claim that she is anti-war! Once again this government has exposed itself as a bunch of liars. This government is actively supporting the build up to war. Ahern is falling over himself to defend Bush and Blair. When the bombs rain down on Baghdad, this government will be implicated in the murder of thousands of innocent Iraqis.

Anti war demonstrations are being organised over the next few weeks around the country. 4,000 protested in Galway, thousands are expected to turn out in Cork on 8 March. The anti war movement can challenge and take on the government if a mass active campaign is built.

The Irish Anti-War Movement (IAWM) needs to get organised in the communities, schools, colleges and workplaces.

Bush and Blair are determined to go to war with or without a second UN resolution and the movement must therefore focus on what will happen the day the war begins. The ICTU should issue the call for all trade unionists to stop work at noon on Day X (the day the war begins) and to participate in local demonstrations.

Hundreds of thousands of workers could be mobilised to participate in these demonstrations, a show of strength and opposition to the war that could even dwarf the turnout on 15 February. Youth Against the War are calling on school students to organise walkouts on Day X as part of an international day of protest by school students around the world.

In Ireland, this government pursues the interests of big business. Its neo-liberal agenda exists to protect the profits of the capitalist multinationals. The government's support for Bush and Blair's war is a continuation of their domestic policies abroad, because this war is being fought for the profits of the multinationals.

The Socialist Party isn't just campaigning against this war, we are also fighting for a system change to remove the cause of this war and all wars - capitalism.

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