Growing Opposition Internationally

Socialist Voice November 2001

The angry scenes all over of the third world during mass rallies condemning the war against the Afghan people have been complemented by growing opposition to the military actions of the US and Britain in the West. The thousands on the streets are reflecting a growing number of people all over the world who are questioning the aims of this war and are rejecting the atrocities that are being inflicted on the women and children of Afghanistan.

By Katia Hancke

The opportunist rat-race amongst the 'leaders' of the third world countries to cosy up to George W. Bush has now changed and the cracks in Bush and Blair's coalition are all too clear. Blair's 'rescue' mission to the Middle East only proved that this coalition is about to explode under the pressure of the masses on the streets.

Military dictator Musharaf faces a virtual uprising in Pakistan, and throughout the Middle East traditionally pro-west puppet regimes are under threat. But beyond that thousands have protested in Indonesia, India, Turkey and many other countries.

This war has given Islamic fundamentalism a unique opportunity to pose as an alternative to US imperialism. In reality, not only has this reactionary movement no alternative to the present chaos, it complicates the building of a real alternative based on international working class solidarity and struggle for a socialist alternative.

It is crucial for the anti-war movement to organise internationally and to develop a programme that condemns the war and terror attacks, but also points out the historic responsibility of imperialism in creating the very demons that it claims to fight today and the conditions that leave a majority of the world's population in poverty stricken conditions.

In the West, the anti-war opposition is growing as it becomes more clear that this war is not as 'clean and simple' as it had been presented. All over Europe, thousands have come out on the streets: 50,000 in London, 50,000 in Berlin and thousands more in other German towns, 4,000 in Stockholm, 10,000 in Amsterdam, over 10,000 in Belgium in protests at an EU-summit. Over the past month, the protests have grown in size and significance. The magnificent peace demonstration in Italy that mobilised up to 500,000 people is a sign of what is possible in many European countries in the months to come.

Young people have been to the forefront in these protests. They have organised school student strikes, walk-outs, teach-ins and concerts. Similarly in the US, there is growing anti-war activity in the colleges.

The Committee for a Workers' International, the international socialist organisation to which the Socialist Party is affiliated, is fully involved in the anti-war movement. Our sister organisations from all over Europe report that the demonstrations over the past few weeks are the biggest for over a decade. The resentment against this war is growing, and is more and more merging with a resentment of the establishment that is scrapping hundreds of thousands of jobs worldwide under the guise of the 11 September atrocity.

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