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Stop the War Coalition

Stop the War Coalition

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The Stop the War Coalition (StWC) (informally just Stop the War) is a United Kingdom group set up on 21 September 2001 that campaigns against what it believes are unjust wars.

The coalition has opposed the various wars that are claimed to be part of the ongoing "War on Terrorism
War on Terrorism
The War on Terror is a term commonly applied to an international military campaign led by the United States and the United Kingdom with the support of other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation as well as non-NATO countries...

". It has been the most prominent group in Britain
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 campaigning against the war in Afghanistan
War in Afghanistan (2001–present)
The War in Afghanistan began on October 7, 2001, as the armed forces of the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the Afghan United Front launched Operation Enduring Freedom...

 and the Iraq War. The demonstration against the latter on 15 February 2003, which it organised in association with Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament
Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament
The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament is an anti-nuclear organisation that advocates unilateral nuclear disarmament by the United Kingdom, international nuclear disarmament and tighter international arms regulation through agreements such as the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty...

 (CND) and the Muslim Association of Britain
Muslim Association of Britain
The Muslim Association of Britain is an Islamic organisation in the United Kingdom established in 1997.-Anti-war activities:Along with Stop the War Coalition and Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, it has co-sponsored various demonstrations against the 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq...

 (MAB), is claimed to be the largest public demonstration in British history.

Formation


The impetus to form the Stop the War Coalition came following the 11 September 2001 attacks in the United States. The Coalition was launched at a public meeting of over 2,000 people at Friends House
Britain Yearly Meeting
The Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends in Britain, also known as Britain Yearly Meeting , is a religious organisation in England, Scotland, Wales, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, often defined as a denomination of Christianity.It is a part of the international religious...

 in London, which was chaired by Lindsey German
Lindsey German
Lindsey German is the convenor of the British anti-war organisation Stop the War Coalition and a former member of the central committee of the Socialist Workers Party. She was editor of Socialist Review for twenty years until 2004...

, then editor of the Socialist Workers Party
Socialist Workers Party (Britain)
The Socialist Workers Party is a far left party in Britain founded by Tony Cliff. The SWP's student section has groups at a number of universities...

's magazine Socialist Review
Socialist Review
The Socialist Review is the monthly magazine of the British Socialist Workers Party. As well as being printed it is also published online.-Original publication: 1950-1962:...

. German argued that the action in Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

, then threatened unless the Taliban government extradited Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden was the founder of the militant Islamist organization Al-Qaeda, the jihadist organization responsible for the September 11 attacks on the United States and numerous other mass-casualty attacks against civilian and military targets...

, would lead to that country's "destruction", and "possibly a wider conflagration in the Indian subcontinent, Iran and the Middle East." Other speakers at the meeting included Jeremy Corbyn
Jeremy Corbyn
Jeremy Bernard Corbyn is a British Labour Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament for Islington North since 1983.-Early and personal life:...

 (Labour
Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left democratic socialist party in the United Kingdom. It surpassed the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s, forming minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929-1931. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after...

 Member of Parliament
Member of Parliament
A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

 (MP) for Islington North
Islington North (UK Parliament constituency)
Islington North is a parliamentary constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elects one Member of Parliament by the first-past-the-post system of election...

), Bruce Kent
Bruce Kent
Bruce Kent is a British political activist and a former Roman Catholic priest. Active in the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament , he was the organisation's general secretary from 1980 to 1985 and its chair from 1987 to 1990...

 (of the CND), and John Rees
John Rees (UK politician)
John Rees is a British political activist, broadcaster and writer who is a national officer of the Stop the War Coalition and founding member of Counterfire who was formerly associated with the Socialist Workers Party...

 (of the Socialist Workers Party
Socialist Workers Party (Britain)
The Socialist Workers Party is a far left party in Britain founded by Tony Cliff. The SWP's student section has groups at a number of universities...

).

German became Convenor of the Coalition and a meeting on 28 October settled the Coalition's official aims. This meeting also elected a Steering Committee which consisted of a spectrum of left-wingers including representatives of Labour Left Briefing and the Communist Party of Britain
Communist Party of Britain
The Communist Party of Britain is a communist political party in Great Britain. Although founded in 1988 it traces its origins back to 1920 and the Communist Party of Great Britain, and claims the legacy of that party and its most influential members Harry Pollitt and John Gollan as its...

. The Communist Party of Great Britain (Provisional Central Committee)
Communist Party of Great Britain (Provisional Central Committee)
The Communist Party of Great Britain is a political group which publishes the Weekly Worker newspaper. The party favours the creation of a unified "Communist Party of the European Union"...

 and Alliance for Workers' Liberty
Alliance for Workers' Liberty
The Alliance for Workers' Liberty , also known as Workers' Liberty, is a Trotskyist group in Britain. The group has a complex history but has always been identified with the theorist Sean Matgamna...

 failed to get elected, although both became members of the Coalition and participated in its activities.

Officers


The decision was taken in September by the Coalition to create a single President and a number of Vice-Presidents and Officers, all of whom would be elected, with their collective roles primarily revolving around publicising and appearing at events on behalf of the group, as opposed to administering it on a day-to-day basis.

Key messages



The 'war' in the name of the group refers to the various wars that were claimed to be part of the ongoing War on Terrorism. Once plans for the invasion of Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

 were under way, the slogan 'Not in my name' was widely used.

At their initial meeting the Coalition also adopted the slogan 'Against the racist backlash', asserting that a war against Afghanistan would be perceived as an attack on Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 and that Muslims, or those perceived as Muslim, would apparently face racist attacks in Britain if the government joined the war (even though Islam is a religious, rather than ethnic, identity). The Coalition worked closely with the Muslim Association of Britain
Muslim Association of Britain
The Muslim Association of Britain is an Islamic organisation in the United Kingdom established in 1997.-Anti-war activities:Along with Stop the War Coalition and Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, it has co-sponsored various demonstrations against the 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq...

 in organising its demonstrations.

It also has the slogan 'Defend civil liberties
Civil liberties
Civil liberties are rights and freedoms that provide an individual specific rights such as the freedom from slavery and forced labour, freedom from torture and death, the right to liberty and security, right to a fair trial, the right to defend one's self, the right to own and bear arms, the right...

' and campaigns against restrictions, such as detention without trial, which were introduced by the Labour
Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left democratic socialist party in the United Kingdom. It surpassed the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s, forming minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929-1931. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after...

 government.

Demonstrations


The largest demonstration organised by the Coalition was against the imminent invasion of Iraq on 15 February 2003, claimed to be the largest demonstration in Britain with estimates of attendance ranging between 750,000 and 2,000,000 people. Speakers included Tony Benn
Tony Benn
Anthony Neil Wedgwood "Tony" Benn, PC is a British Labour Party politician and a former MP and Cabinet Minister.His successful campaign to renounce his hereditary peerage was instrumental in the creation of the Peerage Act 1963...

, Jesse Jackson
Jesse Jackson
Jesse Louis Jackson, Sr. is an African-American civil rights activist and Baptist minister. He was a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1984 and 1988 and served as shadow senator for the District of Columbia from 1991 to 1997. He was the founder of both entities that merged to...

, Charles Kennedy
Charles Kennedy
Charles Peter Kennedy is a British Liberal Democrat politician, who led the Liberal Democrats from 9 August 1999 until 7 January 2006 and is currently a Member of Parliament for the Ross, Skye and Lochaber constituency....

, Ken Livingstone
Ken Livingstone
Kenneth Robert "Ken" Livingstone is an English politician who is currently a member of the centrist to centre-left Labour Party...

, and Harold Pinter
Harold Pinter
Harold Pinter, CH, CBE was a Nobel Prize–winning English playwright and screenwriter. One of the most influential modern British dramatists, his writing career spanned more than 50 years. His best-known plays include The Birthday Party , The Homecoming , and Betrayal , each of which he adapted to...

.


As the military build-up continued, StWC urged its local groups and supporters to organise actions on the day the invasion of Iraq began. As this date was - for obvious reasons - unknown in advance, it was dubbed "Day X". This would eventually fall on 20 March 2003. Despite having very little time to put plans into action, events took place up and down the country: In London there was a large protest in Parliament Square; in Nottingham traffic outside an army recruitment centre was blocked for a while; and large numbers of school students walked out of lessons.
Following the beginning of the war
2003 invasion of Iraq
The 2003 invasion of Iraq , was the start of the conflict known as the Iraq War, or Operation Iraqi Freedom, in which a combined force of troops from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Poland invaded Iraq and toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein in 21 days of major combat operations...

 and the events of Day X, the Coalition organised another national demonstration on the next Saturday, 22 March. While the turnout for this march did not match the demonstration of 15 February - Stop the War claimed up to 500,000, whilst fellow organisers CND claimed between 200,000–300,000 - it was noted that this was the largest anti-war demonstration held during wartime and had been organised with but a week's notice.

Action after the war



The Coalition held a series of protests during November 2003 climaxing in a march on the 20th protesting against what it claimed is the aggressive foreign policy
Bush Doctrine
The Bush Doctrine is a phrase used to describe various related foreign policy principles of former United States president George W. Bush. The phrase was first used by Charles Krauthammer in June 2001 to describe the Bush Administration's unilateral withdrawals from the ABM treaty and the Kyoto...

 of U.S. President George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

, and against the continued U.S. detention of prisoners in Guantanamo Bay
Guantanamo Bay detainment camp
The Guantanamo Bay detention camp is a detainment and interrogation facility of the United States located within Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba. The facility was established in 2002 by the Bush Administration to hold detainees from the war in Afghanistan and later Iraq...

, which protesters claim is an illegal infringement of human rights
Human rights
Human rights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Human rights are thus conceived as universal and egalitarian . These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in both national...

 and the Geneva conventions
Geneva Conventions
The Geneva Conventions comprise four treaties, and three additional protocols, that establish the standards of international law for the humanitarian treatment of the victims of war...

. A march past parliament was organised climaxing in a rally in Trafalgar Square
Trafalgar Square
Trafalgar Square is a public space and tourist attraction in central London, England, United Kingdom. At its centre is Nelson's Column, which is guarded by four lion statues at its base. There are a number of statues and sculptures in the square, with one plinth displaying changing pieces of...

. A papier-mâché statue of Bush was toppled in an action reminiscent of the much televised pulling down of a statue of Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti was the fifth President of Iraq, serving in this capacity from 16 July 1979 until 9 April 2003...

 in Baghdad
Baghdad
Baghdad is the capital of Iraq, as well as the coterminous Baghdad Governorate. The population of Baghdad in 2011 is approximately 7,216,040...

 by American soldiers. Speakers included MP George Galloway
George Galloway
George Galloway is a British politician, author, journalist and broadcaster who was a Member of Parliament from 1987 to 2010. He was formerly an MP for the Labour Party, first for Glasgow Hillhead and later for Glasgow Kelvin, before his expulsion from the party in October 2003, the same year...

 (then member of Labour Party now expelled and joined Respect
RESPECT The Unity Coalition
Respect is a socialist political party in England and Wales founded in 2004. Its name is a contrived acronym standing for Respect, Equality, Socialism, Peace, Environmentalism, Community and Trade Unionism.-Policies:...

), Scottish National Party
Scottish National Party
The Scottish National Party is a social-democratic political party in Scotland which campaigns for Scottish independence from the United Kingdom....

 leader Alex Salmond
Alex Salmond
Alexander Elliot Anderson "Alex" Salmond MSP is a Scottish politician and current First Minister of Scotland. He became Scotland's fourth First Minister in May 2007. He is the Leader of the Scottish National Party , having served as Member of the Scottish Parliament for Gordon...

 and Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

 veteran Ron Kovic
Ron Kovic
Ronald Lawrence Kovic is an anti-war activist, veteran and writer who was paralyzed in the Vietnam War. He is best known as the author of the memoir Born on the Fourth of July, which was made into an Academy Award–winning movie directed by Oliver Stone, with Tom Cruise playing Kovic...

.

The coalition estimates that 300,000 people were present at the demonstration, but this figure is disputed by the police estimate which put it as low as 100,000 people.

On 19 March 2005, StWC organised a large demonstration in Westminster
Westminster
Westminster is an area of central London, within the City of Westminster, England. It lies on the north bank of the River Thames, southwest of the City of London and southwest of Charing Cross...

 with supporters marching from Hyde Park
Hyde Park, London
Hyde Park is one of the largest parks in central London, United Kingdom, and one of the Royal Parks of London, famous for its Speakers' Corner.The park is divided in two by the Serpentine...

 to Parliament Square
Parliament Square
Parliament Square is a square outside the northwest end of the Palace of Westminster in London. It features a large open green area in the middle, with a group of trees to its west. It contains statues of famous statesmen and is the scene of rallies and protests, as well as being a tourist...

 via the US embassy. The supporters were calling for the invading troops to move out of Iraq, for the US to not attack Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 and Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

, for the UK government to halt reductions in the civil liberties of UK citizens including the right to protest and a free trial (which they allege would result from the recent Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005
Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005
The Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, intended to deal with the Law Lords' ruling of 16 December 2004 that the detention without trial of eight foreigners at HM Prison Belmarsh under Part 4 of the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001...

 and Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005
Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005
The Serious Organized Crime and Police Act 2005 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom aimed primarily at creating the Serious Organised Crime Agency, it also significantly extended and simplified the powers of arrest of a constable and introduced restrictions on protests in the...

), and for a reduction in racism in the UK.

The date was chosen as the it was the international day of anti-war demonstrations, as called by the Assembly of the Social Movements at the 2004 European Social Forum. Estimates of the number of marchers vary from 45,000 by the police to over 100,000 by StWC to 200,000 by some observers. The protest was significant as it was the first time that a march had passed the US embassy in London since the protests over the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

.
Later in 2005 StWC sought to join the Make Poverty History
Make Poverty History
Make Poverty History is the name of a campaign that exists in a number of countries, including Australia, Canada, Denmark , Finland, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Romania, the United Arab Emirates, Great Britain and Ireland...

 coalition of groups campaigning around the 31st G8 summit
31st G8 summit
The 31st G8 summit was held from July 6 to July 8, 2005 at the Gleneagles Hotel in Auchterarder, Scotland, United Kingdom and hosted by British Prime Minister Tony Blair...

, held in July of that year, for an end to poverty, but was prevented from doing so, by the MPH Coordinating Team, on the grounds that the issues of economic justice and development are separate from that of war. Nevertheless they independently organised for the MPH demo in Edinburgh on 2 July and in some areas campaigners from MPH and StWC worked together on a local level. They also managed to negotiate a stage in the park at the end of the march. It has been speculated that they were prevented from joining the MPH coalition because organisers wanted to avoid radical criticism of the Labour
Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left democratic socialist party in the United Kingdom. It surpassed the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s, forming minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929-1931. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after...

 government. Fellow anti-war group and StWC member organisation CND were allowed to join.

The 7/7 London bombings


Following the 7 July 2005 London bombings
7 July 2005 London bombings
The 7 July 2005 London bombings were a series of co-ordinated suicide attacks in the United Kingdom, targeting civilians using London's public transport system during the morning rush hour....

, StWC in association with CND and the Muslim Association of Britain
Muslim Association of Britain
The Muslim Association of Britain is an Islamic organisation in the United Kingdom established in 1997.-Anti-war activities:Along with Stop the War Coalition and Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, it has co-sponsored various demonstrations against the 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq...

 held a vigil for the victims at the Peace Garden in Euston, London on 9 July 2005 and a further solidarity gathering at Russell Square, close to one of the Underground stations targeted, on 17 July 2005. At the latter StWC national convener Lindsey German
Lindsey German
Lindsey German is the convenor of the British anti-war organisation Stop the War Coalition and a former member of the central committee of the Socialist Workers Party. She was editor of Socialist Review for twenty years until 2004...

 condemned the bombings but added that “The only way to end the bombings is to withdraw from Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine. When we have justice around the world we will have peace as well.”. The StWC also supported vigils across the country.

In late 2005 the StWC organised a demonstration on the 24th of September with the slogans Stop the Bombings, Stop the War, Bring the Troops Home, Defend Civil Liberties and Defend the Muslim Community. The protest was timed so as to coincide with the protests in Washington
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

 and to occur just before the start of the Labour Party Conference.

On 10 December 2005 the StWC held an 'International Peace Conference
International Peace Conference
The International Peace Conference was an anti-war conference held on December 10, 2005. It was organised by the Stop the War Coalition , and included speakers from Iraq, the United States, and Italy....

' attended by around 1,500 people. Speakers from across the world included Cindy Sheehan
Cindy Sheehan
Cindy Lee Miller Sheehan is an American anti-war activist whose son, U.S. Army Specialist Casey Sheehan, was killed by enemy action during the Iraq War. She attracted national and international media attention in August 2005 for her extended anti-war protest at a makeshift camp outside President...

, the American mother whose son died in Iraq; and Hassan Juma, president of the Iraqi Southern Oil Workers Union.

At this conference a call was launched for an international demonstration on 18 March 2006. The protest in London took place with coaches coming from across the country.

Officers of many major British trade union
Trade union
A trade union, trades union or labor union is an organization of workers that have banded together to achieve common goals such as better working conditions. The trade union, through its leadership, bargains with the employer on behalf of union members and negotiates labour contracts with...

s have been elected to the Coalition Steering Committee and they are also mostly affiliated to the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament
Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament
The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament is an anti-nuclear organisation that advocates unilateral nuclear disarmament by the United Kingdom, international nuclear disarmament and tighter international arms regulation through agreements such as the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty...

.
On 23 September 2006, a demonstration was held outside the venue for the Labour Party Conference in Manchester
Manchester
Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England. According to the Office for National Statistics, the 2010 mid-year population estimate for Manchester was 498,800. Manchester lies within one of the UK's largest metropolitan areas, the metropolitan county of Greater...

. Estimates of attendance varied from "around 20,000" by the police, "up to 50,000" from the Coalition, to "more than 50,000" by the Socialist Worker.

The 2007 demo took place on 24 February 2007 in London, jointly organised with the CND. The themes of this march were No Trident
UK Trident programme
The UK Trident programme is the United Kingdom's Trident missile-based nuclear weapons programme. Under the programme, the Royal Navy operates 58 nuclear-armed Trident II D-5 submarine-launched ballistic missiles and around 200 nuclear warheads on 4 Vanguard-class ballistic missile submarines from...

 and Troops Out of Iraq.

On 15 March 2008 another demonstration was held, marking the 5-year anniversary of the invasion of Iraq; although numbers did not match the original demonstrations, around 40,000 people marched from Trafalgar Square, across the Thames, and back around to Parliament Square, where banners were placed in sight of the House of Commons.

London G-20 Protest: 1–2 April 2009


A march from the American embassy
Embassy of the United States in London
The Embassy of the United States of America to the Court of St. James's has been located since 1960 in the American Embassy London Chancery Building, in Grosvenor Square, Westminster, London...

 in Grosvenor Square
Grosvenor Square
Grosvenor Square is a large garden square in the exclusive Mayfair district of London, England. It is the centrepiece of the Mayfair property of the Duke of Westminster, and takes its name from their surname, "Grosvenor".-History:...

 to Trafalgar Square
Trafalgar Square
Trafalgar Square is a public space and tourist attraction in central London, England, United Kingdom. At its centre is Nelson's Column, which is guarded by four lion statues at its base. There are a number of statues and sculptures in the square, with one plinth displaying changing pieces of...

 on 1 April 2009 brought together protesters from the Stop the War Coalition, Palestine Solidarity Campaign, The British Muslim Initiative, and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament
Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament
The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament is an anti-nuclear organisation that advocates unilateral nuclear disarmament by the United Kingdom, international nuclear disarmament and tighter international arms regulation through agreements such as the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty...

. On 2 April 2009, 200 people protested outside the ExCeL Centre where the G-20 Summit was being held.

Opposition to Armed Forces Day


The StWC accused the government of using the newly created Armed Forces Day on 27 June 2009 as a propaganda tool to promote its war in Afghanistan
Operation Herrick
Operation Herrick is the codename under which all British operations in the war in Afghanistan have been conducted since 2002. It consists of the British contribution to the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force and support to the US-led Operation Enduring Freedom...

.

School Students Against War


School Students Against War
School Students Against War
School Students Against War is an active school students' anti-war group based in the UK. It was established in 2003 as a youth off-shoot of Stop the War Coalition, and is completely organised and maintained by School and FE College students.]...

 (SSAW) was established in 2003 as a youth off shot of StWC. SSAW primary princible is to engage with young people about the issue of war.

Criticisms


Critics of the Coalition have declared that the Socialist Workers Party
Socialist Workers Party (Britain)
The Socialist Workers Party is a far left party in Britain founded by Tony Cliff. The SWP's student section has groups at a number of universities...

 has too much control over the organisation. The Coalition has been criticised for the inclusion of George Galloway in its ranks. It has also been criticised for its refusal to condemn attacks within Iraq, and refusal to condemn foreign insurgent fighters who have entered parts of the country. The commentator Nick Cohen
Nick Cohen
Nick Cohen is a British journalist, author and political commentator. He is currently a columnist for The Observer, a blogger for The Spectator and TV critic for Standpoint magazine. He formerly wrote for the London Evening Standard and the New Statesman...

 has also criticised the relationship of the StWC with organisations he calls reactionary
Reactionary
The term reactionary refers to viewpoints that seek to return to a previous state in a society. The term is meant to describe one end of a political spectrum whose opposite pole is "radical". While it has not been generally considered a term of praise it has been adopted as a self-description by...

 such as the Muslim Association of Britain
Muslim Association of Britain
The Muslim Association of Britain is an Islamic organisation in the United Kingdom established in 1997.-Anti-war activities:Along with Stop the War Coalition and Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, it has co-sponsored various demonstrations against the 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq...

 (MAB). He accuses the coalition of ignoring the requests of secular trade union
Trade union
A trade union, trades union or labor union is an organization of workers that have banded together to achieve common goals such as better working conditions. The trade union, through its leadership, bargains with the employer on behalf of union members and negotiates labour contracts with...

s and Kurds in Iraq. He also claims that there is a contradiction between the StWC's call for respect for human rights
Human rights
Human rights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Human rights are thus conceived as universal and egalitarian . These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in both national...

 and its close links with organisations that openly call for the death penalty for homosexuality
Homosexuality
Homosexuality is romantic or sexual attraction or behavior between members of the same sex or gender. As a sexual orientation, homosexuality refers to "an enduring pattern of or disposition to experience sexual, affectional, or romantic attractions" primarily or exclusively to people of the same...

 and apostasy
Apostasy
Apostasy , 'a defection or revolt', from ἀπό, apo, 'away, apart', στάσις, stasis, 'stand, 'standing') is the formal disaffiliation from or abandonment or renunciation of a religion by a person. One who commits apostasy is known as an apostate. These terms have a pejorative implication in everyday...

.

Notable members

  • Tariq Ali
    Tariq Ali
    Tariq Ali , , is a British Pakistani military historian, novelist, journalist, filmmaker, public intellectual, political campaigner, activist, and commentator...

    , StWC Vice-President, anti-imperialist writer
  • Tony Benn
    Tony Benn
    Anthony Neil Wedgwood "Tony" Benn, PC is a British Labour Party politician and a former MP and Cabinet Minister.His successful campaign to renounce his hereditary peerage was instrumental in the creation of the Peerage Act 1963...

    , StWC President, former Labour Party
    Labour Party (UK)
    The Labour Party is a centre-left democratic socialist party in the United Kingdom. It surpassed the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s, forming minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929-1931. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after...

     MP
    Member of Parliament
    A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

     and Cabinet Minister
  • Andrew Burgin, StWC press officer
  • Louise Christian
    Louise Christian
    Louise Christian is an award-winning British human rights lawyer.She is a frequent contributor to The Guardian.She is the author or co-author of several books.She is the daughter of Jack and Maureen Christian....

    , StWC Vice-President, Campaigning lawyer
  • Katy Clark
    Katy Clark
    Kathryn Sloan Clark is a British Labour Party politician and former trade union official who has been the Member of Parliament for North Ayrshire and Arran since 2005.-Early life:...

     MP, Labour Party MP for Ayrshire North & Arran
  • Jeremy Corbyn
    Jeremy Corbyn
    Jeremy Bernard Corbyn is a British Labour Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament for Islington North since 1983.-Early and personal life:...

    , StWC officer, Labour Party MP for Islington North
  • Tam Dalyell
    Tam Dalyell
    Sir Thomas Dalyell Loch, 11th Baronet , known as Tam Dalyell, is a British Labour Party politician, who was a Member of Parliament in the House of Commons from 1962 to 2005, first for West Lothian and then for Linlithgow.-Early life:...

    , StWC Vice President, former Labour Party MP
  • George Galloway
    George Galloway
    George Galloway is a British politician, author, journalist and broadcaster who was a Member of Parliament from 1987 to 2010. He was formerly an MP for the Labour Party, first for Glasgow Hillhead and later for Glasgow Kelvin, before his expulsion from the party in October 2003, the same year...

    , StWC Vice-President, former Respect
    RESPECT The Unity Coalition
    Respect is a socialist political party in England and Wales founded in 2004. Its name is a contrived acronym standing for Respect, Equality, Socialism, Peace, Environmentalism, Community and Trade Unionism.-Policies:...

     MP for Bethnal Green and Bow
  • Lindsey German
    Lindsey German
    Lindsey German is the convenor of the British anti-war organisation Stop the War Coalition and a former member of the central committee of the Socialist Workers Party. She was editor of Socialist Review for twenty years until 2004...

    , StWC convenor, former Socialist Workers Party
    Socialist Workers Party (Britain)
    The Socialist Workers Party is a far left party in Britain founded by Tony Cliff. The SWP's student section has groups at a number of universities...

     (SWP) Central Committee member, Respect
    RESPECT The Unity Coalition
    Respect is a socialist political party in England and Wales founded in 2004. Its name is a contrived acronym standing for Respect, Equality, Socialism, Peace, Environmentalism, Community and Trade Unionism.-Policies:...

     candidate in the elections
    London mayoral election, 2004
    The 2004 election to the post of Mayor of London took place on 10 June 2004. It was being held on the same day as other local elections and the UK part of the 2004 European Parliament elections, so Londoners had a total of five votes on three ballot papers. Polling opened at 07:00 local time, and...

     for Mayor of London
    Mayor of London
    The Mayor of London is an elected politician who, along with the London Assembly of 25 members, is accountable for the strategic government of Greater London. Conservative Boris Johnson has held the position since 4 May 2008...

  • Kate Hudson
    Kate Hudson (activist)
    Katharine Jane Hudson is a UK academic and political activist.Kate Hudson is currently the General Secretary of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. Prior to her appointment to the post, she had served as Chair of the organisation from 2003 to 2010...

    , StWC officer, chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament
    Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament
    The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament is an anti-nuclear organisation that advocates unilateral nuclear disarmament by the United Kingdom, international nuclear disarmament and tighter international arms regulation through agreements such as the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty...

  • Caroline Lucas
    Caroline Lucas
    Caroline Patricia Lucas is a British politician. Lucas is the leader of the Green Party of England and Wales, and the Green Party's first and only Member of Parliament in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom...

     MP, StWC Vice-President, Leader of the Green Party of England and Wales
    Green Party of England and Wales
    The Green Party of England and Wales is a political party in England and Wales which follows the traditions of Green politics and maintains a strong commitment to social progressivism. It is the largest Green party in the United Kingdom, containing within it various regional divisions including...

     and Member of Parliament
    Member of Parliament
    A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

     for Brighton Pavilion
  • Alice Mahon
    Alice Mahon
    Alice Mahon is a British former Labour Party politician and trade unionist.She was Member of Parliament for Halifax from 1987 until 2005. She is a left-winger who was a member of the Socialist Campaign Group and is a Eurosceptic...

    , StWC Vice President, former Labour Party MP
  • Andrew Murray
    Andrew Murray (campaigner and journalist)
    Andrew Murray is a British campaigner and journalist who has been Chair of the Stop the War Coalition from its formation in 2001. In this capacity he presided at the concluding rally of what is claimed as the largest political demonstration in British history, against the Iraq war in 2003...

    , StWC chair, Chief of Staff of Unite the union, Communist Party of Britain
    Communist Party of Britain
    The Communist Party of Britain is a communist political party in Great Britain. Although founded in 1988 it traces its origins back to 1920 and the Communist Party of Great Britain, and claims the legacy of that party and its most influential members Harry Pollitt and John Gollan as its...

     member
  • Chris Nineham
    Chris Nineham
    Chris Nineham is one of the founder members and now one of the National Officers of the Stop the War Coalition in the UK. He was one of the main organisers of the 15 February 2003 anti-war protest against the invasion on Iraq....

    , StWC officer, former SWP Central Committee member
  • John Rees
    John Rees (UK politician)
    John Rees is a British political activist, broadcaster and writer who is a national officer of the Stop the War Coalition and founding member of Counterfire who was formerly associated with the Socialist Workers Party...

    , StWC officer, former SWP Central Committee member, Respect National Secretary
  • Keith Sonnet, StWC Vice-President, Deputy General Secretary of Unison
    Unison
    In music, the word unison can be applied in more than one way. In general terms, it may refer to two notes sounding the same pitch, often but not always at the same time; or to the same musical voice being sounded by several voices or instruments together, either at the same pitch or at a distance...

  • Walter Wolfgang
    Walter Wolfgang
    Walter Jakob Wolfgang is a German-born British socialist and peace activist.He is currently Vice President and Vice Chair of Labourof the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and a supporter of the Stop the War Coalition...

    , StWC member, Vice-chair Labour CND, Vice-president CND and member of the Labour Party's National Executive Committee
    National Executive Committee
    The National Executive Committee or NEC is the chief administrative body of the UK Labour Party. Its composition has changed over the years, and includes representatives of affiliated trade unions, the Parliamentary Labour Party and European Parliamentary Labour Party, Constituency Labour Parties,...

  • Salma Yaqoob
    Salma Yaqoob
    Salma Yaqoob is the leader, and former vice-chair, of the Respect Party and a former Birmingham City Councillor. She is also the head of the Birmingham Stop the War Coalition and a spokesperson for Birmingham Central Mosque....

    , Birmingham City Council
    Birmingham City Council
    The Birmingham City Council is the body responsible for the governance of the City of Birmingham in England, which has been a metropolitan district since 1974. It is the most populated local authority in the United Kingdom with, following a reorganisation of boundaries in June 2004, 120 Birmingham...

    or, Respect founding member

In popular culture


StWC is mentioned in the fictional 2004 publication by Sue Townsend
Sue Townsend
-Adrian Mole series:* The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13¾ , her best selling book, and the best-selling new British fiction book of the 1980s.* The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole * The True Confessions of Adrian Albert Mole...

: Adrian Mole and the Weapons of Mass Destruction
Adrian Mole and the Weapons of Mass Destruction
Published in 2004 by Penguin Books, Adrian Mole and the Weapons of Mass Destruction is Sue Townsend's sixth full Adrian Mole novel . It is set in 2002/3 and Adrian is 33¾ years of age...

. In the satirical story, the protagonist, Adrian Mole
Adrian Mole
Adrian Albert Mole is the fictional protagonist in a series of books by English author Sue Townsend. The character first appeared in a BBC Radio 4 play in 1982. The books are written in the form of a diary, with some additional content such as correspondence...

, writes to Tony Blair
Tony Blair
Anthony Charles Lynton Blair is a former British Labour Party politician who served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 2 May 1997 to 27 June 2007. He was the Member of Parliament for Sedgefield from 1983 to 2007 and Leader of the Labour Party from 1994 to 2007...

 in an attempt to retrieve his bond, after canceling a holiday to Cyprus
Cyprus
Cyprus , officially the Republic of Cyprus , is a Eurasian island country, member of the European Union, in the Eastern Mediterranean, east of Greece, south of Turkey, west of Syria and north of Egypt. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.The earliest known human activity on the...

 due to the Blair Government's controversial 45 minute claim from the 2002 September Dossier
September Dossier
Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction: The Assessment of the British Government, also known as the September Dossier, was a document published by the British government on 24 September 2002 on the same day of a recall of Parliament to discuss the contents of the document...

. Mole wrote to the Prime Minister after his travel adviser refused to return his bond, whom Mole suspected of attending a StWC march when phoning his office, rather than being "away from his desk".

External links