News 2015

Newcastle March and Rally - Stop Bombing Syria!

On Saturday December 19, a march and rally took place in Newcastle to demand that the government stop bombing Syria and that Britain should end its intervention in the affairs of Syria as well as other countries in the Middles East and the world. Around 100 people started the march from the Centre for Life and made their way through Newcastle to a larger rally at the Monument.  The rally was addressed by Chandni Chopra, Friends of Al Aqsa - Peace for Palestine, Nick Megoran, Martin Luther King Peace Committee, Shumel Rahman, Newcastle Unites, Theresa Easton, North East Peoples Assembly, Andrew Grey, Green Party, Laura Pidcock, Northumberland Labour councillor, Daniel Kebede, Stand up to Racism, Clare Williams, Unison Northern Northern Region Convener, Roger Nettleship, Newcastle Stop the War Coalition (PDF text of speech).  The speeches were enthusiastically received and the rally was concluded with the songs of singer-song writer Ron Brown who was also enthusiastically applauded. The rally was chaired by Tony Dowling and Chandni Chopra.  This was an impressive march and rally on the last Saturday before the holiday and shows the increasing opposition to the British government's bombing and interference in Syria.

Newcastle Vigils - Stop Bombing Syria

Vigils were held at the Monument on the evening of 16th, 17th and 18th December to oppose the bombing of Syria and that Britain should end its intervention in the affairs of Syria as well as other countries in the Middles East and the world.

National Demonstration - Stop Bombing Syria

On Saturday December 12, thirty people from Newcastle Stop the War Coalition joined the national demonstation in London. Thousands of people marched from Portland Place to Downing Street against the government's decision to bomb Syria.  Protestors gathered on Whitehall for a rally outside Downing Street to hear speakers from the Green Party, CND, the National Union of Teachers, National Union of Students, the Muslim Association of Great Britain, Stand Up to Racism, Military Families Against the War, the Awareness Foundation, and representatives from Scottish Stop the War and Walthamstow Stop the War.   Stop the War Chair, Andrew Murray, read a message sent from Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn: The message said in part:
"A large majority of all parts of the Labour party – including the membership, MPs and the Shadow cabinet – last week opposed this government’s determination to extend UK bombing to Syria.
Intensifying the war won’t protect our security - or help the Syrian people. It risks doing the opposite. The only way to beat Isis is through a negotiated settlement of the Syrian civil war.
We in parliament will hold this government to account for the conduct of their campaign – and step up the pressure to bring the conflict to an end.
But for that we need your support and campaigning. Thanks for everything you have done, your internationalism and solidarity. We can, and will, bring these wars to an end."

Newcastle Protest Says Don't Bomb Syria!

On Tuesday December 1st, a large rally at Newcastle Monument of nearly 400 people protested against Cameron's plans to bomb Syria in the wake of the terrorist atrocities in Paris.   The rally which was held on the eve of the vote in Parliament was addressed by 8 representatives from parties, organisations and campaign groups in the region opposed to the war.  The rally sent a loud message to Cameron and to Parliament that all the efforts should go into a political solution for peace and that war is not a solution to terrorism and never has been. The rally highlighted the need for an anti-war government in Britain and that the message to Parliament tomorrow was don't attack, or bomb, SyriaThe rally called on people to, even at this late stage, do everything they could to stop  MPs voting for war the next day.

Don't Bomb Syria

Day of  Action in South Shields

On Saturday November 28, activists of South Tyneside Stop the War Coaltion distributed hundreds leaflets in South Shields with the title Cameron Wants Bombing and War - Not a Solution to the Terrorism He Helped Create.  This was part of a national day of action. A lot of discussion took place with people who wanted to  express their anger at Cameron's plan to once again take Britain to war in the Middle East.  It was an important day of action with many people saying they will lobby their MP.     PDF of Leaflet

March & Rally It's Time for a Peoples' Autumn Statement

On November 24, several hundred people attended a march and rally in Newcastle organised by the Northern PSA and Peoples Assembly on the eve of George Osborne's austerity autumn statement. On Wednesday he will make a further massive cut to welfare spending and public services while continuing to line the pockets of the billionaires. The march and rally was called to fight for the alternative under the title It's Time for a People's Autumn Statement. Many speakers from Northern PSA,  Peoples Assembly, Unison, Doctors (BMA), Newcastle Unites, Labour Party, Green Party and others addressed the rally. 

Remarks of Roger Nettleship who spoke on behalf of Newcastle Stop the War to the rally:

"George Osborne has plenty of money for war he is taking from the poorest 12 billion pounds of welfare and he is spending 12 billion pounds on 138 fighter jets, on increasing the spying and mass surveillance budget over the people of Britain. This is what the Tories are doing.

"I would like to bring an important message to this rally against Osborne's austerity budget from the anti-war movement. The first thing that stop the war wants to do is to stop Cameron's government getting their way and using the latest shock of the terrible terrorist atrocity in Paris to bounce the people of Britain and their MPS into accepting yet more intervention and wars in the Middle East. You would think after all the failure, the murder, the destruction of such wars that they would have finally learnt a lesson. Such a war in Syria will not defeat ISIS as they claim and the bombing and mayhem will lead to even more deaths, more refugees and chaos and more terrorism throughout the world."

"Let us be clear ISIS does not have anything to do with Muslims. It is a terrorist group funded and armed by the US, Saudis and others. In other words Britain and its friends have been part of creating and arming these terrorist groups in Iraq and Syria with their wars in the middle east over 15 years."

"Stop the War is calling people to go all out to oppose Britain's intervention in Syria, to lobby their MPs make sure that they get the message. When Cameron forces a debate in Parliament for bombing next week we will be holding a demonstration at the Monument at 5pm. Everyone should support Jeremy Corbyn's stand. He is a leader of the opposition that wants to end the ruling elites destructive violent interventionist programme abroad which is the cause of terrorism, it is the cause of the massive refugee crisis, the cause of Islamophobia and the scape goating of Muslims."

"Let us also get behind Jeremy Corbyn's programme which is our second focus to stop the renewal of Trident. Stop this US Nato controlled weapon of mass destruction in our country. Let us invest the billions of pounds in changing the direction of the economy to meet the needs of all and make Britain a human centred pro-social and anti war society that defends the rights of all."

"Thank You"

Stop the War statement condemns the terrorist atrocity in Paris on 13/11/15

Stop the War Coalition 16 November 2015.

The response of the western governments and other major powers has been for more war. The idea that bombing will end terrorism is refuted by the history of the last 14 years.

We wish to express our condemnation at the terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday. There can be absolutely no justification for the horrific shooting and bombing of very large numbers of innocent people, in concerts, bars and cafes. Our thoughts are with the victims and their families.

Terrorism attributed to IS is growing around the world. The main victims of such attacks are the people of the countries wracked by wars. Bombings and shootings of these kinds are all too frequent in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. Just this week, a major bombing in Lebanon killed dozens of people, although this was little reported in the west. The refugees now coming to Europe will be all too familiar with such attacks.

The response of the western governments and other major powers has been for more war. President Hollande of France has talked of a 'pitiless' war against terrorism. The idea that bombing will end terrorism is refuted by the history of the last 14 years. It has already led to an increase in Islamophobia and to attacks on civil liberties which will likely target Muslims above all.

The British government has been campaigning for a vote in parliament to be able to officially bomb Syria. There is absolutely no evidence that this will do anything but make the situation worse. We should remember that ISIS was created in Iraq, during the U.S. occupation there. The disastrous civil war in Libya followed the bombing of that country by the west, which began with a no fly zone. The only solution can lie in political and negotiated solutions.

The urgent task is how we end these killings, defeat the reactionary force of ISIS and other similar groups, and begin to see the prospect of peace in the Middle East. This can only be done by the Iraqi, Syrian and other peoples of the region themselves. Western military intervention has not only killed or displaced millions, it has also contributed to the endless mutation of terrorist groups like IS while destroying the capacity of the people's of the region to confront such organisations themselves.

Defeating ISIS means firstly cutting its support from some of the most reactionary regimes in the region, including Saudi Arabia. Secondly it means not creating further grievances which help to fuel its support. That means rejecting the idea that bombing and intervention can make things better. We are told that we need to be 'doing something' in the face of these attacks. It is precisely because what we have been doing in the region that we face this threat.

Stop the War works for a world without terrorism and imperialism, and will continue to campaign for a peaceful solution to the crises in the Middle East.

Lobby - Cameron Hands Off Syria

Lobbying Shadow Attorney General Catherine McKinnell MP

The government is fixated on getting a vote to bomb Syria. Over the last few months Cameron keeps calling for further intervention in the “war” in Syria using bombers.  This “war” has been caused by the  Anglo-US-Israeli and Saudi  interventions in the middle east in the first place and the arming of proxies to overthrow secular states to suit their global ambitions.  They have created this anarchy and violence so that they certainly can’t sort it out by illegal intervention which does not have the backing of the Syrian government or the UN.

There was a vote against the government’s bombing plans at the recent Labour Party conference and Jeremy Corbyn has a long record of opposition to foreign wars. So lets bring about  an anti-war government in Britain!
And please lobby YOUR MP using this link - it only takes 2 minutes!

Western wars and the refugee crisis

On September 30, around 40 people took part in this vital meeting discussing the west's wars and the role they have played as a central part in the refugee crisis over last 18 years. Three speakers: Shumel Rahman, Newcastle Unites and one of the organisers of Newcastle demonstration refugees are welcome, Nick Megoran Geography lecturer at Newcastle University and Martin Luther King Peace Committee, and Alex Snowden Newcastle Stop the War addressed the meeting. This was followed by participants engaging in discussion from the point of view of developing the new politics that has been opened up by Jeremy Corbyn's victory as leader of the Labour Party.  The mood was for the anti war movement to go all out get behind Jeremy Corbyn to stop the attempt of the Cameron goverment to push through Parliament military action against Syria and address properly the refugee crisis that these wars had caused.

Stop the War Statement on Yemen

Stop the War Coalition . Posted in Stop the War Statements

The Stop the War Coalition condemns the British government’s support for the Saudi-led attack on Yemen.  This war is a further destabilising act of aggression in the Middle East, which risks embroiling the region and its peoples in a still wider war.

We note that Foreign Secretary Phillip Hammond has pledged Britain’s political, technical and logistical support for the attack by the Saudi forces which, as he says, is largely equipped with British aircraft and munitions.

Saudi Arabia is now playing a leading part in almost every anti-democratic development in the Middle East, including joining in the current Anglo-American bombardment in Iraq, We repeat our long-standing demand that Britain end its alliance with the dictatorial and oppressive Saudi regime, and cease supplying it with arms. 

This present conflict in Yemen reflects the determination of both Saudi Arabia and the western powers to destroy the democratic potential of the Arab Spring in one country after another.  Only the people of Yemen can resolve the crisis in that country and decide their own future, and their independence and territorial integrity must be fully respected.

Britain must change its Middle East policy as a matter of urgency, including stopping bombing Iraq, ending involvement in the Syrian conflict and abandoning plans to open a base in Bahrain, another Saudi-maintained dictatorship.  The anti-war movement will place these demands before all candidates in the General Election campaign.

Anti-Pegida march and Rally Newcastle

Newcastle unites in defence of the Muslim Community and for the rights of all! Some footage of the powerful 3000 strong anti-Pegida demonstration and rally in Newcastle on February 28 2015. Newcastle Stop the War took part as part of the Newcastle Unites organised demonstration. Estimates showed that this demonstration far outnumbered some few hundred coming from outside trying to spread hate in the city on behalf of the ruling circles. It is vital to defend the Muslim community and all communities. Defend the rights of all!

Newcastle Meeting Condemns Islamophobia and the War on Terror

On Thursday, February 26th around 50 people took part in a vital meeting to condemn Islamophobia and the War on Terror in the wake of the recent attempts by the ruling circles to to whip up hostility and racism against our Islamic community.  Speakers included writer and broadcaster Yvonne Ridley and Stop the War Coalition vice chair Chris Nineham. The meeting was also addressed by Mick Bowman recently returned from Palestine and having been mistreated and arrested by the Israelis and Hazera Begum a Muslim Chaplain at Northumbria University. The Meeting was Chaired by Alex Snowden of Newcastle Stop the War Coalition.  The meeting was a fairly in depth discussion of the issues and brought together people involved in fighting to build the unity of the people and provide safe spaces to solve the problems caused by the devastating wars being waged by the Anglo-US  and  Israeli powers in the Middle East and elsewhere. The issue was also preparing for the Saturday demonstration in Newcastle against Pegida and standing up for the Islamic community as our community and defending the rights of all communities and people against the plan of the ruling elite to divide and rule.

Audio of contributions:  Yvonne Ridley   Chris Nineham   Mick Bowman  Hazera Begum

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Newcastle demonstration against the invasion of Afghanistan, October 2001

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