News 2016
Cuba Solidarity Campaign statement on the loss and legacy of Fidel Castro

August 13, 1926 – November 25, 2016

The Cuba Solidarity Campaign is deeply saddened by loss of Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro Ruz who died at 10.29 on Friday 25 November, aged 90.

For more than 50 years the Cuban Revolution has been an inspiration for countries fighting for independence and equality. Cuba’s remarkable achievements in health, education, women’s rights and social justice were gained under the leadership of Fidel Castro.

Fidel’s commitment to internationalism leaves a lasting legacy throughout the world. From Cuba’s support fighting against Apartheid forces in Southern Africa, to training doctors from in Latin America, and its international medical brigades caring for the victims of earthquakes from Pakistan to Haiti, Cuba has shown that another world is possible.

The Cuba Solidarity Campaign sends it’s sincere condolences and solidarity to the family and friends of Fidel Castro and the Cuban people in their time of mourning.

The best tribute we in Britain can make is to continue the struggle to end the immoral and unjust blockade of Cuba and for the return of the illegally occupied land at Guantanamo Bay.

Hasta Siempre Comandante.

Newcastle People For Corbyn Demonstration & Rally

On Saturday July 30 2016 Newcastle, Sunderland and South Tyneside Stop the War took part in a demonstration and rally to support the anti-war, anti-austerity and anti-racist stand of Jeremy Corbyn and wish every success to the campaign of Labour party members to retain him as the leader of the opposition in Parliament and open up the question of building a social movement to empower the people.

Short You Tube film of demonstration and rall

Newcastle Vigil  to Mark the
Release of the Chilcot Report

On Wednesday July 6 around 70 people gathered at Newcastle Monument to mark the release of the Chilcot  report.  Speakers from Newcastle Stop the War, Sunderland Stop the War, Newcastle Trades union council and Veterans for Peace said that the Chilcot report is a damning indictment of Tony Blair and those around him who took us to war in Iraq.  The report highlights most of what we have been campaigning for over the years. Some of the main points are:

Military action was “not a last resort,” the Chilcot Inquiry has found. The report says there was no imminent threat from Iraq’s Saddam Hussein in 2003. The report says the threat was "deliberately exaggerated".

Decided before to go to war before weapons inspections were concluded. In July 2002 before, well over six months before the invasion of Iraq, Blair wrote to then-US President George Bush promising him that the UK would be there with him “whatever,” Chilcot says. Weapons of Mass Destruction presented ‘with a certainty that was not justified’. Tony Blair to George Bush, 28 July, 2002. "I would be happy to try to put all this together... But it needs a huge commitment in time and energy. So it's only really worth doing if we are all on the same page. On timing, we could start up after the (summer) break. A strike date could be Jan/Feb next year (2003). But the crucial issue is not when, but how."

Chilcot says it is now clear that policy on Iraq was made “on the basis of flawed intelligence and assessments. They were not challenged and they should have been.

Chilcot says the inquiry has not expressed a view on whether military action was legal, as that must be resolved by a properly constituted and internationally recognized court.
“We have, however, concluded that the circumstances in which it was decided there was a legal basis for UK military action were far from satisfactory.”

Following the release of the report speakers called for Tony Blair and others involved in the Anglo-US criminal invasion to be brought to account.  The rally also called for an anti-war government that ends the cycle of wars and violence by Britain’s interference in other countries throughout the world.

Tyne & Wear May Day

Photo: Chronicle Live

On Saturday, 30 April, more than 300 people representing Trade Unions, political parties and campaign groups took part in the Tyne & Wear May Day march from Princes Square, Newcastle to Exhitition Park. At the park the May Day rally was held with speakers and music. Newcastle Stop the War was represented with activists carrying the banner on the march and the convener Roger Nettleship speaking at the rally.

Newcastle Public Meeting

Why we should scrap Trident

On Tuesday, March 22, at Broadacre House, Newcastle Stop the War Coalition (NSWC) hosted a meeting with the support of Unison Northern Region on why we should scrap Trident. Around 20 people took part.

Clare Williams, Unison Northern Region Convener spoke about Unison's policy and concern in the unstable world conditions created by the big powers and their added concern against Trident. She said we need to organise to have a different type of world that brings peace and not war and brings people together.  She said that from a  union perspective it made no sense to say that Trident would "protect" jobs and outlined how the whole austerity programme, which was linked to this policy of nuclear weapons  was destroying both manufacturing and public services. She explained Unison's strategy for an alternative to austerity. She concluded by saying there needs an atmosphere of ongoing discussion in Unison and other unions on these issues and a working together with Stop the war, CND,  and other organisations and utilising information and facts from all these organisations in the future. 

Alex Snowdon, Newcastle Stop the War concurred with the  previous speaker and the chair around "project fear" that was increasingly being used to stop serious discussion of these vital issues of Trident as well as other issues in society.  There was a need to take these issues up in the movement and he spoke about the  recent mass demonstration in London, the first for many years, which showed the increasing opposition to the renewal of Trident.  He said especially when, you have leaders of SNP, Greens and the leader of the opposition, Jeremy Corbyn speaking there and in Parliament against Trident.   He pointed out how Trident was totally dependent on the US.  That for the government, Trident  was about prestige and global standing. It was ludicrously expensive, dangerous and useless in addressing the 21st century security issues. He concluded by saying that what needed to be done was firstly to put the arguments across, support Corbyn and campaign and lobby MPs for the vote in Parliament and secondly to create a broader vision in the movements of the people for peace and justice and work for a world without endless war.

Dave Webb, Chair of CND complemented the other speakers giving some detailed accounts of the nuclear weapons systems, the costs and the legal frameworks. He pointed out that one submarine which was on duty all the time could hit 40 targets with nuclear weapons and that 3 million people could be killed with one strike. He pointed that to target civilians in war was illegal in international law and then gave facts on how Britain was in breach of the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty it had signed by its actions to renew Trident. Talking about the costs he said the latest figures that been worked out by a Conservative MP and put the figure at 180 billion over 30 years, 6 billion a year.  He concluded by also calling for CND working together with other organisations and it was agreed by all that there needed to be a new branch of CND set up in Newcastle.

Contributions and discussion were very much focused on developing discussion in the trade unions and in Labour Party circles and amongst MPs as well as broadly in society. The meeting was chaired by Roger Nettleship Convener of NSWC.

Newcastle Stop the War Annual General Meeting 2016

One of the vital future events discussed at the AGM

Newcastle Stop the War Coalition held its Annual General Meeting on Tuesday February 2nd. The context of the AGM is the continuing dangerous situation coming from the Anglo-US warmongers stepping up their covert and overt military intervention in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Ukraine and elsewhere using the pretext of a "war on terrorism". Equally dangerous is the attempt to criminalise the Muslim community and  to attack the rights of all the people in Britain under the guise of opposing terrorism. Present at the AGM were members of Stop the War and one guest. A new steering committee was elected and the officers were re-elected. A report was produced on the activities over the last year and the convener gave a report on the work of Newcastle Stop the War Coalition over the last year which generated some important discussion. There were no motions. The AGM then discussed and agreed future activities for this year including national events of Stop the War.

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Newcastle demonstration against the invasion of Afghanistan, October 2001

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