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Stop the War Statements

Statement: Mother Agnes and the International Anti-war Conference on 30 November 2013

Over the last few days a campaign has developed over the invitation we extended to Mother Agnes -- a nun from Syria, who leads a campaign called Mussalaha (Reconciliation) -- to speak in London at the International Anti-War Conference on 30 November organised by Stop the War Coalition.

Mother Agnes has now withdrawn from speaking at the conference.

In inviting speakers to participate in its events, Stop the War has never sought to endorse all their views. We have always provided a platform for a diversity of opinions within a broad anti-war perspective.

We hope that we can now build the conference as a strong focus for opposition to war and imperialism.

Mother Agnes has issued her own statement giving her reasons for withdrawing from the conference, here...

Full details of the conference are here...

Statement on Woolwich killing of a British soldier

Statement by Stop the War Coalition and CND
Supported by Cage Prisoners

The attack in Woolwich on 22 May was horrific. There can be no justification for a murderous attack on an individual soldier in the streets of London. It must have been awful too for the local people who witnessed it.

The Woolwich attack, carried out by two men now shot and wounded and under arrest in hospital, appears to represent a phenomenon that was pointed out nearly a decade ago by the security services in Britain: that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq would lead to a growing threat of terrorism in Britain. Many of us have long predicted that these sorts of attacks would happen because of the war on terror.

The men claimed that the killing of the soldier was in response to the killing of Muslims by British soldiers in other countries. One said that the government did not care for people and should get the troops out.

The response from the government has been to declare this a major terrorist incident. We do not yet know whether they had wider connections or whether this was a one off incident.

But the government response fails to deal with the political causes underlying such attacks. There were no such cases in Britain before the start of the ‘war on terror’ in 2001, which led to the invasions and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq. The consequences of those wars have been devastating for the people of those countries and further afield. Up to a million died in Iraq and 4 million were made refugees. Tens of thousands have died in Afghanistan. Fighting still continues and in Iraq looks like descending into civil war in some parts of the country.

The balance sheet of the last decade and more would demonstrate that the war on terror has been a failure in its own terms. It has not prevented terrorism but caused it to spread.

It has also led to a rise in Islamophobia in Britain and elsewhere. The invasion and occupation of mainly Muslim countries abroad has to lead to the dehumanising of the victims of the wars. Racists like the EDL turned up in Woolwich to try to further foster Islamophobia.

We call on all everyone to resist any racist backlash as a result of this attack.

We also call on the government to recognise the damage done by these wars and to change its foreign policy accordingly.

Lindsey German Convenor, Stop the War Coalition
Kate Hudson General Secretary, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament
Moazzam Begg Outreach Director, CagePrisoners

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Ban weaponised drones – statement by Global Anti-Drone Network: European section

drones graphic

We oppose the use of drone technology for killing, surveillance and repression.

We oppose weaponised and surveillance drones because their deployment lowers the threshold to armed aggression, is used for “targeted” killing of people within and outside warzones  – without indictment, trial and conviction, terrorizes the population of the targeted territories, fuels hatred, thereby increasing the cycle of violence, leads to the development of autonomous kille robots, thereby making even more horrifying wars likely, initiates a new round in the arms race.

We demand that all governments cease the production and acquisition of armed drones, as well as their research and development, and work towards a worldwide ban of these weapons.

Endorsed by:

Althaler, Birgit – Palestine Solidarity Basel, Switzerland
Aune, Björn – Boycott, Sanctions, Divestment (BDS) Campaign Berlin, Germany
Baloch, Farooq – Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf  (PTI), Germany
Benjamin, Medea  - Code Pink (Co-­Founder), USA
Björkmann, Rosie – Women for Peace, Sweden
Bosma, Geert – Vredes Informatie Centrum (Staff) & War  Resisters Intl. (WRI), Netherlands
Braun, Reiner – Intl.  Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms (IALANA – Executive Director),Germany
Cole, Chris – Drone Wars UK (Founder) & Drone Campaign Network (Convener), United Kingdom
Dubrow, Niels – Staff  Assistant to Dr. Ute Finckh-Krämer, Member of Bundestag (SPD), Germany
Finckh-Krämer, Ute – Member of Bundestag  (MdB), Social Democratic Party (SPD) & Stiftung Friedensbildung, Germany
Fredegård, Anita – Women for Peace, Sweden
Fuchs, Barbara – attac  &  Friedensratschlag,  Germany
Fuchs-Kittowski, Klaus – Forum of Computer Scientists for Peace and Social Responsibility (FIfF),  Germany
Ghannam, Doris – Boycott,  Sanctions, Divestment (BDS) Campaign Berlin, Germany
Hunko, Andrej – Member of Bundestag (MdB) & of Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, DIE  LINKE  (the  Left)
Hugler, Helmut – Staff  Assistant  to  Dr.  Ute Finckh-Krämer, Member of Bundestag (SPD), Germany
Javaid, Tariq – Pakistan  Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI), Germany
Kachel, Thomas – Parliamentary Advisor  on  Peace and Security Issues, DIE  LINKE (the Left) in the Bundestag, Germany
Käss, Helmut – Intl.  Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), Germany
Krutsch, Elfriede – Intl. Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), Germany
Lammerent, Hans – Vredesactie Peace  Movement (former  Chair), Belgium
Lorentz, Charlotte – Staff Assistant to Angieszka Brugger, Member of the Bundestag, Green  parliamentary  group, Germany
Martensson, Ingela – Women for Peace & former Member of the parliament (Liberal  Party), Sweden
Mudassir, Ali – Pakistan Tehreek-­e-­Insaaf  (PTI), Germany
Müller-Reiss, Brunhild – Drone  Campaign & Peace Office Hannover & War Resisters Intl. (DFG-VK in WRI), Germany
Nineham, Chris – Stop the War Coalition (StWC -Vice Chair), United Kingdom
Norberg, Agneta – Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space & Women for Peace, Sweden
Paulini,  Peter – Stiftung Friedensbildung (Foundation for Peacemaking), Germany
Pflüger, Tobias – Drone Campaign & Info. Agency on Militarisation (IMI, Founder) & former MEP (DIE  LINKE), Germany
Rassbach, Elsa – Code Pink & Drone Campaign & War Resisters Intl. (DFG-VK in WRI, Board), USA/Germany
Schoeppe, Florian – Staff Assistant to Katja Keul, Membe  of the Bundestag, Green parliamentary group, Germany
Steffen, Jens-Peter – Intl.  Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW),  Staff Adviser on Peace Issues), Germany
Stryk, Lydia – Playwright,  USA/Germany
Wijnberg,  J.M.T.  (Miek) – Burgerrechtenvereniging  Vrijbit  (President),  Netherlands
Wimmersperg, Laura – Drone Campaign & Peace Coordination Berlin (Speaker), Germany
Wirl, Lucas – ICC No to NATO (Co-Chair) & Intl. Network Engineers & Scientists for Global Responsibility (INES), Germany

Statement on Syria

The Stop the War Coalition strongly opposes any military attack on Syria. While we oppose all use of chemical weapons, the latest alleged such attack in Damascus should not be used as a pretext for further exacerbating an already bloody civil war.

It seems that the Western governments have already made up their minds about this attack before it has even been reported on by UN weapons inspectors. They are demanding that ‘something must be done’ even though their record of ‘doing something’ has been nothing short of catastrophic.

There have been numerous western interventions in the Middle East and South Asia over the past 12 years. While the attacks on Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya were all argued for on humanitarian grounds, they have all increased the levels of killing and misery for the ordinary people of those countries. They were in reality all about regime change. This is also what Syria is about.

The same people who brought us those wars have learnt nothing from their mistakes. Now the US, Britain, France and their allies in Turkey and Saudi Arabia are pushing for air strikes. The misnamed envoy for peace in the Middle East, Tony Blair, is once again urging an attack.

Such an attack will have no basis in international law, nor will it have any moral force, despite claims by US Secretary of State John Kerry, from governments who in the past supplied Saddam Hussein with chemical weapons and who have used depleted uranium and white phosphorus in Iraq.

The truth is that this latest plan is about intervening to reshape the Middle East in the strategic interests of the West. Military intervention will make a solution to this complex civil war even more difficult and will be a direct violation of the agreements made at the recent G8 meeting to attempt to resolve this war by an International Conference.

We will be protesting and campaigning against any attack and demand that the British government listen to public opinion, as expressed in recent polls, and play no part in any such attack.