Stop the War banner, George Monbiot Stop the War banner. Photo: Jim Aindow | George Monbiot. Photo: Bret Hartman / TED / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0, license linked below article

John Rees responds to George Monbiot’s attack on Stop the War

Your attack on the Stop the War Coalition is misguided and you should withdraw it. The Stop the War Coalition has never been pro-Putin, nor a supporter of the Russian state. Here is my record of action against dictatorial regimes in Eastern Europe and Russia.

I participated in the East German revolution of 1989, marching for 3 days on the demonstrations that brought down the Berlin Wall. Reported on those events and interviewed those involved. Detained by border guards at Checkpoint Charlie on the day the wall came down for taking socialist, anti Stalinist literature to East Berlin.

Travelled to Russia in 1990 and met illegally with socialist activists, including those from the first independent trade unionists, sotsprof. Organised solidarity work for them in the UK.

Travelled to Putin’s Russia in 2012 as part of a European journalists delegation to monitor election fraud. Made the film ‘From Russia with Fraud’ while there, released in the UK.

Spoke at and helped organise an anti-war conference in Tblisi, Georgia, in 2013.

Throughout this time I have constantly publicised the activity of the anti-regime left and the anti-war movement in Russia.

My position on Putin is that he should be overthrown by Russians. And no one else, because all experience, most recently in Afghanistan and Iraq, shows intervention by the west leads to chaos and bloodshed and continued oppression.

Many others in the Stop the War Coalition have similar records, including Jeremy Corbyn.


John Rees, co-founder, Stop the War Coalition

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John Rees

John Rees is a writer, broadcaster and activist, and is one of the organisers of the People’s Assembly. His books include ‘The Algebra of Revolution’, ‘Imperialism and Resistance’, ‘Timelines, A Political History of the Modern World’, ‘The People Demand, A Short History of the Arab Revolutions’ (with Joseph Daher), ‘A People’s History of London’ (with Lindsey German) and The Leveller Revolution. He is co-founder of the Stop the War Coalition.

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