Protesters took the streets to say no to Trump's drive to war with Iran, reports Shabbir Lakha
Following Trump's assassination of Qassem Soleimani by the United States, the danger of war with Iran has dramatically increased. With less than 24 hours' notice, hundreds of people gathered outside Downing Street to show clear opposition to the prospect of yet another devastating war in the Middle East.
Speakers at the protest, including Labour MPs John McDonnell, Richard Burgon and Emma Dent Coad located the current crisis in a long history of Western imperialism in the Middle East, made the case against war and argued that we must do everything we can to stop it.
Despite his radio silence from his Carribean hideout, Boris Johnson is unlikely to present any opposition to a Trump-led war against Iran given his record of supporting Western interventions in the Middle East. Dominic Raab, who has been left to deal with the situation in Johnson's absence, apparently "recognize[s] the continuing aggressive threats posed by the Iranian Quds Force" according to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Ben Wallace, the Defence Secretary, has now deployed British warships to the Hormuz Strait.
Jeremy Corbyn has rebuked Trump's actions and called on Boris Johnson for an urgent Privy Council briefing, posing a number of questions to the PM to hold him to account.
I've written to Boris Johnson requesting an urgent Privy Council briefing and answers to questions following the US assassination of Qassem Suleimani. pic.twitter.com/kOw36b6Ex2— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) January 3, 2020
On the other side of the Atlantic, Bernie Sanders is co-sponsoring legislation to halt Trump taking any further action without Congressional approval and Congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have been at the forefront of opposing the drive to war.
War is a class conflict, too. The rich and powerful who open war escape the consequences of their decisions. It’s not their children sent into the jaws of violence.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) January 3, 2020
It is often the vulnerable, the poor, & working people -who had little to no say in conflict - who pay the price. https://t.co/jlC35MYsQq
Just as the movement mobilised on short notice in Britain with protests in London, Manchester, Nottingham and elsewhere and further protests and rallies planned throughout the next week, protests took place in over 70 cities in the US with thousands taking to the streets.
Stop the War has held public meetings throughout the last year arguing that the prospect of war with Iran is a serious possibility and has worked to get the anti-war movement nationally organised. Now is the time to get involved and to stand up to the warmongers.
Shabbir Lakha is a Stop the War officer, a People's Assembly activist and a member of Counterfire.
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