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Bulletin of the Coalition Against Sanctions and War on Iraq (13th/10/2001).
CASWI, c/o Bridge 5 Mill, 22a Beswick Street, Ancoats, Manchester.
Tel: 0161 286 7950. E-Mail: MCR_Coalition@yahoo.co.uk.
Manchester Solidarity "Stop the War!" Demonstration a great success!
On Saturday the 13th October, a Solidarity "Stop the War!" Demonstration was held in Manchester against the military attack upon Afghanistan. It had been organised for those who were unable to attend the London "Stop the War" Demonstration called by CND.
Whilst most CASWI members were down in London, The Solidarity demonstration, which was called within days before the London Demonstration, was organised by the Coalition Against Sanctions and War on Iraq and was able to mobilise over 150 people, most of whom were members of Manchester's Islamic Community. This was done through announcements that were made within three local Mosques after the prayer sessions on Friday afternoon.
Assembling at mid-day, out side Marks and Spencer's, on Market Street, in Manchester's City Centre, within a short space of time, it was noticed that the numbers joining the Anti-war demonstration grew dramatically, with a number of students from the Manchester University coming along, aswell as teachers, young people, disabled people, elderly people and parents with young children. As one gentleman said, whilst pushing his child in a pram: "I have a young daughter, I want her to see a living world." Other statements that were made included: the need to fight for the rights of the disabled, the poor and women of Afghanistan, within a broad anti-war movement, aswell as the need for the West to get out of Afghanistan and the Middle East. These statements were reflected in the chanting that took place, as we marched down to the BBC on Oxford Road. Just one of the chants was: "Stop the War! Feed the Poor!" and this was more or less the general consensus for the immediate demand.
After arriving at the BBC, a rally was held outside with a few more chants, which was followed by speeches. Speeches were given by the Chair of the Coalition Against Sanctions and War on Iraq, a teacher from a Stockport school, an Imam from a mosque aswell as a Somali woman, talking about disability in war other speakers expressed anger at the growing racism, hypocrisy and political contradictions that is being expressed within the Western world. The BBC refused to grant two delegates entrance on the grounds of security. All that was being asked of them was to publicise the demonstration. Finally, the demonstration ended with a one minute silence for those that have already died in the United States and those that are dying as a result of the US/UK bombing attacks upon Afghanistan.
The Chair of the Coalition Against Sanctions and War on Iraq, Mr. Hussein Al-alak, said of today's events: "the demonstration was a good display of what most people are feeling in regards to the war. The experience of Iraq, especially after the Gulf War, has shown just what does happen to the ordinary people when extensive bombing campaigns are targeted at the people, rather than the targets the Western governments claim to be targeting!"
On Wednesday 10th October, a meeting was called by the Greater Manchester Socialist Alliance, to launch the Coalition to Stop the War! The Coalition Against Sanctions and War on Iraq was invited to speak at this meeting where, as an organization, formally joined the broad Coalition to stop the War! It has been agreed by the Coalition Against Sanctions and War on Iraq, that we must urge all progressive, secular and independent forces inside and out side the anti-sanctions/war movement to also join the broad Coalitions that are emerging as a result of the US/UK attack on Afghanistan.
The Press Office.