Friday, 8 August 2008

Message from Oxford Stop the War Coalition

August may be a month when everyone goes on holiday and nothing  happens but the anti-war movement's struggle against imperialist  interventions carries on regardless.  

The situation in Iraq and Afghanistan continues to deteriorate.  British casualties in Afghanistan continue to climb, fatalities have  now reached 114, and no figures are available for Afghani casualties  because they are not counted. As far as the occupying forces are  concerned, Afghani lives are less important than British or American  ones! A recent survey derived from conversations with inhabitants of  Kandahar and Helmand provinces revealed that one in three people have  had family members killed by the indiscriminate British and American  air strikes or ground assaults by the occupying forces.  The rhetoric against Iran continues to be pumped out by London and  Washington and Israel holds provocative "excercises" which seem  likely to be precursors to an assault on that country. 

Discussions  are taking place and plans are being developed with groups locally to  respond to the rapidly growing threats against Iran and any attack,  in whatever form that may take. We will of course keep you informed  as soon as we have concrete information.  At home, civil liberties continue to suffer with the plans to  increase detention without trial to 42 days going through Parliament  and increasing obstacles to the right to peaceful protest. The recent  attempt by the Metropolitan Police to ban the Protest against the  visit of George W Bush in London followed by the unprovoked and  brutal attack by the police on protesters (after they very  begrudgingly "permitted" it) and this weeks atack by police on the  climate camp in Kent both graphically illustrate the challenges we  now face. 

There are also a number of local events taking place in the near  future that are of note and need your support: 

Saturday, August 9th. Nagasaki Day To commemorate victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs. Lantern  floating, 7PM onwards at Donnington Bridge. Music, reflection, and  speakers. Bring lanterns and a picnic to share. The Mayor launches  first lantern at 9PM. Organised by Oxford CND and Christian CND. Saturday, 

September 20th. National Demonstration at the Labour Party  conference in Manchester Troops Out of Iraq and Afghanistan! Assemble 12:30, All Saints,  Cavendish Street,  Manchester. Called by Manchester Stop the War Coalition and CND.  

Saturday, October 4th. Demonstrate at RAF (USAF!) Croughton. Part of  Keep Space For Peace Week. Further details 07967 392229. Called by  Oxon Peace Campaign and supported by Oxford Stop the War Coalition. Next meeting of Oxford Stop the War Coalition: Thursday, September  11, 7:30PM, Oxford Town Hall.