Big anti-war protest anniversary

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Feb 15 2013 11:42
Big anti-war protest anniversary

That massive anti-war protest was ten years ago today.

While reading numerous articles and facebook statuses I've been thinking about the whole anti-war movement and the impact 9/11 had on the anti-globalisation/anti-capitalist movement which a number of us were involved with at the time.

How a movement where direct action, self-organisation and solidarity were fairly common got sidelined by the need to prevent a major conflict from breaking out, but then how the organisational forms and practice was marginalised by the established left who were able to take control of the new movement.

One thing that stands out from that period which I've seen a lot of people not really mention was the Fairford days of action and the Stop the War Coalition's approach to them. I can vaguely remember the action on the day the coaches were stopped being promoted by a lot of people, but the StWC calling a demonstration in London on the same day to reduce the number of people going.

Anyway, lots can be said about that whole period!

Auto's picture
Joined: 12-04-09
Feb 15 2013 11:58

I spent the day of the protest in school. My school was Catholic and not very political. Yet post 9/11 the idea of the war had entered our collective consciousness. In the weeks running up to the march some students had been handing out leaflets about the war and had got into arguments/fights with students who felt that being anti-war was 'unpatriotic'. The school had been trying its best to keep a lid on it.

On the day of the march there was a lot of talk of students leaving at lunchtime to go down on the march. The school put a stop to this by simply locking all the gates and entrances. Threats went round that any student leaving the school grounds would face repercussions.

So I don't have any memories of the movement or the big march. On the other hand I can basically trace the beginnings of my active involvement in politics back to 9/11 and the war, so in a way it's responsible for me being an active Anarchist in the here and now. It marked the beginning of my trajectory out through democratic socialism, radical socialism and syndicalism into Anarcho-Syndicalism.

Caiman del Barrio
Joined: 28-09-04
Feb 15 2013 15:52

EDIT: I confused the demo with the day of the invasion.

My parents banned me from goign to the demo so - like the punk I am - I slipped out of the house in the early hours & bunked the train to London before meeting someone on the tube who turned out to be in the SWP (I knew literally NOONE who was a revolutionary back then) & recruited me by surrounding me with 10 people holding clipboards.

Chilli Sauce's picture
Chilli Sauce
Joined: 5-10-07
Feb 15 2013 20:51

Yeah, George Bush and Iraq definitively turned me from a liberal to an anarchist in short measure.

commieprincess's picture
Joined: 26-08-07
Feb 15 2013 21:06

the school walk outs were the most anti-authoritarian thing I'd ever done up to that point. Tho later that day I did try to de-arrest someone and shouted at the cop that he should be arresting Tony Blair. Sticking it to the man, messing with their brain thoughts, yeah?

Joined: 22-12-12
Feb 15 2013 22:03

Like auto I was at a catholic school during the anti-war protests. We learnt about "just war theory" in religious studies. With the protest against the war in Iraq a few people went and sat on the steps outside the school and that was about it. I was only 12 at the time, I think I held to the view that the war in Afghanistan was fine because of 9/11 but Iraq wasnt because it had nothing to do with bin laden. I had shit politics as a child/teenager...

JoeMaguire's picture
Joined: 26-09-03
Feb 17 2013 22:46

The tail-end of the antiwar stuff gave us left unity projects like Respect. Just saying.

There have been quite a number of threads on the antiwar circa 03. That was the springboard for most of AYN.