Labour Party campaigners opposed to planned attacks on Iraq are combining
their efforts with youth organizations, church leaders, trade unions and anti-globalization
protesters to form a national peace movement.
Labour Against the War, the pressure group formed to oppose British involvement
in US military strikes against Saddam Hussein, has noted an upsurge in support
as public opinion against action grows.
Twelve Labour constituencies have signed up to the campaign. And trade unions
and Labour delegates have vowed to provoke hostile debates at the annual conferences
of both the TUC and the Labour Party itself.
The organization claims there is "less of a consensus of support and less of
an international coalition" in favor of bombing Baghdad. Though the Government
insists there are no immediate plans to take action, the language coming out of
Washington continues to be bellicose, and Tony Blair shows no signs of withdrawing
his support for George Bush.
Alan Simpson, a Labour MP and leading member of Labour Against the War, said
yesterday: "Rather than a long summer of softening up the public in acceptance
of a war, it has begun to galvanize sections of the public in opposition to a
Warnings against military action have been voiced by a number of Labour MPs,
former ministers, faith leaders and UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. They now
hope that the breadth of feeling against a war can be pulled together into a national
Mr Simpson said: "We have been experiencing a rise in support from party activists,
branches and trade unions. All this is an indication of activists not walking
away but getting organized. We have been preparing the basis upon which we link
up with the wider peace movement."
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