'Don't Bomb Syria': Protests Across the UK as Syria Vote Looms

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'Don't Bomb Syria': Protests Across the UK as Syria Vote Looms

Demonstrators protest against British bombing of Syria outside Downing Street in London, Britain, 28 November 2015. British Prime Minister David Cameron is calling on MP's to vote for Britain to join France with bombing raids against ISIS in Syria. (EPA/ANDY RAIN)

Thousands of people protested in London and around Britain Saturday against Britain joining in bombing attacks on ISIS in Syria.

The UK Parliament will vote next week on whether to join with the US and France in launching air strikes on Syria. Prime Minister David Cameron is leading the push for bombing.

The UK protests are organized by the Stop The War Coalition movement, which is also holding a string of other demonstrations around Britain.

The Stop The War Coalition said in a statement: "The proposed vote in Parliament on bombing Syria by British forces is likely to take place within the next week. The vote is more likely following the terrible events in Paris. Yet this bombing will not stop terror attacks. Stop the War is opposed to this military response."

Cameron's previous government suffered a humiliating defeat in 2013 over launching military action against the Assad government and did not push for a vote for the UK to join in bombing Syria last year.

Current Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who is a founder of the Stop The War Coalition, opposes air strikes.

Writers, musicians, politicians, academics, filmmakers, trade unionists, campaigners and artists write to David Cameron.
To be delivered by Brian Eno and Mark Rylance at the Downing Street protest on 28 November 2015.

 28 November 2015

Dear Prime Minister

The current rush to bomb Syria following the terrible events in Paris risks a dangerous escalation which will inflame the war there and increase bitterness against the West. The US has been bombing Isis for a year and admits that Isis is as strong as ever and has continued recruiting.

The experience of the wars in Afghanistan Iraq and Libya shows that Western military interventions lead to large scale casualties, devastating destruction and huge flows of refugees. 

Far from tackling terrorism the last fourteen years of war have seen massively increased Jihadi terrorist organization around the world.

Rather than ignoring this recent history by joining the long list of countries that have bombed Syria in the last year we urge the government to stop arming reactionary and aggressive regimes like Saudi Arabia and Qatar that sponsor terrorist groups and look for political solutions as the only viable way to end the conflict.


Mark Rylance Actor
Brian Eno Musician
Hans von Sponeck Former UN Assistant Secretary-General
Frankie Boyle Comedian
Will Self Writer
Ken Loach Filmmaker
John Pilger Journalist
Owen Jones Journalist
Caryl Churchill Playwright
Francesca Martinez Comedian
Jeremy Hardy Comedian
Caroline Lucas MP Green Party
Tommy Sheppard MP SNP
Arthur Smith Comedian
Miriam Margolyes Actor
John Hilary Executive Director of War on Want
Michael Rosen Writer
Mark Serwotka PCS General Secretary
Tariq Ali Writer
David Gentleman Artist
Prof John Kinsella Poet
Prof Diane Reay University of Cambridge
Prof Richard Wilkinson University of Nottingham
Victoria Brittain Journalist
Manuel Cortes TSSA General Secretary
Christine Shawcroft Labour NEC
Prof Ray Bush University of Leeds
Prof Christopher Cramer SOAS
Prof George Irvin SOAS
Andrew Murray Chair of Stop the War Coalition
Lindsey German Convenor of Stop the War Coalition
Kate Hudson CND General Secretary
Logic Musician
Prof Susan Newman University of the West of England
Prof Gurminder Bhambra University of Warwick
Prof Ozlem Onaran University of Greenwich
Prof Prem Sikka University of Essex
Jean Urquhart MSP Independent
Elaine Smith MSP Labour

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