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From The Socialist newspaper, 23 November 2001

50,000 Protesters Tell Bush & Blair...

War Brings No Solution

IGNORE THE media disinformation, last Sunday at least 50,000 people marched through London and into Trafalgar Square. Banners, placards and flags, horns, whistles and megaphones communicated the message: No to war in Afghanistan.

Manny Thain

Veterans of the peace movement rubbed shoulders with school students on their first demo and large contingents of Asian people. A section of the square was used for prayers as part of Ramadan. Muslims handed out dates for protesters to eat.

Significantly, this event came after concerted attempts by the government to derail the movement. As New Labour's new friends in the Northern Alliance swept into Afghanistan's capital, Kabul, on US tanks it was implied that the war was all but over. US president George W Bush, and his lackey, Tony Blair, gloated that the anti-war movement has got it wrong. Not so.

The scenes of jubilation in Kabul after the hated Taliban retreated have given way to fear and anxiety as armed men roam the streets. A heart-rending picture of human misery is forming. As winter fast approaches, ragged refugees desperately seek shelter and food.

Khanabad, where there were no Taliban, was blitzed relentlessly for days. Around 150 civilians died. People fled in terror leaving their meagre possessions to be destroyed by B-52 bombers: "Zumeray had walked across the front line with his mother, his sister and her children, after abandoning three months' worth of food in Khanabad. The children had no shoes; they had been walking for seven hours and their feet were raw." (The Independent, 19 November)

Meanwhile, the Western powers negotiate with Afghanistan's self-proclaimed president, Burhanuddin Rabbani. The spoils of war will go to the Northern Alliance warlords, proxy fighters for Bush and Blair. The voices of Zumeray and his family will not be heard.

Military 'victory' in Afghanistan is encouraging the 'bomb Iraq' brigade in the US. There's even talk of bombing Somalia - another impoverished and destitute country. We need to build and strengthen the anti-war movement and campaign for a socialist alternative to war and terror.

Thousands of people have signed up to the Socialist Party and International Socialist Resistance campaigns.

Our sights are set for the demonstrations in Brussels on 13-14 December where we will say No to War, No to Terror, No to the bosses' EU, For a Socialist World. Join us.

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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

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In The Socialist 23 November 2001:

War Brings No Solution

Taliban's Defeat Won't Liberate Women

WTO Policies Increase Wealth Gap

50,000 Demo Answers War Propaganda

War In Afghanistan: Paying the Price of 'Victory'

Management attack civil service safety campaigners

Stop Violence Against Women

Student Grants: New Labour's Second Thoughts

The Socialist Party And The Socialist Alliance


 

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