London 11 October 2016 – Anti-War Conference – 15 Years On


Thanks to everyone who came to the highly successful Stop the War 15 years on conference in London on Saturday. The conference was packed, with 550 advance registrations and many more on the door. The conference was diverse and reflected the strengths of the anti war campaign over the past decade and a half. There were a range of sessions including on the Middle East, drone warfare and Islamophobia. It was addressed by a range of international speakers and the Leader of the Opposition, Jeremy Corbyn. He made a strong case for an alternative foreign policy. The conference passed an anti war charter to support campaigning over the coming months.

A small number of pro intervention demonstrators tried to disrupt his session, calling for a no fly zone in Syria – which is yet more military intervention. At least one of these people has links with the right wing neocon Henry Jackson Society, and with the Quilliam Foundation, an organisation with close government connections. For more on this see here.

Today, parliament is holding a debate on the situation in Aleppo, which has seen such calls repeated by Tory and right wing Labour MPs. It beggars belief that they are ignoring the evidence of their own select committees – which have published extremely critical reports about David Cameron’s role in the bombing of Libya (which started as a no fly zone) and last year’s bombing of Syria. Now the Start the War Coalition are once again drumming up support for a war which will mean more deaths and will solve none of the problems of the Middle East. Stop the War has repeatedly condemned all bombing, including that of Russia. This move is an escalation which can lead to further deepening of the war, as Chris Nineham argues here.