Saturday, 20 October 2007

Model motion for trade unions

This model motion for British trade unionists opposing sanctions and war on Iran has been formulated by Campaign Iran and CASMII. This is to be circulated amongst trade unionists inside Stop The War and CND with a view to getting trade union branches and/or conferences to take a stand against war and sanctions on Iran.

We would urge all trade union members who are against an attack on Iran to take this to their trade union branches. For those who would like it to be submitted to their trade union conferences, please check deadlines for submissions as these may well be months before the conferences actually take place.

For further advice please contact us on 07729 464497. We are pleased that a similar motion was passed at BECTU conference in 2006 (see second motion on the page) so the precedent has already been set.

Model Resolution on Sanctions and War on Iran

This Branch/Conference notes that:

1) There are indications that a military attack on Iran has been planned and could be executed before George Bush leaves office in 2008 and that this military attack would target Iranian military, economic and civilian infrastructure and might include the use of tactical nuclear strikes on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

2) The IAEA has found no evidence of a weaponisation programme in Iran and the US intelligence agency, The National Intelligence Estimate, has estimated that Iran would be at least 10 years away from obtaining a nuclear weapon should it decide to follow this path. However the US, supported by the UK and France, are persisting that Iran cease uranium enrichment or face more sanctions, with the military option kept ominously open.

3) Over a million people died as a result of sanctions on Iraq.

4) All the completely discredited accusations of supporting terrorism, links to AlQaida and clandestine WMD programme, used to make the case for war on Iraq, are now being used against Iran.

5) As the nuclear accusations are losing credibility, in a shift of focus, the US has been systematically attempting to implicate Iran in Iraq, to justify an extension of the war across the border into Iran.

This Branch/Conference believes:

1) As tragically evidenced in Iraq, sanctions against Iran hurt ordinary people, damage their economic and civil institutions and are prelude to war.

2) Iran’s nuclear issue should be returned from the Security Council to the IAEA and resolved through continued negotiations and not sanctions or war.

3) Sanctions, foreign state interference, destabilization programme and any military intervention or its threat are greatly harmful to the cause of human rights, democratic rights and the civil society organisations in Iran and have therefore been opposed by the leaders of the vibrant democracy movement inside the country.

This Branch/Conference resolves:

1) to demand from the Brown government to:
i) support the IAEA-Iran work plan and allow it time to work
ii) to withdraw British troops from the Iranian border and publicly oppose the military
option against Iran.
iii) to end its support for any new security council sanctions and EU sanctions against Iran.

This Branch/Conference also calls on the TUC to publicly oppose sanctions and war on Iran

Notes to the proposer (Oct 2007)

George Bush’s speech on 28th August, authorizing the American military to “confront Tehran’s murderous activities”, and the deployment of British troops to the Iranian border to guard against Iran’s “proxy war” in Iraq, signify a qualitative shift towards war by the US and a systematic building towards a casus belli for another illegal pre-emptive war.

Currently, IAEA and Iran are engaged on a work plan with strict time limit until November 07 to clarify all the ambiguities over Iran’s nuclear programme which the West purports as the basis of its suspicions of a weaponisation programme in Iran The first findings of the work plan announced the clearance of Iran’s plutonium experiments – labeled by the US as evidence of weaponisation - and verified non-diversion to weaponisation and peaceful use of all declared nuclear activities in Iran. However the US, supported by the UK and France, is persisting with its demand that Iran must cease uranium enrichment or face another round of sanctions whilst the threat of military strike remains ominously present.

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Thousands march despite ban

by Somaye Zadeh (Campaign Iran)

Last Monday's Stop The War demonstration was a landmark day. Around 5,000 people turned up on a weekday to demonstrate to bring the troops home from Iraq and to march down to parliament in what we all thought would be a protest in defiance of the police, who had banned us from marching to parliament square. However at the eleventh hour the ban was lifted and the demonstration turned into a celebration of people power, exemplified by the chant "Whose streets? Our streets!"

Campaign Iran was well represented: Our banner was carried by students from SOAS at the head of the 200 strong student feeder march (the first student feeder march there has been since 2003) and our chant of "Gordon Brown here we come, Don't you dare attack Iran" put the issue squarely at the centre of the demonstration.

Various speakers at the rally in Trafalgar Square also warned Gordon Brown against attacking Iran. Our own Mehri Holliday drove the issue home when she spoke from the platform warning against both war and sanctions on Iran: "Sanctions are a prolonged war and cause severe suffering, and rage ultimately, giving way to political violence." she said "Sadly we don’t need to imagine this, we have witnessed it happen in Iraq . Half a million children died in Iraq as result of sanctions, and sanctions on Iran would certainly contribute to a long-term destruction of grass roots civil society. Mr. Brown, abandon the US’s discourse of ‘we want to liberate you, but we have to bomb you first’, it is much more sophisticated to be on the side of global peace and regional stability in the Middle East, you must abandon the expansionist and barbaric policies of the neoconservatives in the United States."

We marched down to parliament square with those thoughts in our heads, handing out over 1500 Campaign Iran postcards to equally concerned demonstrators, but safe in the knowledge that our parliamentarians will not be able to escape the fury of the British population in the case of an attack on Iran by banning us from the streets.

Saturday, 6 October 2007

Demonstrate Monday Oct 8th!


Assemble 1pm Trafalgar Square For Rally

Speakers include Tony Benn, Brian Eno, Mark Thomas, Walter Wolfgang, George Galloway MP and Ben Griffin (ex SAS trooper)


We will be marching to Parliament on Monday 8 October, despite the government insisting that our protest is banned. Human rights group Liberty says our march is legal and we will be exercising democratic right to protest peacefully on the day Gordon Brown makes his long awaited speech on Iraq to the House of Commons.

Stop the War has been flooded with messages of support and a commitment to join our protest, including from Shami Chakrabarti (Liberty), Tony Benn, Walter Wolfgang (Labour Party NEC, Bob Wareing MP, musician Brian Eno, comedian Mark Thomas, author Iain Banks, poet Benjamin Zephaniah and playwright David Edgar.

We urge everyone who has opposed the British government's support for George Bush's war, and who agrees that our right to peaceful protest must be defended, to join us on Monday.


In the run up to this much anticipated general election, the leaders of each major political party have claimed to champion our civil liberties. No doubt they will now unite to ensure that this peaceful demonstration takes place.
SHAMI CHAKRABARTI, Director of Liberty

The authority for this march derives from our ancient right to free speech and assembly enshrined in our history. It is only fair to tell you that the march will go ahead, in any case, and I will be among those marching.
TONY BENN, in letter to the Home Secretary

A protest demanding all the troops out now is of national significance. To try and stop that protest is a major interference with free speech. The march should go ahead whether it is formally permitted or not.

The government want to bury the issue of their disastrous war. They will not succeed. We will be marching in our thousands on Monday.
LINDSEY GERMAN, Convenor Stop the War Coalition

Stop the War Coalition