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Iraq Strategy Day for Campaigners

greentea | 07.11.2006 00:13 | Anti-militarism | London

The occupation of Iraq has never been so unpopular, but there is still no clear end in sight. On Saturday 18th November, Iraq Occupation Focus is hosting a strategy gathering in London for anti-war campaigners to discuss what it will take to end the occupation in 2007.

11am-5pm, Saturday 18th November
Friends Meeting House
173 Euston Road, London NW1
(tubes: Euston, Euston Square)

Dear fellow anti-war campaigners,

This is an invitation to your group to send one or more participants to the Ending the Occupation of Iraq strategy day in London on Saturday 18th November. This will be a rare opportunity for grassroots activists from across the UK to share their experiences of campaigning, ideas and proposals for action, and to discuss strategies for ending the occupation. In attendance – and taking part in the discussions – will be such prominent anti-war activists as Sami Ramadani (Iraqi Democrats Against Occupation), Greg Muttitt (Platform), Milan Rai (JNV), Haifa Zangana (Act Together), Justin Alexander (Jubilee Iraq), and Ewa Jasiewicz (Naftana).

With the publication of the second Lancet report on war-related deaths in Iraq – which concluded that 'coalition' forces had killed 186,000 Iraqis since the beginning of the invasion – the recent poll finding that a 'strong majority' of Iraqis favour the immediate withdrawal of US-led military forces (Washington Post, 27 September 2006), and the acknowledgement by the Head of the British Army that the presence of British forces in Iraq "exacerbates the security problems" there (Daily Mail, 13 October 2006), the arguments for the withdrawal of British forces have now become overwhelming.

Nonetheless, without an upsurge in grassroots anti-occupation activism, the UK presence in Iraq looks set to continue for many years. Indeed, the Independent recently reported a senior defence source as stating that ‘[a] force of around 4,000 British troops will stay behind in Iraq for an indefinite period, even after all provinces controlled by the UK are handed over to the Baghdad government’.

The anti-war movement needs to build a vigorous local and national campaign to put pressure on MPs to back withdrawal, to dramatically step up its existing counter-recruitment activities and its use of nonviolent direct action and civil disobedience, and to start seriously confronting the long-term consequences of the invasion and occupation eg. by opposing the looming de facto US/UK-driven privatisation of Iraq’s oil industry.

It is our belief that, with the participation of activists such as yourselves, the day gathering on 18th November can play a role in helping to generate just such an resurgence. We hope to see you there!

Yours in peace,

Gabriel Carlyle, Voices in the Wilderness UK
Liz Davies, Iraq Occupation Focus
Maya Evans, Justice Not Vengeance

Iraq Occupation Focus has prepared a short discussion document to help make the strategy day itself more productive. Download it at

If you can't make it on the day, but would like to contribute to the discussions in advance, get in touch via