UK Anti-militarism Feature Archive
As the US war machine gears up for action, weapons inspections have been taking place across Europe. On 16.11, 80 civilian inspectors approached the Kattenberg Naval Base in Amsterdam to determine the extent to which the base was cooperating in preparations for an attack on Iraq. Two inspectors managed to get onto base terrain, where they were overpowered by military police, others in a boat engaged with the police on the water [photos].
On the same day, a delegation of the PVDA (Labour Party of Belgium) Youth occupied Antwerp City Hall, unrolling a banner saying 'No US troops in Harbour' and demanding clarification regarding the presence of US weapons in Antwerp Harbour. On 18.11 civilian weapons inspectors blocked Plymouth's Devonport dockyard, where the submarine Vanguard is currently in dock, and locked in for a 'die in' outside the gate. Police presence was huge, and seven people were arrested [report and pic].
A major weapons inspection is planned for 5.12 at USAF Lakenheath, in East Anglia, where it is believed there are at least 30 nuclear missiles, and where the US Department of Defense has declared a first-use policy. Another is planned for 14.12 at USAF Fairford in response to the arrival of US Stealth bombers.
On Halloween- or Samhuinn- many protested in Edinburgh and Glasgow to give Bush and Blair a fright. Civil disobedience actions were taken, there were demonstrations in Edinburgh and in Glasgow.
31-10-2002 00:00Iraq War Threat
The Bush administration continues to pursue a strategy of war with Iraq to secure 'regime change' at any price. Military action is to be justified on the grounds of Iraq's supposed development of weapons of mass destruction, along with highly suspect allegations that the Iraqi regime has links with the Al-Qaida organisation. In the meantime, thousands of people who endured the first Gulf war ten years ago are still suffering from illneses related to Depleted Uranium, a radioactive component present in the weaponry used to attack Iraq, read report.
Encouragingly, Washington is rapidly finding itself isolated in this policy - aside from the unfailing support of Tony Blair (himself increasingly isolated in the UK). Mainstream media polling has shown an overwhelming majority of the British public opposed to action against Iraq. In addition, opposition has been voiced by Labour MPs, leading Republicans, British / US military chiefs, United Nations officials, European premiers, other Arab nations, faith groups and peace organisations worldwide.
This page is intended to serve as a resource for news, action reports and calls relating to Iraq.
31-10-2002 00:00NO TO WAR - DAY OF ACTION Oct 31 2002
Don't Attack Iraq Actions Across Country
Thousands of anti-war protestors across the UK took to the streets on Halloween in protest at the government's plans to join a US led attack against Iraq. Around 150 different events included critical mass bike rides, occupations, and mass demonstrations in Brighton, Manchester, Glasgow and London and many other places including Broadstairs, Walthamstow, North Finchley, Muswell Hill, Gamlingay, Kingston, Milton Keynes, Southend and Dorking. There was some local press coverage and very little national media coverage, which only mentioned the main London protest. Everybody had been asked to join in the non-violent resistance against war and oppression by engaging in acts of civil disobedience, however large or small.
Around 500 Israeli Army reservists have so far refused to serve in the illegally occupied territories of West Bank and Gaza Strip, and the number grows day by day.
High school students have also formed a movement of conscientious objectors to declare their refusal to serve in the Occupied Territories. One of the organisers of this movement has been sentenced to jail and is expected to be re-arrested once he is released. Read the full report.
Meanwhile, Turkish conscientious objector Mehmet Bal was arrested yesterday. Today he was transferred to the military prison in Adana. Fears for his safety grow. Read full report
Update Oct 26: Hundreds of thousands of people demonstrated today in several US cities against Bush's war on Iraq. Washington DC saw more than 100 thousand people surrounding the White House. Report | DC-Indymedia
As the Bush Administration angles for the power to maintain control in the Middle East, including the option for unilateral war, people across the United States are organizing and acting out in opposition. This Saturday, Oct. 26, tens of thousands of people are expected to converge on the east and west coasts -- in Washington DC and San Francisco -- for anti-war demonstrations to stop the drive toward war with Iraq. The demonstration in DC is being organized by the International ANSWER coalition, while the actions in San Francisco are being coordinated by the United For Peace coalition.
For the last 10 years, a movement has been growing in opposition to the regular bombing of Iraq, and to the trade sanctions put in place by the United Nations and maintained with heavy US lobbying. The UN itself estimates that the sanctions cause the death of 5,000 Iraqi children per month.
Also taken to task is the executive branch's tradition of using lies to get American people and Congress to back war -- from the fiction about babies being knocked out of incubators by invading Iraqis, to the politically motivated rumor from Prague (New York Times) about Al Qaeda and Iraq formally meeting together.
The rally in DC this Saturday was originally organized by the International ANSWER coalition -- but has now become an anti-war rally with a broad range of participants. While ANSWER will have its rally by the Vietnam Memorial, other groups plan rallies and marches that will feed into the center of the activity on the National Mall.
Many diverse groups have encouraged their members and supporters to participate in the various marches and events this weekend. The organizations include: the DC Statehood Green Party; Move On (a group responsible for organizing hundreds of thousands of U.S. citizens to call Congress in opposition to war, which inadvertently jammed communication on Capitol Hill with a flood of opposition calls (which Congress later ignored); groups that have contributed to Anti-Capitalist Convergences; the Washington Peace Center; the National Coalition for Peace and Justice; the DC Anti- War Network; and labour groups.
Local anti- war groups in Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick, Derry, Shannon, Belfast & Waterford sent buses & carloads to the event. Over 500 people protested against the use of the airport by US warplanes and demanded that the government refuse to give backing to any war on Iraq. Protestors lay on the ground in a symbolic die-in and formed a mass circle holding hands around the terminal entrance and sang US-marine style:
I dont know but Ive been told George Bush aint got no soul
I dont know but I have seen US army killing machine
1, 2, 3, 4 - we dont want your bloody war!<</p>
Some tied blood-red ribbons & pictures of warplanes to sections of the airport fence while others succeeded in pulling part of the fence down. About 100 protestors then moved onto the fenced-off area towards the runways and sat on the grass singing Give peace a chance. Protestors were eventually met with garda (police) reinforcements, mounted gardaÌ, security dogs and the threat of being water-cannoned and 10 people were arrested. After getting assurances from the police that anyone arrested would be released that evening we all moved back to the buses, some stopping off at Shannon police station to ensure that those arrested were freed.
Glasgow based McDonalds Workers Resistance called for a global day of action against its employer. There were reports of local protests around October 16th all around the globe, from Australia to Mexico, Russia to South Africa, Brazil, USA and throughout Eastern and Western Europe - including Ireland, Scotland and the UK ( protests outside over 45 stores - but the full figure is certainly much higher). 94 protesters were arrested in Mexico, each being held under a bond of $14000. The protest was “against the promotion of junk food, the unethical targeting of children, exploitation of workers, animal cruelty, damage to the environment and the global domination of corporations over our lives.”
[ Global Day of Action | Summary | McDonalds Workers Resistance | Anti- McDonald's extravaganza and archive | text about McLibel courtcase | Video: McLibel- Two worlds collide ]
Books to read:
“McLibel- Burger Culture on Trial”, John Vidal, Macmillan
“Fast Food Nation”, Eric Schlosser, The Penguin Press
In February this year more than 100 Israeli Army reservists signed a statement saying they would refuse to continue serving in the West Bank and Gaza Strip because Israel's policies there involved "dominating, expelling, starving and humiliating an entire people." The number of so-called refusniks quickly reached 376and continues to grow.
Today, one conscientious objector has been sentencedto 14 days imprisonment.
24-05-2002 23:00GERMANY: PROTESTS AGAINST BUSH VISIT 21-23 May 2002
Resistance has been flaring up against George W. Bush�s visit to Europe. Tens of thousands of people protested in Berlin, Germany, against the US government�s appalling human rights record, their "war on terror" and their disregard for international agreements. Moreover they were protesting against Bush as one of the most prominent representatives of neoliberal capitalism, which is tied to big business and is spread around the globe by violent means.
Actions started with a 70,000-strong peaceful demonstration on Tuesday May 21st and continued with colourful and creative demonstrations and street-parties moving all over downtown Berlin on Wednesday and Thursday. In response to dissent on the streets, Berlin saw the biggest deployment of police since World War II. Police repeatedly and violently charged crowds but did not manage to provoke the large-scale riots predicted by the mainstream media.
Read the full story (with links to loads of pictures) here!
Find detailed accounts of events on Indymedia Germany
20-04-2002 22:00THREE DAYS THAT SHOOK VENEZUELA
In a stunning reversal of the pro-business coup that ousted him from power on Friday, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has returned to the presidential office. Mass protests had erupted in the Venezuelan capital of Caracas immediately after the coup. Thousands of people stormed the presidential palace, 'interim-president' Carmona fled and was later arrested. Read more.
On Friday morning, the Venezuelan army forced President Hugo Chavez to step back from power and put him under arrest. The president of the business council Fedecamaras, Pedro Carmona Estanga, was appointed to head an interim government.
The coup followed days of strikes and mass protests which had been initiated and organised by business councils and business-friendly trade unions. For several months, the national oligarchy opposed to the planned social and land reforms, had provoked civilian opposition to the Chavez-led government. The US-government and international financial institutions had also criticised Chavez for his non-compliance with their demands and had made clear that they would support his removal. Read more here and here.
Background info from:
NarcoNews | Zmag | Schnews
Latest updates IMC-Palestine | IMC-Israel
Click here for coverage, reports and timelines of events.
After an escalation of suicide bombings in its cities, and using the pretext of 'self-defence', Israel launched Operation Protective Wall on 29 March 2002. What started with a raid on Arafat's Ramallah HQ has turned into the most intense and bloody assault on the Palestinian population of the West Bank since the state of Israel was declared in 1948. The world, by remaining silent, gave Israeli prime-minister Ariel Sharon a green light to inflict as much terror and destruction as deemed fit . And there seemed to be no limit to his capacity for terror. Tanks, bulldozers and APC's rolled into every West Bank city, while missile-firing helicopters lurked overhead. Thousands of Palestinians have been arrested; untold numbers, well into the hundreds, have been murdered or maimed, and cities have been reduced to piles of rubble. Now, the battered and traumatised survivors of this massacre wait for the invasion to stop and for the world to help them.
Urgent Call to Action:Come to Palestine | Electronic action against the occupation | Appeal fron 'internationals' inside PA's compound
Images: The War on Palestine | Recent photos from Ramallah
Video: Tanks & activists in Beit Jala | "Internationals" demo in Bethlehem
Maps of the Occupies Territories.
Article "IMC-Palestine: Be the Media".
Report from inside the masacre in Jenin
Reports from a British international inside PA's compound: 26/04 | 26/04</ a>
Life under curfew by IMC-Palestine. Contact IMC-Palestine on 011-972-2-277-7558
IMC-Italy dossier on Palestine (En)
List of destruction and vandalism of Palestinian installations and infrastructure by the IOF.
Regularly updated compilation of Palestine solidarity protests worldwide.
16-03-2002 23:00BARCELONA: MOBILISATION AGAINST EU-SUMMIT March 9-16
In the culmination of the events called by the Campaign against the Europe of Capital, up to 500,000 people marched through the streets of Barcelona on March 16 to protest the summit of European leaders. Protesters were confronted with widespread police violence including the use of rubber bullets and tear gas, which was reportedly provoked by police infiltrators in the march.
Evidence of agent provocateurs: Video | Photos 1 | 2 | 3 | 4.
See BREAKING NEWS SATURDAY | Pictures: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
The previous day up to 20,000 people took part in decentralised actions all over the city. See BREAKING NEWS FRIDAY.
Photo library of the weekend's mobilisations.
The week of protests had started with 3000 people holding a reclaim the streets party on Sat 9th, and included a 100,000 trade unions demonstration on the 14th. 400,000 People also protested on the 10th against the further privatisation of the water supply, and the re-routing of the biggest river in the Spanish State planned under the the National Hydrological Plan.
RTS party: Report 1 | Report 2 | Photos 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
Water demo: Report | Photos 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 and "the waters"
Trade union demo: Pictures 1 | Pictures 2
The EU Summit focused on areas such as the liberalisation of the electricity and gas markets, the integration of financial markets to further Europe's financial power, developing more flexible labour markets, privatisation of education and training programmes, widening the definition of terrorism to include many social movements and forms of protest.
As during previous protests, the Spanish Government had suspended the Schengen Treaty of people's 'free movement' within the EU for several days, so that more than 20 buses were turned back at the French/Spanish border. Border report and photo here.
For more info, reports and timeline of eventnts see:
IMC-Barcelona | IMC-UK special Barcelona Feature
17-02-2002 23:00ISRAELI CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS
A new force of resistance is brewing in Israel as more than 100 Israeli Army reservists signed a statement saying they would refuse to continue serving in the West Bank and Gaza Strip because Israel's policies there involved "dominating, expelling, starving and humiliating an entire people."
The statement, by combat officers and soldiers, amounted to the largest organized refusal by reservists to serve in the West Bank and Gaza in the last 16 months of violence. The letter also states that Army conscripts "were issued commands and directives that had nothing to do with the security of our country, and that had the sole purpose of perpetuating our control over the Palestinian people". Full story... | Images
Conscientious Objectors dossier from IMC-Israel.
02-02-2002 23:00NATO SECURITY CONFERENCE Jan 31- Feb 2 2002
More than 7000 people took to the streets in Munich, Germany, on February 2nd despite a total ban on all demonstrations. They protested against the Nato-sponsored "Conference on Security Policy", which brought government members from all Nato states together with high-ranking army officials and war experts to discuss "security" and "peace" issues - i.e. lay out plans for future military interventions, invent new enemies, discuss costly military programmes.
The city council had attempted to silence any criticism of the meeting by declaring all protest illegal. Thousands of police attempted to block demonstrations and arrested 894 people in total. Despite massive respression, large demonstrations and rallies took place from Thursday evening until Sunday.
Timeline of events | Background on the conference and action plans | Call for action | IMC Germany | Stop Nato campaign | Foto
The very same weekend, 20,000 people protested against the World Economic Forum (WEF) in New York, while even more people met at the World Social Forum (WSF) in Porto Allegre, Brasil, to discuss alternatives to corporate globalisation.
For full coverage of events, images and background information see IMC-UK's special feature page.
For the latests Roundups and Timelines of events in New York and Porto Alegre see:
WEF Breaking News - WSF Breaking News
More info: IMC-New York City - IMC-Brazil
10-11-2001 23:00ANTI WAR PROTESTS IN COLOMBIA 10 Nov 2001
Democracy has been served a fatal blow after the death toll of three protestors shot dead by police and suspected government agents on November 7 and 8 respectively.
Two students were killed only a day after student Carlos Giovanny at the National University in Medellin was murdered by police in a second day of anti-war demonstrations and in the memory of Giovanny on November 8.
The solidarity protest took place in conjunction with other actions at other universities in Colombia. The protest had taken place in defiance of the murder of Giovanny but was again met with violence. Suspected government agents killed pharmaceutical students David Santiago Jaramillo Urrego and Juan Manuel Jimenez Escobar at the University of "Antioquia". Medical student Carlos Giovanny Blanco Leguzamo of Colombia National University was killed when anti-war protest against the US led war against Afghanistan in Bogota on November 7 were met with violence. Students faced the violent confrontation when police invaded a university campus where Carlos was shot at around noon.
The Police commander denies police are responsible for the shooting but witnesses claimed the shot came from behind police lines. Corporate media failed to report both tragedies. [Photo]
10-09-2001 22:00The Campaign Against Arms Trade and the umbrella group Disarm DSEI have joined in a "Fiesta for Life against Death" in the Docklands of London to shut down DSEI, the largest arms fair in Europe.
03-07-2001 22:00PROTESTS AGAINST MILITARY BASES IN CYPRUS Jul 3 2001
Angry crowds pelted sticks and stones at British military bases in Cyprus on Tuesday evening over plans to build a huge telecommunications masts at UK bases on the island.
Protesters and officers were injured and a police station destroyed at the western base of Akrotiri. Eight of the injured were still in hospital on Wednesday. Troops in riot gear faced a crowd of about 500 Greek Cypriots and fired tear gas, in clashes which lasted all evening.
Protesters say the six low-frequency masts to be built near UK bases by 2003 will emit radiation that could seriously harm local residents, especially children. They are also concerned about possible effects on migratory birds.
Read more: [ Report | Photo]