By Makhno, submitted on Sun, 17/02/2008 - 17:38
On the 5th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq there will be an anti-war march in Glasgow organised by the Stop the War Coalition, as part of a global week of protest against the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The global protest was initiated at the World Against War conference on the 1st of December last year, where over a thousand delegates from peace and anti-war movements around the world met in London, to discuss the future of the global peace movement. There are reported to be demonstrations occurring between the 15th and 22nd of march all over the world, although the bulk of the demonstrations appear to be in Europe. Organisers are aiming for between ten and fifteen thousand people to turn out for the march in Glasgow, however last years event attracted only two to three thousand people. The event in Scotland alone is going to cost at least £5000, according to the Stop the War Coalition. Critics of the marches and rallies over the last five years argue that they have been ineffective at changing foreign policy, and that the real power to change the course of these wars lies with the Iraqi and Afghan resistance. Indymedia Scotland asked Pete Cannell of the Stop the War Coalition, how he would respond to people who question the merit of 'yet another march' when the 2 million people marching in Feb 2003 did not prevent a war: "Mass demonstrations do have an impact on the confidence and organisational capacity of the participants, on the confidence of those who are watching in the Middle east, and they do have an effect on British politics." A particular way in which the anti-war movement has affected British politics is in its opposition to racism and Islamophobia. That's not to say things are great, far from it, but the mobilisations involving Muslims and non-Muslims have been important in ensuring that things are not far worse than they are." Pete stressed the importance of turning up on the 15th: "delegates from Palestine, Egypt, Iraq and elsewhere are clear that ordinary folk in the Middle east take heart when they see us marching. Demonstrations are often ignored by the British media but they are not ignored in the Middle East." Socialists and anarchists who are unaffiliated to the Stop the War Coalition have called for an autonomous group at the march. The protest march will begin at 12pm at Blythswood Square, and end at Glasgow Green with a rally. related: http://theworldagainstwar.org/ http://www.stopwar.org.uk ADDITION: A Source within the Stop The War Coalition has revealed that police and council seem to have brought up as many petty restrictions and obstacles as possible, such as licenses for generators, a 1-10 ratio of stewards, height restrictions on stages, and demanding licenses for every person working on every stall that is selling goods. The route of the march is, at the time of going to press, still being negotiated. The police and the Council are trying to keep the march out of the public eye as much as possible, and away from busy and important areas of the city.