Harrogate Socialists held a street stall in the town centre on Saturday 11th October, campaigning against Western imperialism in the Middle-East and Islamic State (IS).
We organised a petition calling for an end to air-strikes, decent conditions for refugees and the protection of the rights of minorities in the region.
Many of those who signed our petition expressed alarm at Britain being dragged into yet another war in the Middle-East. A member of the armed forces, currently stationed in North Yorkshire, supported our stall and ridiculed the “humanitarian motives” of Cameron, Clegg and Miliband.
At the present time, there is a majority of support for Western air-strikes among the British people. This was reflected in some of those who were critical of our stall on the basis that “we must do something!” However, initial support for war can soon evaporate, as we have seen in Afghanistan.
The Kurds in Kobanê are currently waging a heroic struggle against IS. As socialists, we support the right of the Kurdish people’s to self-determination and their right to armed resistance in the face of potential slaughter. However, the hypocrisy of the Western capitalist powers has been exposed over the involvement of Turkey in the US-led coalition.
Turkey is not only buying oil from IS but has allowed jihadists to cross its borders to wage war against the Kurds. The Turkish state has used the army and teargas against Kurds and Turks who want to join the resistance to IS in Kobanê. Day-Mer, the Kurdish and Turkish community organisation has issued a statement which condemns both Western imperialist intervention and IS. The statement can be read in full at the following link:
As socialists and internationalists, we reject both IS and imperialism. The current barbarism in the Middle-East can only be stopped by an end to imperialist intervention, the establishment of non-sectarian workers defence committees and the realisation of the rights of all people’s to self-determination across the region.
For a socialist perspective on the Middle-East and the struggle of the Kurds in Kobanê, see the following link:
Harrogate anti-war vigil – Thursday 16th October
Anti-war activists have organised a weekly vigil in Harrogate to protest against imperialist intervention in Iraq and Syria. The vigils are taking place every Thursday from 5.30 to 6.30 pm at the Cenotaph in the town centre.
The next vigil is this coming Thursday, 16th October. All welcome! Please bring a sign/poster or something to say why you are protesting.