It’s two months to go until the antiwar mass assembly on October 8th. The protest will mark 10 years since the invasion of Afghanistan and the start of the “war on terror”.
We’ve lived through nearly 10 years of war. October 8th must raise the stakes in terms of antiwar mobilisation and in terms of the political cost of these disastrous wars for our own government.
For that reason we will be taking over Trafalgar Square, turning it into a space to give voice to all the issues encompassed by the war – Afghanistan centrally, but also Libya, Iraq, Palestine, Islamophobia, civil liberties and the huge financial cost of the war at a time of massive public spending cuts. There will be rallies, screenings, music, speak-outs, street theatre and more.
At this stage exact arrangements are still in process and the assembly will be shaped by everyone taking part in it. But to give a flavour of what October 8th will look like below are a few examples:
TAKE OVER TRAFALGAR
John Pilger, Len McCluskey, Brian Eno, Ahdaf Soueif, Jemima Khan & Tony Benn will be there. In the three weeks since the pledge was launched 1,300 people have added their names, but we need thousands more to build the momentum. Add your name here and spread the word http://bit.ly/oD6Ac9
The main stage will feature a large scale screen where films will be shown. As part of this we’re runnng a video competition on the antiwarassembly youtube channel. The theme is ’10 years of war’. Whichever video gets the most hits will be screened in Trafalgar.
We hope to have a second stage (subject to negotiations) where Stop the War groups can delegate a member of their group or other representative for a speak-out against the war.
Many other organisations will be taking part. Unite and PCS are now officially backing the protest. Part of the plan for how to use the square is to divide the space into areas representing different issues and organisations. For example there will be a civil liberties area with stalls, marquees etc dealing with torture, rendition and extrajudicial detention.
Military families and soldiers will be joining the assembly. Among them will be several new families and former soldiers, including Lillian Lyons, wife of Michael Lyons who is currently in military prison for refusing to fight in Afghanistan. They will be speaking out for the first time and October 8th is a chance to stand with them in solidarity. Later on in the day the families will lead a contingent down Whitehall to deliver a petition to Downing St.
It’s time to demand an end to the suffering, injustice and futility of the past 10 years of war. Be there, sign the pledge, spread the word and let’s build October 8th to be a massive show of opposition to the disastrous war on terror.