Stop the War Coalition - what did it achieve?

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Anonymous
Mar 14 2005 16:22
Stop the War Coalition - what did it achieve?

Am writing an article for Freedom about what the Stop the War Coalition achieved and what it failed to do, any one got any suggestions... grin

Kidda
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Mar 14 2005 17:30

achieved: pissing off a lot of sound people and putting them off getting involved in actions, by not clamping down on the SWP element.

((wheres ya other thread gone btw?))

Tom A
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Mar 14 2005 17:32

It got a load of people who aren't traditionally part of the "activst" clique into anti-war politics, for better or worse.

phoebe
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Mar 14 2005 17:45

Increased public interest in demonstrating against government and then diminished it by failing to change it's tack once the war against Iraq was declared "won", elections were held, etc.

Not that they should have stopped campaigning, just that it started looking like a bit slow to realise that issues relating to iraq were constantly changing and that at some point the public at large had accepted that the "war against iraq" was now the "occupation of iraq".

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Rob Ray
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Mar 14 2005 17:46

I was wondering about that, I was looking forward to a good ol ironically sectarian knees up between the 'we shouldn't be sectarian' types and the 'we should be sectarian' types.

Mike Harman
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Mar 14 2005 18:06

It got me into a pub with the AYN.

Steve
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Mar 14 2005 18:17
Tommy Ascaso wrote:
Would people say it was the largest social movement in british history, the anti-war movement, not the STWC...

Well there was the Chartists for a start....

Steve
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Mar 14 2005 18:35

Loads.

Strikes (including the first General Strike), militia training, uprisings, marches, petitions, newspapers. It was a much bigger threat to the esablished order than the STW or the 'anti-war movement'

Ceannairc
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Mar 15 2005 09:36

on top of what other people have said, it brought media attention to the Iraq war and the "war on terror" in general. If you compare the amount of detailed media coverage of Iraq compared to Afganistan etc then I reckon the difference is major. This means stuff like torture sessions, friendly fire and civilian deaths got the attention they deserve. In the big scheme of things that was well worth it.

and, yes, what was claimed to be the biggest anti-war demo this country has ever seen (not sure if this is true. anyone?). Plus while the STWC may not have made Blair sweat, the general pressure on the war and associated issues HAS given him problems and STW is a part of that, even if only a small part.

butchersapron
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Mar 15 2005 09:47
Tommy Ascaso wrote:
Would people say it was the largest social movement in british history, the anti-war movement, not the STWC...

Not by a long shot. The Chartists as Steve mentioned, and the Poll tax were far greater in both depth and width. Only 15 years ago we had a functioning network of street committess across the county - ok, there were some problems with politicos trying to arrogate all responsible positions and influence to themselves, but the sheer weight of non-politicos involved meant that they didn't always succeed and never totally dominated. The stwc would have killed for that (i'd kill for that now). Even in the 1970s - Heath lost a frigging general election on the question of who rules GB - the government or the unions!

Crypt
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Mar 15 2005 10:03

I think the main problem with the STWC was that it didn't try to build on the 2m on the streets that the main demo happened. It was quite obvious from the start that Blair wasn't going to listen to us, and it was pretty obvious that the large demo was going to be a kinda high water mark for that issue. What they should have done from then on was to abandon the larger showpeice demos for a while and start a campaign of civil disobedience throughout the country. If even a fraction of those on the streets on feb 15th had taken part in civil disobedence then we could have brought the country to a halt and maybe that might have had more of an effect. Take a look at how small the oil protests were and what they achieved (ok, it was mainly a middle class wanker protest, but they did get their point across)

At the end of the day STWC were a buch of gutless wankers and had no imagination past 'well lets just walk from embankment to hyde park again' but it was a good thing that it happened, it's probably inspired a lot more people to become activists, which is a good thing

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Spartacus
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Mar 16 2005 20:35

i think it probably had the biggest demo in britain, but it certainly wasn't the biggest social movement. i'm also not sure if you could actually call it a social movement, seeing as the focus was so narrow on opposing one specific policy of the government, and was pretty much a cross class affair, and so did not really aim to change the social fabric of society in either a small or large way, unlike say the chartists or the anti-poll tax movement. but i'm probably just being pedantic there...

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wheresmyshoes
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Mar 16 2005 20:41

It turned me from a lazy 14 year old to communist then to an anarchist.

Just the fact it got so many people out on the street and making the general public(even if it was only for a few weeks) believe that they could really do something and get active, plus the fact the daily mail had check points and maps of where to meet in london was saying something.

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cantdocartwheels
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Mar 17 2005 10:04

the daily mail??? are you serious, or do you mean the mirror

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cantdocartwheels
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Mar 17 2005 10:20

i think i wouldn't concentrate on attacking the SWP because they were the SWP, because thats stupid, and it makes you sound like one of those red-baiter assholes who won't get involved in peace campaigns if they have 'communists' in them. Plus it also makes you sound like a sectarian cunt.

I think the problems were that the STWC was full of old unimaginative men with the guts and vision of a fucking gnat, fucking stale ancient careerists who simply didn't have any time for or understanding of the sort of mass dissent that the war released.

To the SWP it was a sort of 'against the war, then you must be for socialism' approach which was ridiculous. The point was to connect anti-war feeling slowly to criticisms of other things on a national and local level and to see it was all linked, but calling blair a liar repeatedly hardly achieves that does it. There was often no effort made to funnel local peace campaigns into socialist initiatives on a local or regional level.

Lazlo_Woodbine
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Mar 17 2005 11:10
cantdocartwheels wrote:
I think the problems were that the STWC was full of old unimaginative men with the guts and vision of a fucking gnat, fucking stale ancient careerists who simply didn't have any time for or understanding of the sort of mass dissent that the war released.

Yes indeed. And the usual problem that they wanted to influence government policy through media 'pressure' rather than resisting the war machine through direct action -- which doesn't get you the same column inches or political alliances with liberals.

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wheresmyshoes
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Mar 17 2005 12:01
cantdocartwheels wrote:
the daily mail??? are you serious, or do you mean the mirror

Yeah for real, when I went to one of my little marxist forums they were all banging on about it.