International Direct Actions against the war


The large demonstrations in Britain (300,000) Italy (1,000,000) and the US (200,000 DC, 150,000 San Francisco) against the war have got some media attention. Alongside these is a spreading wave of direct action. These protests are far, far smaller, in part because the mainstream anti-war movements have failed to promote (or even opposed) them. But they are significant because as the politicians continue to ignore the popular anti-war sentiments direct action is a way we can bypass them and start to bring this war to a halt.

The actions in Ireland have received some coverage. Last year there were at least seven anti-war direct actions at Shannon airport, including one occasion when 150 people tore down part of the perimeter fence and invaded the runway. Three separate actions actually involved damage to US warplanes on the tarmac.

In Britain there have been many military base invasions and attempts to blockade bases and naval ports. Airbases where activists have entered the base include RAF Fairford and Midenhall. Military bases blockaded have included Feltwell and Northwood. An ex-marine attempted to blockade the gates of Portsmouth Naval base. Days later the greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior accompanied by smaller boats blockaded the entrance to the port. The most significant action that occurred in terms of future possibilities was in Scotland where two train drivers, taking advantage of their unions (ASLEF) anti-war stance, refused to drive a munitions train.

In the US itself actions have varied from minor ones like the smashing of the window of a Marine Corp recruitment office during a demonstration in Pittsburgh to a 2,000 strong breakaway march in San Francisco that attacked the British consulate and the INS offices (The INS are involved in interning hundreds of Middle Eastern men).

More details on all these actions and more at
http://struggle.ws/stopthewar.html


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This edition is No74 published in Feb 2003

War - what is it good for