Coordination meeting of the international antiwar coalition
The attendance was 24 countries: Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Cyprus, Costarica, Denmark, England, France, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Israeli, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, United states,
1- appreciation and comments on Feb 15
2- agenda of actions and dates
3- connections via web and mailing lists
In the first part of the meeting, chairing Chris Nineham and Paola Manduca, the introductory speeches were delivered by Paul Mackney from the lecturers trade union of UK and Linsday from STOP THE WAR UK. Respectively presenting the extension of the trade unions connecting allover in the world and the proposal for a people parliament, elected from local realities to confront the actual parliament and with the moral authority to call for antiwar actions which are deliberated on the basis of the civil society opposition to the present and un-representative parliamentary positions in UK.
Followed Larry Holmes from ANSWER USA, illustrating the growth of the antiwar movement in USA (dates marh 5, education stops, 8, women day, 15 walk on the White House mass march) and Raffaella Bolini, relating on the growth of this European coordination from the European social forum, its links with the social movements and the appointments and the civil disobbedience in Italy (dates March 8 women against war and Camp Derby, 14 at Bagnoli NATO central Mediterranean command and diffuse actions of civil disobbedience.
These were followed by speakers from Greece, occupation of Athens University, actions on march 15 in occasion of the EU ministers meeting in Athens.
France, devoting energies to a pro-Veto at UN campaign
Costarica, devoting energies both to the growth of the movement, and to the presence of the opposition to war involving Iraqi people and therefore to projects of people missions in Iraq (co-presenting a proposal with Austria and other countries and open for adhesion*).
Spain, Madrid illustrating the large scope of the local coalition, with a platform of culture against war and a referendum proposed against war.
Austria, illustrating the people mission in Iraq* and the links with south America in the organization of this mission.
Turkey, announcing 100.000 people in march at the same moment of our meeting in Istanbul and the pressure they are putting on thew parliament (later we knew that presently at least the passage of USA troops was voted down)
Brazil, trough the voice of CUT, marking their presence in the opposition against war, telling of the big demo in San Paolo on Feb 15 and the participation to anti-globalization movement which involves issues behind the opposition to military preventive war. There is the attention to maintain this level of opposition to all the globalizing projects of USA world-wide governance, including economic treaties (Alca) and the need to continue the opposition on all grounds with marches (they will march on march 15) and with all tools that may grant continuity to the work.
Italy, Cobas with the appeal to paralyze the society if war starts with a general and generalized strike
Denmark, waging campaigns against their government supporting USA and working at local level.
Norway, illustrating that the present situation shows the flaws of present democratic order.
Spain. Barcellona, illustrating the civil opposition and marching on march 15
Israeli, asking to endorse the Cairo declaration as important passage of the spreading of opposition to war and bridging islamic and occidental worlds and the opposition to war and to the israeli occupation of Palestine.
UK, 8 march, women marches locally, 12 march day for the people parliament, 21 march call for a day of industrial actions of opposition, debates, short walk outs, leaflettings, a solidarity day of workers against war. The organization of the protests for the “day after” war starts will be a deterrent for the UK government. English contradiction between imperialist and democratic tradition has to be exploited.
Mexico, asking for a world coordination of anti-war actions with the characteristic of being inclusive, public and operative in decision taking and therefore with moral authority for symbolic and mass actions. Call for march 15 and propose to elect delegates with the aim of establishing a dialogue with international institutions. In the anti-war mouvemnt other agendas have to be taken in, agendas against the economic and political implications of war.
Poland has a wide coalition of forces inclusive of civil society and work in spreading the opposition, protests on the feb 15 at USA embassy in Warsaw and in fronty of the city halls throughout Poland. Call for marches on march 15 and may 1.
Greece, TUC presents a call for a 24 hr strike for march 21 which will be presented to all EU trade unions in the next encounter. Will participate to the mass demo if war starts.
Germany, opposing the Awacks to Turkey contribution of Germany to war with demo at the military basis and monday¹s testimony.
Belgium, opposing the government in war support, mass march march 15 and trains-stopping.
UK, antiwar mouvement is also against racism
Turkey, the switch off the lights at 8 pm all over the world, to signal opposition has become a glittering in Instanbul. Propose a general strike for march 14 and mass march on march 15.
Spain , barcellona. General civil disobbedience day on march 5, mass march on march 15.
Belgium, march 6 in bruxelles for presentation of a peace agenda, march 15 mass march, march 21 workers opposition day.
Spain, proposing boicott of Israeli and USA goods, proposing civil brigades to Iraq. Preventive war to war also by general strike before the war starts.
Sweden, 3 minutes of silence every day
Netherlands, mass demo on march 22 and 23, no collaboration from national trade unions. Will have a media advertisement against war.
Italy, boicot USA products, boicot Bushness on a list of corporate products.
During this section it was apparent that, on the urgency of continuing opposition to war, commonly felt allover in the planet, each country has set dates which were taken up according to the local possibilities and judgment and that took account of the events related to war in which each country has already been involved.
One example for all, stain-stopping in Italy and Germany actions at military bases prompted by the mobilization of war-related appliances from USA and/or NATO military bases in these countries have been occurring these past week and elicited the organization efforts of the people and a diffuse activity, while Turkey spent its energies in organizing the mass demo ongoing on march 1, in concomitance with the vote of the parliament on the issue of letting USA utilize Turkey as a passage for its army and armaments.
What also appeared was the concordance in the motivations and in the ways actions have been taken up in different setting, nonetheless was not possible to identify one universally common day of action for mass mobilization or only one strategic date in the next 3 weeks.
Therefore the appointments which were globally endorsed as occurring at the some time are a local mobilization (including the idea of attempting to stop the daily life even if for a short time with walk outs from work, wherever possible) on the ³day after² if the war will start and of a national mobilization the following saturday in the national capital city in all the world.
The final document :
Statement issued by the London Meeting of the international coordination against war
March 1st 2003
Following the unprecedented success of the global anti war day on February 15 we announce a massive escalation of action in the next weeks to try to prevent war. We believe a war on Iraq is wrong whether it has the backing of the United Nations or not.
There will be direct action at military installations and to stop military transport, mass pressure on parliamentary and United Nations representatives, student strikes and occupations, workplace industrial action, the establishment of peoples’ assemblies and popular consultations against war.
Every day now is crucial in the campaign to stop war.
In many countries there will be mass demonstrations on International Women’s Day March 8.
In many countries there will be demonstrations, protests and mass civil disobedience on March 15 in solidarity with the ‘Converge on the White House’ demonstration in Washington.
March 21st will be wherever possible a day of workplace solidarity against war. This will involve workplace assemblies and various forms of industrial action. In some countries national strike action against war is being already being planned on this day.
We call on trade unions everywhere to support and promote action against war on March 21st.
We put the warmongers on notice that if they ignore world opinion and launch a new attack on Iraq there will be a tidal wave of resistance.
On the day of an attack we call for mass protests in the centre of every town and city in the world.
The following Saturday we call for mass demonstrations in every capital city.
We stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of Iraq in urging everyone, everywhere to play their part in trying to stop this insane war.
* WAGING CIVIL SOCIETY
A Peace Proposal for the People of Iraq
Considering the imminence of a war whos desasterous results nobody can predict and deeply moved by the gravity of the poltical and military tensions around the world the social movements and human rights organisations who met during the last World Social Forum in Porto Alegre have decided to follow the call of the European Social Forum in Florence to work for a general mobilisation of all peace loving activists throughout the world. Joining these efforts of thousands of social and humanitarian networks in Europe, North- and South America, Asia and Northern Africa millions of people have gathered on february 15th, 2003, in the streets and central places of the major cities around the world, to express their protest against the ongoing war mongering by the governments of the United States and Great Britain with a common claim: STOP THE WAR AGAINST THE PEOPLE OF IRAQ!
Following this call thousands of anti-war activists prepared themselves to protect the people of Iraq (already slain by the consequences of the Golf War in 1991, the embargo and a long and enduring dictatorship) against the immediate threat by weapons of mass destruction launched from the military bases of the United States of America and its allies.
At the same time when these so called “human-shields-activists³ are taking positions in Iraq to show their solidarity with the people of Iraq, a delegation formed by the social and humanitarian networks of different Social Forums around the world is going to visit – from the 7th to the 16th of march 2003 – several regions of Iraq. The delegation is going to discuss with representatives of local, regional and national civil societies, political parties, religious associations etc. as well as regional and national governmental organisations a PEACE PROPOSAL which consists of the following five points:
1) All parties and governmental (civil or military) institutions involved in conflicts in and against Iraq will abstain from any form of military action that could lead to the loss of human lives and ecological desasters – supporting in this way the common efforts of the social movements and humanitarian networks around the world to stop the war against Iraq.
2) They will join forces with the worldwide anti-war-movements in the claim to the Security Council of the United Nations to lift immediatly the embargo against Iraq which has caused and deepened in the past the suffering of the civilian population without changing substantially the power-relations within the country.
3) The governmental and non governmental organisations who sign this proposal not only accept to obey the principles of Human Rights as they are disposed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the UN; they will also allow and support independent observers of social and humanitarian networks from different countries around the world to verify the fullfillment of these dispositions.
4) The governmental and non governmantal organisations of Iraq accept wholeheartedly the right of any people and cultural or religous community for self-determination within the boundaries of regional autonomies like the one which has been granted to the Kurdish population. This implies the creation of a truely multicultural and plurinational federal State.
5) All parties, governments and civil or military entities in and around the Iraq accept in an obligatory way the Right for Mediation as the only legitimate way to solve their conflicts. Together with the anti-war-movements around the world they raise their claim to the International Community to establish this Right for Mediation also as a substantial principle of international relations which should be applied immediatly in order to stop the war against Iraq.
A PEACFUL WORLD IS POSSIBLE!
Vienna, february 20th, 2003