Iraq: No to war – Britain – Youth against the war

EVERY DAY more and more young people are getting involved in the anti-war movement. International Socialist Resistance (ISR) and Socialist Party members and supporters have been helping organise school and college walkouts against the war across Britain.

No to war. Anti-war movement in Britain

Youth against the war

On Friday a student from Monoux sixth-form college in Walthamstow, London told us: "I think we should avoid war at all costs. I really feel for the people in Iraq because they have been suffering for so long. Something needs to be done, but it won’t be helping by bombing them.

"The government needs to listen to the people more as most people are anti-war… We are the people who will be suffering along with the people in Iraq."

Another student commented: "I think the war is about oil, and there isn’t enough awareness right now. The Socialist Party is helping a lot, and helping to build the walkouts will help build awareness too.

"Everyone needs to know it’s not about Saddam Hussein – it’s about oil and the government are going to spend loads of money on this war. This money could be spent on better things like the NHS and education. It’s a complete waste of money and time."

In schools and colleges where we’ve held stalls, leaflets have been taken quicker than we can give them out. At Christ the King sixth form college in Lewisham, London, over ten students offered to help on next week’s stall.

So many people were signing our petitions that ISR members had to keep repeating: "If you want to help organise anti-war action please put a star by your name." There were too many people at once to talk to everyone.

Every day ISR gets e-mails and letters from young people from Fife to Portsmouth asking for information on the 15 February anti-war demonstration, wanting posters for their schools and placards for the demonstration.

Many want more information on how to build a walkout, wanting to join ISR or just letting us know what they’re doing in their areas.

One e-mail said "Hi me (15) and my friend (14) have just recently become interested in what you do and would like to know more about what people my age can do, please contact me".

Another e-mail said; "I have been politically aware from a very young age and have always attempted to make my voice heard. However I am forever being patronised and pigeon-holed as a ’rebel teenager’ who puts no thought into what she is saying". She later adds: "I want to thank you guys for valuing my opinion. C U at Trafalgar Sq."

These are just a few of the many examples of how young people are getting involved in the ever-growing anti-war movement. Many young people see this anti-war movement as also part of a fight for a future free from war and terror for all.

School and college strikes are being organised across the country on 7 March. In the run-up to then, we’re helping to organise strikes, protests and ballots against the war on the international day of action on 14 February.

If you would like to come on the 15 February demonstration with Youth Against the War, meet in Trafalgar Square from 11am (nearest tube Charing Cross).

From The Socialist, weekly paper of the Socialist Party, CWI England and Wales

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February 2003