Iraq: Anti-war demonstrations – Belgium, Netherlands

Protests in Brussels and Amsterdam


On 19 March, three years after Day X, there was another anti-war demonstration in Brussels. About 5000, mostly young people, marched against the horrors of war in Iraq and the arrogance of the US goverment.

LSP/MAS (CWI in Belgium) had a very lively contingent of mostly young people from all over the country. We called for international struggle and solidarity, against the war, imperialist occupation and capitalism and neo-liberalism.

Despite the weak mobilisation for the protest by the peace movement, there was a bigger turnout then expected. During our campaign for the protest, we met many youth interested in getting involved and we noticed that there is still a big anti-war sentiment, but, at the same time, many people ask what should we do next?

It is becoming clear that the invasion of Iraq was based on lies and led to a destabilisation of the entire Middle East. Iraq is falling apart, along ethnic and religious lines, and moving towards full scale civil war. We participated in last weekend’s protest with demands for the rights of self-determination for the Iraqi people, the immediate withdrawal of foreign troops, for the nationalisation of the oil industry in Iraq under workers’ control and management, and for working class unity and a socialist programme, wich is the only way to solve the ethnic, religious and national tensions, and to end the huge levels of poverty and unemployement in Iraq.

Our participation was very succesfull. We sold hundreds of papers and raised fighting fund. We also met youth who did not know about our party before, and were interested in our ideas and in becoming active in our campaigns.

Marijke Descamps, MAS/LSP, Belgium


Last weekend, there was a protest in the capital of the Netherlands, Amsterdam, against the war policies of the Bush government. The protest began with a rally at the Museumplein, in central Amsterdam, before a march. Gradually the number of participants in the protest grew from 500 to around 1,500.

The size of the protest showed that the momentum of the anti-war protests has lessened, somewhat, at least compared to the previous big demonstrations in the Netherlands. In previous years, tens of thousands of people gathered to protest against the war.

To build the campaign against Bush’s policies, it is necessary for the anti-war movement to put forward demands which link the struggle against the war with the struggle against imperialist policies and neo-liberal attacks, at home and abroad.

During last weekend’s demonstration, Offensief (CWI) supporters handed out leaflets that had two main slogans: ‘Withdrawal of the troops from Iraq and Afghanistan’ and for ‘Nationalisation of the oil companies, under democratic workers’ control’, to make the link between the need to change the system and the need for an end to imperialist war and occupation.

We noticed a growing interest for our anti-capitalist, socialist ideas, reflected in sales of our paper, and by the donations given to us for our fighting fund.

Bas de Ruiter, Offensief, Netherlands

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March 2006