Location UK UK

The Stop the War Letter The Times Refused to Print

Stop the War, a British antiwar organization, sent an open letter to The Times on the 17th October, but The Times refused to print or even discuss it.

Stop the War was founded in September 2001 in the weeks following 9/11, when George W. Bush announced the “war on terror”. Since that time Stop the War has been opposing the British establishment’s disastrous addiction to war and its squandering of public resources on militarism. The organization has initiated many campaigns around these issues. It has organised are thousands of public meetings across the country, direct action in the run up to UK wars – including walkouts from schools, colleges and workplaces – two People’s Assemblies, international peace conferences, vigils, lobbies of Parliament and anti-war cultural events. The most famous of these events are around 40 national demonstrations, including the largest protests ever held in Britain, most memorably on 15 February 2003, when up to two million gathered on London’s streets to oppose the Iraq war.

When The Times silenced the last antiwar letter Stop the War decided to publish it on its own web-site. See the letter bellow.

Dear Editor,

The Stop the War Coalition’s critique of the Iraq invasion of 2003 has been entirely confirmed by the Chilcot report into the episode. Its more recent opposition to David Cameron’s intervention in Libya also appears to have been borne out by events – or so the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee largely argued in a recent report.

Your editorial attacking StWC fails to acknowledge these facts, to which the organisation’s enduring strength and influence can surely be attributed.  Having been proved broadly correct over Iraq, Libya (and Afghanistan for that matter) it is not surprising that Stop the War’s warnings over the consequences of deeper military intervention in Syria resonate. Indeed, its critics are not really proposing any serious alternative policy to ending the suffering in Syria beyond bluster and braggadocio.

Stop the War’s position has always been that the job of an anti-war movement in Britain is to hold the British government to account. However, it has also condemned Russian bombing in Syria from the very day that it started.  To describe it as “cheerleaders of the Luftwaffe” is therefore not only offensive to the millions who share Stop the War’s views, but also entirely inaccurate.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Curtis
Brian Eno
Giles Fraser
Lindsey German
Francesca Martinez
Andrew Murray
Murad Qureshi
Mark Rylance
Salma Yaqoob

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