By New Worker correspondent
Some 200 people called for an end to the imperialist aggression against Libya at meeting in the heart of London called by Stop the War Coalition. In the historic Conway Hall a galaxy of speakers from the peace and labour movement addressed the meeting including veteran statesman Tony Benn, CND General Secretary Kate Hudson, Sami Ramadan of Iraqi Democrats, Andrew Murray and Lindsay German from the Stop the War Coalition, left Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn and campaigning former MP George Galloway.
Andrew Murray, who chaired of the meeting said that the Stop the War Coalition was trying to build a mass movement against the war against Libya and to get people across Britain to understand that the war is another war for regime change and it can do nothing to stop the problems in the Middle East.
"We need to build a mass movement to force our government to declare a ceasefire and cease its military involvement in Libya,” he said. "It is not our job to say that regime change by force, regime change from outside is a lawless, hopeless position which we have to oppose. The Arab revolution must be a revolution made for and by Arabs".
This was echoed by all the other speakers, who condemned the Western hypocrisy and double standards evident in the war on Libya and drew parallels with the ongoing conflict in Iraq.
Tony Benn told the meeting that the argument that the Security Council agrees to something may make it legal but it doesn’t make it right. "It is very difficult to escape the conclusion that the war is about the desire of the British and French governments to try and restore the control they had over the North African coast” in the colonial era, he declared.
That was also George Galloway’s view. This was about Empire and empires are built on blood he said. But the war in Libya was a military stalemate in the making. "Our troops are not coming home for Christmas from this war or the Christmas after that. The cost of the war will be taken from the Libyan wealth. The Libyans are going to pay for this".
Galloway dismissed the Arab League’s support for the attack with contempt. The League was a collection of dictatorships most of whom are busy shooting down their own democracy activists. "Qatar has the biggest American military base in the entire world and Qatar's ruler has been appointed the oil minister of “liberated” Libya and has been given the job in London of selling Libyan oil from the so-called liberated area in complete disregard and breach of international law. How can the ruler of Qatar, an absolut monarch be part of a coalition for democracy in Libya? It is absolutely absurd".
And that, Andrew Murray said in his closing remarks, was going to be a major task for the Stop the War Coalition which is holding Hands Off Libya meetings up and down the country to mobilise public opinion end what Galloway aptly called “this monstrous and grotesque adventure”.