by New Worker correspondent
AROUND 200 people, including members of the Libyan community, took part in Stop the War Coalition’s third London protest outside Ten Downing Street, against Nato’s intervention in Libya.
Most of the protesters carried green placards with the slogan “Hands off Libya” in bold white letters. The slogans on other placards included “We do not need intervention”, “This war is not for people, it is for oil”, “Stop killing our frightened families”, “Here we go again, the lessons of Iraq and Afghanistan have not been learned”.
The protesters chanted: “One, two, three four we don’t want another war, five, six, seven, eight spend it on the welfare state” and “David Cameron, hear us say, intervention no way”.
In a statement to the New Worker, John Rees from Stop the War Coalition said that it is not only the protesters who are opposing the war.
“It is opposed by the majority of people in this country as indicated by the opinion polls. This is just the moment when the Government should be reconsidering. The no-fly zone is not working and David Cameron is considering committing ground troops and that will drag Britain even further into an absolutely unwinnable situation in Libya.
“The Government’s current actions are on the brink of moving beyond anything that has been sanctioned by their previous statements or anything that is sanctioned by the United Nations resolution. We were opposed to the war from the beginning but we are absolutely opposed to any extension of the war.
“The Government is now in the position where its initial intervention failed and that is the point at which it should draw the conclusion that it made a mistake and it should get out of Libya”.
Kate Hudson, the General Secretary of CND told the New Worker: “We are here today because we are outraged at the position of our Government. It is only three weeks since Parliament debated this issue and the Prime Minister assured MPs that this was not a war.
“It was a no-fly zone to protect Libyan civilians. And what have we seen since then? We have seen the escalation of that war; we have seen the use of cruise missiles.
“Now we have a statement from Sarkozy, Obama and Cameron saying this is indeed a war for regime change. So not only it is reprehensible on a human and moral level, it is also an illegal war and a war which is not authorised by the British Parliament.
“And it is no surprise that many MPs are now saying that they were misled and that the Government is proceeding along a line which does not have authorisation.
“Recently we have heard demands by a number of MPs that Parliament, which is currently in recess, should be recalled in order to further discuss this issue. And our very strong message to the Prime minister today is he doesn’t have the authorisation of Parliament, he doesn’t have the backing of international law, he does not have the backing of the UN Security Council Resolution and he does not have the backing of the British people.
“Many of our politicians regret now what they did in Iraq and believe that they were duped and they were lied to”.
Author Jim Brann said: “I do not think it is the business of the British, French or American government to decide by force or any other way who the government of Libya is.
“I note that all three leaders have said the war is about regime change. I have read their letter and it is very clear that what they are doing is deciding who is, and who is not the government of Libya. That is the clear meaning of their letter.”