Respect grew from the largest mass-demonstrations that Britain has ever seen. The Stop the War marches in February 2003 were an extraordinary display of unity from people from every conceivable background who all took the streets to voice their opposition to Britain joining in another imperial war. We are proud to say that we are still closely associated with the Stop the War Coalition, with whom we continue to oppose foreign invasion and occupation of other people’s countries.
While we did not prevent the war, the legacy to Stop the War and Respect’s activity back in 2003 is clear for all to see. The spectre of the Iraq War loomed large over the prospect of Britain being involved in a war in Syria. Britain comprehensively rejects the idea that we can continue invading foreign countries in perpetuity. Respect is that voice.
We want Britain to move away from the foreign wars of the Coalition of the Killing and strike a policy which acts in our own national interest. We have always argued that if you make war against Muslims abroad, you will inevitably make war with them at home and this is precisely what we have done.
It is time to end the war in Afghanistan, which will end on precisely the terms that it could have ended at any point during the last 10 years.
It is time to end the calamitous occupation of Iraq, which has engendered many problems for us and the world for decades ahead. We were right about Iraq; everybody in Britain now knows it.
It is time for Britain to stop acting as the 51st state of the United States, to stop acquiescing to the demands of NATO, which is dominated by the USA in any case, and to become a country which prefers Peace above War.
Stop The War Coalition website: http://www.stopwar.org.uk/