Stop the war coalition conference
Mike Bater and Simon Watson (Colchester Peace Network)
Simon’s Overall Impressions
conference was very positive in facing the issues of the lies about the invasion
of Iraq, the ongoing occupation and the attacks on civil liberties. It displayed
a great deal of unity and there was a high level of understanding of
were also useful examples of local activity. It took steps towards increasing
the democratisation of the coalition, elected a new steering committee, and
supported the forthcoming European Social Forum in London in October.
conference recognised the important role and achievements of the coalition over
the last two and a half years in opposing the attacks on Iraq, Afghanistan, the
Palestinian people, our civil liberties, and the increase in racism and
Islamophobia. it is vital that the movement continues and grows for several
(A) We were lied to about the reasons for the war. The
government has refused to accept any responsibility and has white washed itself.
(B) There is a growing resistance to the illegal occupation
(C) There has been an increase in racist attacks in Britain
and attacks on civil liberties (the civil contingencies bill, etc.), which are
related to the war on terror.
(D) There is growing instability in the middle east,
especially around Palestine.
the conference basically went the steering committee's
The only bit of controversy was resolution 28, and the points of order
raised by Hackney members of why an earlier resolution could be amended, but 28 couldn't.
Forwarded by: Hackney STW.
this resolution was supported by Colchester Peace Network (CPN)
THE STWC RESOLVES TO IMPLEMENT
THE FOLLOWING MEASURES, IN ORDER TO INCREASE DEMOCRACY AND DIVERSITY IN
THE NAMES AND CONTACT DETAILS
OF EACH MEMBER OF THE STWC STEERING COMMITTEE, TOGETHER WITH THE NAME OF
THE ORGANIZATION THE REPRESENT (IF THEY ARE ELECTED IN A REPRESENTATIVE
CAPACITY), WILL BE AVAILABLE ON THE STWC WEBSITE.
THE DATES OF STEERING
COMMITTEE MEETINGS WILL BE POSTED ONE THE WEBSITE AT LEAST 14 DAYS IN
ADVANCE, SO THAT STWC MEMBERS CAN ATTEND AS OBSERVERS IF THEY SO WISH.
SIMILARLY, THE STEERING
COMMITTEE’S AGENDA WAIL BE POSTED ON THE STWC WEBSITE AT LEAST 14 DAYS
IN ADVANCE OF THE MEETINGS SO THAT LOCAL GROUPS CAN SEND IN ANY
COMMENTS TO INFORM THE STEERING COMMITTEE’S DECISION MAKING.
THE MINUTES OF THE STEERING
COMMITTEE MEETINGS WILL BE POSTED ON THE WEBSITE WITHIN SEVEN DAYS OF
THE MEETING TAKING PLACE.
resolution was opposed by the steering committee, because:
An over emphasis on procedures, detrimental to campaigns
and or national demonstrations.
Contact details outside of the STWC are private to the
individuals concerned, and it is up to him/her, if he/she puts their
contact details into the public domain.
Minutes of steering committee’s meetings are private
and should be only accessible to the steering committee.
This motion was rejected by conference.
However, the Green Party became 'miffed' by the end of
conference. To them, and I quote a Green Party member who I overheard in the
organisation has become an affiliate of the Socialist Campaign Group (Labour
Party), through it's mouth pieces of Labour Against the War and RESPECT."
was disappointing that the resolution that CPN was supporting was opposed by
conference. I believe that if the resolution had been carried by the conference,
it would have made the steering committee more accessible to the local affiliate
groups, there by enhancing the democracy of the STWC.
what the steering committee has proposed, and carried at conference, could on
the face of it make the STWC more democratic (or in my opinion less as it will
enable the steering committee to dictate policy 'top down', similar to the
STWC has to become more democratic, and allow local groups more say in what is
going on nationally, instead of the London based steering committee.