Nationwide UK protests against illegal Iraq and Syria wars

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Protesters took to the streets at the news of a new war on Iraq in cities across Britain from Glasgow to Portsmouth.

Students Ellie and Fionnuala joined more than 200 people who demonstrated outside Downing Street in central London the night before the vote on air strikes.

Ellie told Socialist Worker that her dad had been a humanitarian worker in Iraq and she believed, “Bombing will cause more violence”.

Fionnuala agreed saying the politicians were after oil and influence. “The Tories have to go,” she added.

Dave Fysh who took part in a Stop the War Coalition (StW) vigil in Portsmouth on the night of the vote said, “We are very opposed to this. Not because we agree with anything that Isis say or do.

“But sending out bombers will make the situation far, far worse.”

Polls show the majority of public opinion currently supports air strikes on Islamic State. But this can change with the experience of a long and expanding conflict with inevitable civilian casualties.

It’s significant that MPs from the fastest growing party in British politics, the Scottish National Party (SNP), decided to vote against the motion for air strikes.

It is gaining members politicised by a popular campaign for independence that included strong anti-war sentiments and rejection of Westminster’s wars and nuclear weapons.

This shows that there is an understanding of how unpopular this latest war could become.

Moray MP Angus Robertson, the SNP’s foreign affairs spokesperson, said there was revulsion at Islamic State but also “deep scepticism for the potential of mission creep and a green light for a third Iraq war”.

This piece was reprinted by RINF Alternative News with permission or license.