Opposition grows across the world
November 15, 2002 | Page 1
THE UNITED Nations (UN) Security Council voted for a war on Iraq last Friday. The next day, they got an answer from 1 million people--who took over the streets of Florence, Italy, in the biggest demonstration yet against George W. Bush and his war-making buddies.
The sea of marchers came from across Europe--brought to Florence on 20 specially chartered trains and hundreds of buses. Unionists from Italy's largest union federation, the CGIL, marched side by side with contingents of global justice activists and students. Chants and songs rang out everywhere as marchers flooded through the streets.
Monia Trigili, a student from the University of Urbiro, tied the injustices committed by right-wing Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to the horror Bush is planning for Iraq. "I'm here to protest the laws the Berlusconi government passes against immigrants, his own corruption," Trigili told Socialist Worker. "The war against Iraq--then Iran and probably North Korea--is an acceleration of terror, and we're against this terror."
The willingness of marchers to stand up to Washington's war drive was a stark contrast to the UN Security Council. After weeks of wrangling, representatives of 15 countries voted unanimously for a resolution requiring weapons inspections in Iraq.
Some diplomats claim that they won concessions from the U.S. But George W. Bush made it crystal clear that he plans on getting his war no matter what. "The United States has agreed to discuss any material breach with the Security Council, but without jeopardizing our freedom of action to defend our country," Bush lectured.
This is absurd. No one--not even the CIA--believes that Iraq has the capability to attack the U.S. This resolution won't stop war. It brings a war closer--by giving the Bush administration a perfect pretext for launching an attack.
Even as the Security Council was voting last week, press reports revealed that Bush had approved a plan for his new Gulf War--a savage aerial bombardment, followed by a massive ground offensive involving 250,000 troops. No one can doubt that tens of thousands more Iraqis will die--in a country already devastated by a decade of U.S. war.
In the face of this horror, the Florence protest is inspiring proof that opposition to Bush's war is growing across the world--including in the U.S. Just a few weeks ago, on October 26, more than 200,000 people took to the streets across the country.
It's time to join with voices of resistance from around the world and tell the Bush gang: No war on Iraq!