As an affiliate of the Stop the War Coalition (www.stopwar.org.uk), Iraq Occupation Focus will be participating in the coalition’s annual conference on Saturday 12th February 2005 (conference details). We have drafted the following four motions to highlight issues that we feel are important to the anti-war movement in 2005.
Local Stop the War groups and other affilated organisations (including IOF) are entitled to submit one motion to the conference. IOF invites other groups within STWC to add their names in support of these motions, to offer amendments to them or, best of all, to submit a resolutions on these topics to STWC by the deadline of 31 January. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A. Links with civil society groups in Iraq
In order to build effective and lasting support for the ending of the occupation in Iraq and encourage solidarity with the Iraqi people, the Stop the War Coalition nationally should seek to establish links with progressive, anti-occupation, civil society organisations in Iraq, which might include free trade unions, independent women’s organisations and human rights groups.
We should help raise money for them in Britain and publicise the problems they face under conditions of brutal occupation.
We should also encourage local Stop the War groups to set up links with individual organisations in Iraq and get other local organisations to do the same. These links will:
- raise money
- publicise the activities of the organisation
- share experiences
- support organisations and individuals associated with them suffering repression (through, for example, letter writing campaigns, prisoner adoptions etc).
B. Support for resisters in the military
The STWC will build solidarity and strengthen ties with anti-war military family and veteran campaigns in the US and UK and welcomes the successful launch of Military Families Against the War.
The STWC will support soldiers who refuse to take part in the occupation of Iraq at any level both here in the UK and in Iraq.
The STWC will work with the military families campaign to promote the right of British Soldiers to refuse manifestly unlawful orders (as ascertained in the Manual of Law of Armed Conflict for the British Military). The STWC will promote a greater understanding and activation of the legal rights and responsibilities of British Soldiers as enshrined in international law.
C. War crimes tribunal
In view of the almost total devastation of Falluja and the recent estimate by The Lancet of 100,000 Iraqi casualties since the war officially ended, this Conference believes that the organisation of an international tribunal, comprising a respected panel of experts, to investigate coalition war crimes and indict the British and US governments, is now an urgent priority for our movement, in line with the policy earlier agreed on this at the 3rd Conference of the Stop the War Coalition last year.
D. War profiteers
The war profiteers must be held to account. The Stop the War Coalition should work with other organisations to focus attention on the companies that continue to profit from the ongoing illegal occupation of Iraq. Today the main profiteers are the arms companies and mercenaries but the neo-liberal carve-up of Iraq's assets ensures that major oil and construction companies will be the main beneficiaries in the future. Profiteers can be named and shamed and their offices and businesses targeted by non-violent actions, protests and boycott campaigns.