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Tony Blair in hiding from anti-war protesters
Newsletter #1260. 14 December 2012
1) Tony Blair in hiding from anti-war protesters
The man trying to rehabilitate his career in mainstream British politics is proving very reticent when it comes to public appearances. When it became clear that protests would greet Tony Blair's appearance at the launch of University College London's Institute for Security and Resilience Studies (ISRS), the much publicised event suddenly became very secret and UCL denied it had anything to do with it.
The provost of UCL, Malcolm Grant, who sits on the advisory panel of ISRS, instructed his media relations department to contact Stop the War to say, "provided the law is observed, we do not operate a policy of barring speakers with controversial views".
The irony of applying the principle of observing the law to Tony Blair was obviously lost on the UCL provost. But it was not lost on the thousands who over the past week have signed the letter -- initiated by John Pilger, Tony Benn and others -- reminding UCL that it is totally innapropriate for a seat of learning to invite a war criminal to lecture on peace and war.
Nor was it lost on over 200 protesters on the day of the conference. Report and pictures here: http://bit.ly/SlefsP
As for defending the right of free speech, the only place this should be granted to Tony Blair is in a court of law, answering charges of international war crimes. There are hundreds of thousands of Iraqis whose right to free speech was taken away with brutal finality when Blair and Bush concocted their lies to wage an illegal war of mass slaughter.
TAKE ACTION: ASK YOUR MP TO SIGN EDM 712
MPs Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell and Virendra Sharma have signed an Early Day Motion in Parliament which states: This House is appalled at University College London (UCL) opening the Institute for Security and Resilience Studies on its premises' and noted that the institute is 'in partnership with weapons manufacturers, Ultra Electronics and European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company both of which supplied weapons used for the bombing of Iraq'. (See full text here: http://bit.ly/RXUvNJ )
Write to your MP here: http://www.writetothem.com
2) The wrong man in the dock on Friday
On 27 May 2012, anti-war protester David Lawley-Wakelin interrupted Tony Blair, as he was giving evidence at Leveson Inquiry into the British press and the phone-hacking scandal, shouting, "Excuse me, this man should be arrested for war crimes." Lord Leveson duly apologised to the war criminal and truth-teller Lawley-Wakelin was taken away by the police.
He is now charged under the Public Order Act 1986 for "using threatening abusive or insulting words or behavior that may have caused someone harassment alarm or distress". David will appear in court this Friday and hopes to use the opportunity to raise the case of Tony Blair's crimes and state it is not himself but Blair who should be in the dock. For more details see: http://bit.ly/RXUGIL
Stop the War is supporting the protest at the court. Please join us from 9am if you can.
Wrong Man in the Dock Protest
Support David Lawley-Wakelin
Friday 16 November 9am
Highgate Court House, Bishops Road
London N6 4HS
3) Media and War Conference with John Pilger on Saturday
John Pilger, Peter Oborne (Daily Telegraph), Michelle Stanistreet (NUJ General Secretary), and Seumas Milne (The Guardian) are among the many keynote speakers at the important conference this Saturday: Media and War - Challenging the Consensus.
* Serving the military or the public? Media coverage of the war on terror
* The media and the anti-war movement: how do we change the agenda?
* Islamophobia, terrorism and war
* Humanitarian Intervention: reframing the war on terror
Full conference details are here: http://bit.ly/OVxrBO
Entrance is £5. Free for students with ID. If you want to attend, reserving your place by email of telephone is highly advisable, as interest is very high. Telephone 0207 561 9311 email firstname.lastname@example.org
4) I Didn't Raise my Boy to be a Soldier
I Didn't Raise my Boy to be a Soldier was the first commercially successful anti-war record. It was released in 1915 during the first world war. For last week's Remembrance Sunday, it seemed a very appropriate selection for our Anti-war Song of the Week. Stop the War produced a new video to go with the song and it immediately became the most popular in our list of nearly 150 songs, with many thousands of views on our website and YouTube channel. Watch the video here: http://bit.ly/UGUQmR
Bring the Troops Home by Christmas video
On 7 October 2012, Stop the War held a Naming the Dead ceremony in Trafalgar Square, at which, MPs, relatives of soldiers killed in Afghanistan, Brian Eno, Victoria Brittain, and others, called for the immediate withdrawal of all British troops from the unjustified and futile war. Watch the video here: http://bit.ly/SPPTrZ