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"No More Lies - No More Lives"

On Saturday 27th September, the Scottish Coalition for Justice Not War will be holding a rally in Edinburgh in support of the demonstration in London on the same day.

Speakers include Colin Fox MSP; Ian Hamilton QC; Eleanor Scott MSP; Wael Shawish; Susan Karin; Isobel Lindsay.

Saturday 27th September 12 noon, The Mound Place, Edinburgh.

On the same day at the rally, the Scottish Coalition will be launching a petition campaign to get the Lord Advocate to indict Tony Blair for misleading Parliament and taking Britain to war without a UN mandate. Everyone attending the rally will be asked to join a mass public signing of the petition and to take copies away for friends and family to sign.

Leaflets and posters available from Scottish CND more details: 0141 423 1222 or scnd@banthebomb.org

Scottish author Alasdair Gray (Author of 'Lanark' and other influential Scottish novels) supports "No More Lies - No More Lives" protest against the US occupation of Iraq and for Justice for Palestine on Saturday 27th September:

"I support the Scottish Coalition for Justice Not War for reasons too many and well known to repeat here. People who think it right to ignore these reasons believe the USA, with British support, can use their unprecedentally vast store of destructive weapons to police the world, without United Nations support. No single state or group of states can do such a thing: especially when managed by governments whose main care is to increase the profits of the richest private companies within their borders."

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Composite : EC1 - Iraq

Conference noted the statements made by Robin Cook and Clare Short at the Foreign Affairs Select Committee on 17 June 2003, that reaffirmed our belief that the basis for war in Iraq was unjustified. Instructed the NEC to demand - and campaign for vigorously - a thorough public independent enquiry in to the whole debacle.

Conference was concerned that the military conflict in Iraq may have led to an increase of Islamaphobia and racist incidents in Britain. UNISON condemns all racist activity and calls on the government to continue its efforts to foster harmonious relations between all the communities of Britain and to stamp out racism and Islamaphobia.

Conference calls on the NEC to work with other Unions, the international trade union movement and governments to assist the development of bona fide and independent trade unions in Iraq as part of a programme to build democratic institutions within the country.

UNISON must be at the forefront of those helping to build a strong and effective union to fight for the interests of public service workers in Iraq. Conference urges individual UNISON branches, regions and the National Executive Council to continue to promote UNISON's position through the 'Stop the War' Coalition and by lobbying MPs and MEPs.

Click here for the full text on the UNISON UK website

 

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Stop the war - bring the troops home

Despite the best efforts of large sections of the international community - and in the face of widespread public opposition around the world - Britain is standing on the brink of war.

It is up to every UNISON member to make their voice heard and tell the government that war against Iraq cannot be justified. UNISON's position on this issue is crystal clear - we believe any military action without the explicit authority of the United Nations Security Council would be unjustifiable and against international law and the requirements of the UN charter.

We oppose military action because we do note accept that the case for war has been demonstrated. UNISON has also been instrumental in developing a similar position in the TUC. The TUC general council statement, agreed unanimously, expressed the view that on the evidence currently available the conditions for military action had not been met and war could not be justified.

Stop the War coalition is encouraging support for a range of activities. If war is declared, local Stop the War groups will be organising local demonstrations, particularly at lunchtimes in city centres to protest against the war.

Members may therefore wish to participate in such protests and in London a large demonstration will take place at lunchtime in Parliament Square London. There will be a second national demonstration in London on Saturday 22 March at 12noon.

See http://www.stopwar.org.uk/

 

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National Executive Committee Statement on Iraq, 19 February 2003

UNISON's National Executive Council issued the following statement on Iraq:

National Executive Committee Statement on Iraq, 19 February 2003

UNISON applauds the millions of people who demonstrated in the Stop the War marches on 15 February and have joined in protests across the world. These people included hundreds of thousands of public service workers and UNISON members united in a desire to stop the killing of innocent civilians and to prevent an unjust war.

It is crucial that we maintain the broad public pressure on the government to heed our concerns and we will continue to work with the Stop the War coalition, the TUC and International unions and NGOs to seek a sustainable and peaceful solution to the Iraq crisis. To this end we endorse the statements issued by the TUC, Solidar and US Labour Against the War.

UNISON NEC reaffirms its statement of 8th October 2002 that "any military action without the explicit authority of the United Nations Security Council would be unjustifiable and against international law and the requirements of the UN Charter".

To date the weapons inspectors have failed to find convincing evidence of a stockpile of weapons of mass destruction and the case for war has not been justified. In these circumstances we oppose military action against Iraq, a view shared by an increasing number of members of the Security Council who do not accept that the case for war has been demonstrated. We believe that Hans Blix and his team should be given the fullest possible support to find an alternative way to disarm Saddam Hussein without the need for war.

The government should acknowledge the valid concerns of our key partners in NATO and the European Union and to take steps to heal the rifts which have developed. We are convinced that the position taken by, for example, the French and the Germans is one based on only going to war as an absolute last resort and we believe that our government should sign up to that principle.

UNISON's position in no way indicates support for Saddam Hussein and his Iraqi regime whose human rights record and contempt for democracy we continue to condemn. We call on the UN Security Council to insist that Saddam fully co-operates with the weapons inspectors and the terms of UN resolution 1441 or face the consequences of international law.

We recognise and condemn the human rights violations and other attacks on people in Iraq and other countries by the regime of Saddam Hussein, and we express our solidarity with those democratic forces in Iraq which are seeking to bring about a free and democratic country. However, we believe that change must be brought about by a political rather than a military solution, and that regime change must be determined and brought about by the Iraqi people themselves.

Finally, we believe that if the UN is to retain its respect and authority in the world order it must adopt a consistent approach to implementation of UN resolutions. We recognise the steps already taken by the Labour government in making a case for an independent Palestinian state and call on them to work pro-actively in the UN and bilaterally to instigate peace talks in the Middle East which will deliver this objective.

UNISON therefore calls on the Labour government to:

  • Respond positively to the legitimate concerns of our union and the British people
  • Explicitly state they will only operate under the auspices of the UN and work towards an alternative to war
  • Confirm that they will not form a military alliance against Iraq with the Americans in defiance of the will of the UN
  • Allow a full debate and vote in parliament
  • Halt any further preparations for war while the UN weapons inspectors are still carrying out their work on the ground in Iraq
  • Use the so-called special relationship between the US and the UK to convince the US administration that the world is not prepared to rubber stamp George Bush's attempts to wage war at will
  • Intensify the political and diplomatic pressures on the UN and the US to find a peaceful resolution to the crisis in Palestine and Israel