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The struggles against war & to reclaim the party
International News & Opinion

OWC CAMPAIGN NEWS - distributed by the Open World Conference in
Defense of Trade Union Independence & Democratic Rights, c/o S.F. Labor
Council, 1188 Franklin St., #203, San Francisco, CA 94109.
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-------------------
Statement published by The LINK: Open Forum of Labour Party
Members and Trade Unionists to Reclaim the Party (UK)

Press Release - Monday, February 17th

The struggle against war is a struggle to reclaim the party.

On Saturday February 15th,  all around the world  hundreds of
millions of demonstrators expressed their rejection of war on Iraq.

Everywhere the same demand was heard: With or without the UN, we say no to war!

In Europe, the biggest demonstrations took place in the countries
whose governments signed the letter supporting the US: Britain (2
million), Italy (3 million), Spain (2 million).

In London, the biggest-ever protest since World War II had a clear
message: "Blair and New Labour are not acting in our name."

In Glasgow, 100,000 protesters marched on the Labour Party spring
conference to protest against Blair and war on Iraq.

When Gordon Brown at the Labour Party Spring Conference announces
further tax cuts for the rich and more privatisation , he is sending
a clear message that while they are preparing for war against the
people of Iraq they are also preparing for war against the people of
this country.

The sea of anger against Blair across the nation is the direct result
of almost total opposition to war inside the Labour Party and from
the trade union movement as a whole.

The main lesson of that day of discontent was drawn by the Socialist
Group of Labour MP's: "With up to a million people converging on the
capital in Britain's largest-ever peace movement, this is a crunch
time for Tony Blair and his leadership. The crunch for Tony Blair is
that he can lead the war party, or the Labour Party, but not both."

Weeks before February 15, The LINK launched an Open Letter to Tony
Blair, saying:

* No to war against Iraq!
* No Blood for oil!
* Money for public services,  not for war!

Along with other Labour Party members and trade unionists fighting
against New Labour's war --  like Mark Seddon, NEC Labour Party,
editor Tribune, and Dave Green, FBU executive -- a delegation was
organised by THE LINK to Downing Street.

After the delegation, the participants called on Labour Party
branches and CLPs, trade union branches, trades councils, regional
and national trade unions to send telegrams, letters or e-mails to
Downing Street (fax 020 7925 0918) and/or to David Hanson, the Prime
Minister's Parliamentary Private Secretary (email
hansond@parliament.uk), with a copy each to:

Stefan Cholewka, The LINK, email:stefan@macunlimted.net
Mark Seddon, Tribune, email: george@tribpub.demon.co.uk

The short, one-paragraph letter, addressed to the Prime Minister, 10
Downing Street, London SW!A 2AA, reads as follows: " I/we hereby
express my/our opposition to any war with Iraq. Taxpayers' money
should go towards jobs, health care, housing, education, public
services, not for war. Stop the war, keep troops at home!"

After February 15, which has shown that warmongers can be defeated,
we say this war is not inevitable. Keep campaigning, send hundreds of
e-mails, telegrams, letters to Downing Street.

The Link demonstrated under a banner on February 15 saying "Reclaim
the Party against War."

 From everywhere in the party and the unions voices arise to say
enough is enough .
Mark Seddon (Save the Labour Party -- Tribune Comment, Vol.67. No.5) said:

"... It is time to reclaim the Labour Party and re-found it. In
constituency parties and in the unions this proposition is being
advanced with increasing urgency."

John McDonnell Labour MP for Hayes and Harlington, chair of the
Campaign Group of MP's has demanded a recall Labour Party conference
to debate the joint British/US led attack on Iraq.

Trade union leaders at a rally in central London restated their
demand for a special TUC Congress to discuss possible industrial
action to avert war.

We unconditionally support these calls . Party members and affiliated
unionists publishing The LINK will unconditionally support any
national initiative aiming at organising concrete and effective
resistance to kick Blair and the New Labour clique out. We refuse to
give Blair a free hand to destroy the Labour Party. The only way
forward is to reclaim the party, take the party back from New Labour
and return it to its legitimate owners.

Contact Address:

The LINK c/o STEFAN CHOLEWKA,
31 SPOTLAND ROAD,
ROCHDALE, OL12 6PE
PHONE - FAX 01706-64-28-99
MOBILE : 07901-913-698
EMAIL : stefan@macunlimited.net