It’s safe to protest tomorrow

I’ve just been looking at the list of speakers at the rally tomorrow in London (12 noon at Parliament Square), and there’s a refreshing lack of Marxist sectarians (Lindsey German of SWP, John Rees of Respect) and a profusion of the normal left: Tony Benn, Jeremy Corbyn, Jenny Jones (Green), and a number of trade union reps and a few Muslim speakers. But the best news of all is: no George Galloway! So perhaps some folks who were hesitating about going can be reassured that it’s safe to do so.

Also, Harry’s place has a whole piece on the US sectarian left, their ongoing divisions and their tendency to drag other issues (in this case Palestine) into their anti-war agitation. This was something I noticed at one of the London anti-war demos, when I carried an MAB banner and was asked by some people I assumed were reporters why I had a “Freedom for Palestine” banner and what that had to do with Iraq. At one of the Hyde Park rallies (I think it was the same day) a speaker issued a demand to free the mass murderer Abdullah Ocalan. The reason is that these people, while they may sincerely oppose the Iraq war, also see it as an opportunity to push their own agendas and for good old publicity. This is about Iraq, guys; there are other times and places to campaign for Palestine.

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