Opposing the occupation

IssueDecember 2006 - January 2007
News by Jonathan Stevenson

One of the outcomes from last month's anti-occupation strategy gathering in London, hosted by Iraq Occupation Focus, was the need for an Early Day Motion to enable MPs to demonstrate their support for withdrawal. Since then, Labour MPs John McDonnell and Jeremy Corbyn have tabled EDM 335, calling for the immediate withdrawal of UK troops.

Given the reluctance of all the major parties to come out unequivocally against the occupation, however, it is unlikely that the majority of even backbench MPs will immediately sign the EDM. But if anti-war groups and activists run concerted local campaigns - by encouraging supporters to sign postcards and petitions to their local MP asking them to sign it, following up with surgery visits, demonstrations and local media work if they come up with excuses - then the massive opposition to the occupation felt by the British public (61% want to see the troops home by Christmas, according to the latest poll) might start to be represented sufficiently in parliament. Ask your MP to sign the EDM via www.writetothem.com or by writing to House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA. Voices and Iraq Occupation Focus will be producing materials to help groups target reluctant MPs - email iraqfocus@riseup.net for more information.