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Anti war movement gathers pace

PUBLISHED: 16:10 04 October 2001 | UPDATED: 10:37 03 March 2010

THE anti war movement in Ipswich is gathering momentum despite facing the combined resolve of the British and American governments, a spokesman for the group said today.

THE anti war movement in Ipswich is gathering momentum despite facing the combined resolve of the British and American governments, a spokesman for the group said today.

Speaking after more than 30 protestors gathered under the newly formed banner "Ipswich Campaign to Stop the War", spokesman Peter Leech said opposition to launching an offence against Afghanistan was growing in the town and across the globe.

The meeting in Ipswich's town hall yesterday [3.10] attracted members from the Quaker community, CND, left wing organisations and Amnesty International – but all had attended as individuals to express their fears, he said.

The meeting was sponsored by the Ipswich and District National Union of Teachers and chaired by Sarah Sanford, branch secretary of the Ipswich Transport and General Workers Union,

"We are getting reports of demonstrations across the globe – 10,000 people alone in Washington DC. There is a large anti-war movement in the shadows, it's just starting to come out," said Mr Leech, who is also a member of the Ipswich Socialist Alliance and the Anti Nazi League.

The Ipswich Campaign had started with a gathering at the Friend's Meeting House instigated by the Ipswich Socialist Alliance last week and was already growing fast, he said.

Among those supporting the cause were people working with refugees in Ipswich who feared a backlash against ethic minorities and believed a war on terrorism was playing into the hands of the neo Nazi, he said.

The right to dissent was being smothered by a spirit of patriotism in the wake of the terrorist atrocities in America and many of those arguing against war were also standing up for the right to freedom of expression, he added.

"Civil libertarians have become characterised as unpatriotic but we believe we have a right to decent from supporting an American war.

"It doesn't make you a true patriot if you shut up and stifle criticism."

Speeches were made last night by Peter Lanyon of Suffolk CND, Dr Ehsan Ahmadi, an Afghanistan refugee living in Ipswich and Chris Harman editor of the Socialist Worker.

The Ipswich Campaign to Stop the War is planing a candlelit vigil at 7pm on the Cornhill on the day any attacks are launched against Afghanistan.

The group is also organising transport to the National March for Peace and Justice called by CND on October 13. Transport will leave Ipswich Crown Street layby for London at 9am and the march is expected to go from Hyde park to Trafalgar Square.

For further details or to contact the group email isa_news@hotmail.com or phone 01473 405167 or write to ISA. PO Box 35, Ipswich, IP2 9TX.

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