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US Anti-war activist speaks in Belfast

20 February 2006

Leading US Marxist and anti-war activist Steve Bloom spoke to a full meeting of Belfast socialist forum at Queens University Belfast on Thursday 16th February.

The talk spoke of the ebb and flow of the movement against the war – the initial mass upsurge, the demoralisation when many ordinary people realised that the protests were being ignored, divisions in the movement and a strengthening of the government’s hand once the invasion was successful.

However that period had been followed by a deepening Iraqi resistance, massive casualties among the Iraqi population and growing US casualties, and a rebirth of the movement led by the example of Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a dead GI who had been refused an interview with Bush and had then set up a peace camp outside his Texas ranch.  The movement had been given further impetus by the aftermath of hurricane Katrina, when many US workers realised the extent of government indifference to the fate of poor people in general and the endemic racism of the regime towards poor black people.

There followed a general discussion in which members of the audience asked about the ability of protest to build effective opposition to the was, the complicity of the Irish government in providing military facilities at airports across the country – especially Shannon and the need to renew the anti-war movement here.


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