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Members urged to support 'Stop the War' national demonstration

15 September 2006 | last updated: 15 December 2015

Coaches are being booked from all over the UK to take people to the 'Stop The War' national demonstration in Manchester on 23 September - the eve of the Labour Party Conference - to demand all foreign troops are withdrawn from Iraq and Afghanistan and an end to the threats to Iran.

For further details of the demonstration, see the Stop the War Coalition website.

AUT and NATFHE were both affiliated to Stop the War Coalition and UCU is joining many other TUs in mobilising support. Many branches/LAs are already doing so, eg, UCU Northern Region has booked coaches from Newcastle. A message to UCU members from Manchester UCU branches/LAs:

David Swanson, branch secretary, UCU, City College, Manchester, said: 'City College UCU has let all its members know and distributed leaflets across the college. We will be doing more leafleting and making a new banner to march behind on the demo and we hope to see UCU banners from across the UK.'

Stewart Smyth, branch secretary, UCU, Manchester Metropolitan University, said: 'UCU at Man Met has invited a speaker from Stop the War to its branch meeting next week. In freshers' week we are holding a showing of the David Zeiger's film, "Sir! No Sir!" for staff and students with a Vietnam veteran speaking. We will have a Man Met staff contingent on the march. It's a national demonstration, so please join us!'.

Please do your utmost to boost the protest by mobilising UCU members in your branch/LA and by organising local activity, meetings, stalls, emails to colleagues and booking materials and speakers for start of term meetings.

Some ideas for supporting the action include

  • Leaflet your workplace and with your local StWC group/students provide an information stall, advertising the demo. Order posters and leaflets.
  • Organise a college/university-wide public meeting/teach-in for staff and students
  • Help your local StWC group or interested students to launch a college/university Stop the War Coalition group if there is not one already. You can obtain materials and support from StWC.
  • Circulate a petition - adding a tick box for pledges to attend the demo
  • Send news of your plans and a statement of support to the UCU Stop the War Coalition supporters' network (below) and to the UCU activists' network.
  • Can you provide a speaker for a StWC rally? Send offers to local organisations and StWC.
  • NB London branches/LAs: tube-station leafleting Thursday 14 September.

Why UCU members should support the demonstration

UK military spending is £30.9bn in 2005/06 rising to £33.3bn in 2007/08. (Geoff Hoon, RUSI April 2005)

Additionally, the replacement of the Trident nuclear system alone will cost between an extra £25 billion and £40 billion.

Total UK central govt public spending on FE in 2004-5 was £6,687m, which was 0.57% of UK GDP.

Total public expenditure on HE & student support in 2004-5 was £9,540m, which was 0.81% of UK GDP.

'Death of a Professor' (Haifa Zangana)

Petition to save Iraq's academics

UK Trade Unions' support

Fourteen national trade unions affiliated to Stop the War Coalition including NATFHE and AUT. Several unions including UCU have registered as sponsors of the 23 September demo, including PCS, T&G, FBU, CWU, NUT, NUJ and UNISON.

Some have given donations: PCS £2,500; T&G £500; FBU £500; and CWU £1,000 (plus £500 to Military Families Against the War).

Several unions have booked seats on the train from London to Manchester (PCS two carriages, Greater London UNISON two carriages etc) and many branches have bought a dozen or so seats, eg GMB Holborn. 

Many unions are encouraging branches or regions to hire coaches to the demonstration. In some cases the coaches are subsidised.

Urgent appeal by Lebanese education unions

Education International, representing teachers' unions around the world, has issued an urgent action appeal in support of requests for humanitarian assistance from two Lebanese teachers' unions. UCU has donated £1,000 and branches are asked to also consider donating.

LabourStart is assisting by providing a secure online way to donate

UCU recently signed the TUC statement demanding a ceasefire in Lebanon

'Time for Change' Stop the War Coalition Alternative Conference
Sunday 24 September 2006 10.30 am - 6.00 pm. Roscoe Building, University of Manchester, Brunswick Street, Manchester M13 9PL

Stay in Touch - UCU network
Join the UCU network for Stop the War Coalition Supporters. This networks related information, news, articles/statements by UCU members and campaigning ideas to any UCU member who signs up.

For help and resources contact Stop the War Coalition 020 7278 6694. Email office@stopwar.org.uk.