World against war conference December 1st 2007
A conference for peace was held in the Central Methodist Hall in London on Saturday December 1st. The Stop the War coalition invited a very wide range of speakers from around the world including representatives from Lebanon, Palestine, ANSWER (Act now to stop war and end racism) and UFPJ (United for peace and justice). Well over 1,000 attended with many coming from around the country.
The opening plenary was in the great hall, which can hold up to 2,352 people. Andrew Murray, the chair of Stop the War introduced a number of speakers starting with the honorary president of Stop the War Tony Benn.
Tony Benn said that the United Nations started off in the Central Hall 60 years ago and that the US/UK invasion of Iraq was the tearing up of the UN charter. He spoke out against imperialism and war and thanked all those who were attending.
Other speakers included Jean Lambert MEP who spoke against the double standards of the West who criticised countries like Iran for developing weapons, which the west had in huge quantities. George Galloway MP spoke, as did former UN humanitarian coordinator Hans von Sponeck.
Ibrahim Mousawi, editor of Hizbollah newspaper Al Intiqad, spoke next. He made the point the demonstrations in London and around the world were very impressive. He said that he didn't steal anyone's land or water but that is what Israel is doing to the Palestinians.
Stop the War convenor Lindsey German also spoke.
Parallel sessions were held with one about Iran and the Middle East and another on the occupation of Iraq. Muna Coobtee of the Los Angeles ANSWER coalition spoke.
In the afternoon there were two more parallel sessions. In the great hall there was a session on the anti-war movement in Europe and in the lecture hall there was a discussion on Afghanistan and Pakistan.
There were global reports, which was addresses by a number of speakers including John Rees and Nancy Romer of US Labor against war.
The final plenary in the Great Hall was addressed by Javier Couso whose cameraman brother was killed in Iraq, Marzieh Langroudi of Mothers against War, Iran, spoke as did Dennis Halliday who was the United Nations Humanitarian Co-ordinator in Iraq from 1 September 1997 until 1998. His successor Hans von Sponeck at the UN spoke earlier in the day.
Twenty photos of the venue and the speakers are included.