Derry protest tonight ahead of Isis war vote

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An anti-war protest and vigil will be staged in Derry city centre tonight ahead of the House of Commons vote on whether to drop bombs on Syria.

Local people seeking to take part are being advised to gather at the Cenotaph at the Diamond from 6pm, ahead of the 10pm vote.

We are in the longest economic downturn in the history of capitalism with no money for schools, housing and social welfare. Austerity for all but the arms dealers and millionaire politicians. This must end. We must say no to bombing Syria.

Spokesperson, Derry Anti-War Coalition

The British government are seeking the support of MPs to join a military coalition to take military action against Deash (Islamic State/ Isis) targets in Syria.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has already voiced his opposition to going to war, and Foyle SDLP MP Mark Durkan will also be voting no tonight in London.

Derry Anti-War Coalition have organised tonight’s vigil in protest over the consequences of taking part in a fourth war in 14 years.

In a statement issued ahead of the vigil, a spokesperson said: “The conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya have been an unmitigated disaster.

“These wars have killed millions and left the largest refugee crisis the world has ever seen.

“As the Paris attacks showed we are no safer - in fact the disastrous Foreign Policy decisions of successive UK governments have left us much less safe, home and abroad.

“In Syria, the US, Russia and France are already bombing so called Islamic State targets. In reality this means bombing cities like Raqqa, reported to be an Islamic State strong hold. Raqqa has a population over twice the size of Derry.

“Innocent people are being slaughtered as the bombs rain down on it from all sides. The people of Raqqa not only have to live under the barbarism of ISIS but they have to try and survive under almost constant bombardment from those who would use their suffering as a pretext for war.”

The DAWC spokesperson claimed that it was Western military intervention in Iraq and Libya that brought about the rise of ISIS “and now we punish those who live under their fascistic rule by bombing them”.

“This must stop,” he added. “How can anyone seriously believe that what went horribly wrong in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya will somehow be different in Syria?”

He added: “We are in the longest economic downturn in the history of capitalism with no money for schools, housing and social welfare. Austerity for all but the arms dealers and millionaire politicians. This must end. We must say no to bombing Syria.

“The people of Derry are asked to stand with the Derry Anti War Coalition at 6pm at the War Memorial as the British Parliament debate war once more.

“Protests will be happening in major cities throughout the UK and Ireland. We call on those opposed to Western Imperialism to join us and let your voice be heard.

“We call on our local MPs to do the right thing and vote against the bombing of Syria. Our MPs voted against attacking Assad in Syria almost two years ago and they are now being asked to support Assad and to bomb those opposed to him.

“This is how illogical and ridiculous the Western Strategy in Syria is. They are prepared to bomb both sides and massacre civilians - it is time for this to stop. Please join us and let the politicians know this carnage ‘is not in our name.’