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SA national office bulletin
Monday 7 April 2003


A big opportunity is opening up

A Labour councillor in Southwark, another in Haringey in London and yet another in Wimborne in Dorset have all recently resigned from the Labour Party over the war. The Wimborne councillor is now standing as an anti-war candidate in the local elections. In many parts of the country there are reports of Labour members going on campaign strike in the elections. Meantime the Labour leadership are threatening to withdraw the whip from George Galloway and to try and engineer his deselection. These splits and divisions are an indication of the kinds of convulsions in the political landscape that could lie ahead. They give us a very significant opportunity to open up another front for anti-war activity around the local elections.

We now have over 160 Socialist Alliance candidates standing against the war, an increase of between a third and a half compared with the numbers standing in comparable elections last year. There would have been a few more if some candidates had remembered to check whether there nominators were on the electoral roll or had already nominated other candidates!

We now need to make sure that every household gets leafleted with our election leaflets as soon as possible. Many people will be desperate to read an alternative view of what the war on Iraq means.

We also need to try to speak to as many people as possible on the doorstep. It's by far the best to go out in groups including the local candidate. This will generate an atmosphere that this is a serious campaign. It also means canvassers won't be isolated, should they run into the odd Sun-reading armchair SAS fan. If we're really going to make the most of these campaigns, we need to tap the potential support of many of those who have been active in the Stop the War campaign locally. Many anti-war activists will want to give active support to Socialist Alliance candidates as another facet of their general anti-war campaigning.

We also need to know of any other independent anti-war candidates standing in your local elections. These are people we need to have contact with, including getting together with them in anti-war candidates meetings locally where we can discuss election strategy and other issues. This is part of forging longer-term links with these candidates and drawing them towards the Socialist Alliance.

Please phone the national office on 020 7791 3138 with details of any independent anti-war candidates or if you have other election queries.


Should a new leaflet become appropriate we will do our utmost to produce it as quickly as possible. We would warn comrades once again to try and keep the time between production and distribution of leaflets as short as possible and to consider, if financially feasible, keeping runs short so that leaflets can be updated.

National anti-war demo

Stop the War Coalition are putting a huge effort in trying to make the national demo in London on Saturday as big as possible. Thousands of people have now been killed in this bloody, unnecessary, illegal and illegitimate war. No Iraqi weapons of mass destruction have been discovered. An Iraqi 'death factory' turned out to be a morgue for Iraqi soldiers killed in the Iran/Iraq war recently returned to Iraq. Jay Garner, a retired Zionist, US general is shortly to enter Iraq to become the US colonial governor in waiting. Despite the propaganda barrage huge numbers of people remain strongly opposed to the war and desperately want to get together in very large numbers to express their opposition. In the Middle East the vast majority of people are seething with anger against the imperialist invasion of Iraq (and increasingly their own governments' complicity). Another huge demonstration against the war in the capital city London, despite the UK military claiming to be near victory, will be broadcast across the Middle East (and indeed the world) and further raise confidence for the Arab peoples to rise against imperialism.

No-one knows just how big the demo on Saturday will be BUT IT WILL BE BIG. The huge number of people coming on the march will without question be our core target audience. Relative to the size of the demo, a few will be members of the Socialist Alliance already, many more will have begun to identify with the SA and vote for it where they can. We need to get them to join us.

It is essential that members of the Socialist Alliance, who have played a central role in many areas in building the anti-war movement, are therefore once again at the heart of building for this demo. We have produced a national leaflet for the demo (although not actually advertising it-flyers with demo details are available from Stop the War). that can be downloaded from the website or which we can send to you if you place orders by 10am tomorrow morning. It's particularly vital that the Socialist Alliance is very well represented on transport coming from areas which have local elections looming and where our Socialist Alliance candidates will be leading the most upfront, vigorous and principled opposition to the war into the local elections. We need to have leaflets and to talk to anti-war activists coming to the demo (and those who unavoidably can't) encouraging them to give active support to our candidates in the election. That way we will have much more successful and dynamic campaigns and have a much bigger and healthier Socialist Alliance coming out of the elections.

Rob Hoveman
National Secretary


previous bulletins

Special bulletin: War imminent - 19 March 2003
It's war ... - 17 March 2003
The democratic deficit and the people's assembly - 6 March 2003
After the biggest demo ever - 19 February 2003
Millions to march against war worldwide - 5 February 2003
Building against the war; Prescott and political fund - 30 January 2003
War in weeks, opposition massive - 24 January 2003
Preparing for 15 February; Firefighters - 22 January 2003
Blair in trouble; Firefighters - 15 January 2003
War looms; Firefighters - 9 January 2003
Where is New Labour going?; The democracy debate - 17 Dec 2002
Firefighters; national newsletter; recruitment - 4 Dec 2002
Firefighters; Steve Godward; Stopping the war - 27 Nov 02
Firefighters; War; Women's day school - 19 Nov 02
Firefighters' strike is on - 12 Nov 02
Firefighters; Political fund; Stop the war - 5 Nov 02
Stop the War; The political fund debate - 29 Oct 02
Strike off; Labour turmoil over Iraq - 6 Aug 02
All out to stop the war on Iraq - 30 Jul 02
TU meeting/Conference on Europe/ESF - 2 Jul 02
Mini-bulletin - 27 Jun 02
Perspectives for the next two years - 17 Jun 02
Taking the long view - 12 Jun 02
Capitalising on our election success - 6 Jun 02


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Contact the SA office by phone on 020 7791 3138 or by email