Stop the NATO War Games on Russia’s Doorstep. The Petition the British Government Tried to Ban

Nato military exercises are due to take place in Ukraine in July. UK troops will be deployed as part of Nato’s Rapid Trident manoeuvres. This is a dangerous move that will inevitably escalate an already tense situation.

On the 7 May Stop the War, along with CND and a number of politicians and celebrities, submitted a petition to the government’s e-petition web site in order to initiate a debate in parliament and bring a stop to this dangerous escalation. Three weeks passed and the government refused to publish the petition, even when the Leader of the House of Commons’ office intervened on our behalf. Today we went to the press, contacting all the major news outlets. As soon as journalists began phoning the Ministry of Defence, the government backed down and published the petition.

Sign the petition the government tried to ban. Let’s collect 100,000 signatures and stop this dangerous escalation of war.

No to Nato military exercises in Ukraine

Sign the e-petition

We note with great concern that UK and US troops are scheduled to participate in joint military exercises in Ukraine in July as part of NATO’s Rapid Trident manoeuvres. Ukraine is not a member of NATO. Its participation in military exercises by a nuclear-armed alliance with a first-strike policy can only further destabilise the country.

We call on the British government to urge the US and other NATO governments to cancel the Rapid Trident exercise, and to give a plain and public undertaking that Britain will not participate.

Initial signatories:

Lindsey German, convenor of Stop the War Coalition
Kate Hudson, general secretary of CND
Caroline Lucas MP
Jeremy Corbyn MP
John Rees, Stop the War Coalition
Baroness Jenny Tonge
Ken Loach, film and TV director
Mark Rylance, actor
Miriam Margolyes OBE actor
Michael Rosen, author and broadcaster
Salma Yaqoob, former leader of the Respect Party
Andrew Murray, chief of staff for Unite union

Sign the e-petition

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Ken Loach on Left Unity

Salman Shaheen speaks to Ken Loach about the director’s hopes for founding a new party to the left of Labour, and what it can learn from new media and the social movements that have built up around it.

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When I meet Loach at Sixteen Films’ office, a creaky old building on Wardour Street with Lilliputian wooden-beamed ceilings and warm white walls studded with posters of past glories from the director’s distinguished career, he is happy to sit still for twenty minutes. But behind his measured, methodical speech, that energy and passion remain. For Loach is helping to found a new political party – leftunity in answer to the political vacuum that has existed in Britain for decades.

“When Blair took over and won Labour’s first election with the slogan ‘Labour means business’, some thought at the time this means they’re going to roll up their sleeves and get to work,” Loach says. “Actually it means Labour means big business. Which means the working class have no political representation.”

The absence of a strong voice on the left became particularly problematic when a Labour government marched politically unopposed into Iraq, despite the majority of the country standing opposed to the war.

Loach believes the Greens are alone among the political parties in not standing up for the interests of big business. As far as he is concerned, the Green Party has many good qualities, but he does not see it as a party of the organised working class, and that is what he wants to help build in Left Unity.

Read the full article here