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Two Great Articles On “Engaging” with UK “Stop The War Coalition” and their Betrayal Of Syrians.

[Last Updated by Lara Keller 7/6/17]

The first one is from Fardous Bahbouh of Syria Solidarity UK. She takes a mature balanced approach, saying of the ordinary members of Stop The War Coalition (STWuk) groups that she has set out to engage with:

“I met many wonderful people, and I was touched by their compassion and eagerness to campaign against wars. I have so much respect for Stop the War’s protests against the Iraq invasion in 2003. I highly appreciate their recent campaign to welcome refugees.”

She also gives a very well presented case against the whole campaign waged by the STWuk leadership on Syria. See:

He also recommends other Syrian Solidarity Groups in the UK, that campaign alongside Syria Solidarity UK.

“I highly encourage you all to check out the civil society groups such as Rethink Rebuild, the White Helmets, the Syria Campaign and Planet Syria.”


The second article is by Brighton based activist Paddy Vipond gives a similarly informed first hand account of the problem with the UK “Stop The War Coalition” (STWuk). The article states:

“Despite Assad being the cause of the ongoing conflict in Syria …. despite his forces having been responsible for the overwhelming majority of the 300,00+ dead, his name rarely gets a mention at StWC events …. Further reinforcing the point that Syria, and Syrians themselves, are only a sideshow in the anti-war movement at present.
Such a position seems deeply ingrained in the StWC psyche. [At Don’t Bomb Syria March, London 12th Dec 2015] …. one StWC member who was walking a few yards ahead of me turned to a Syrian activist and shouted: ‘why aren’t you standing in solidarity with us?!’ before continuing ‘we are doing this for you!’.
Notice how, on the issue of bombing Syria, the Syrians have to stand in solidarity with the Brits and not vice versa. …. As if to say, the UK anti-war group knows better than Syrians about what is best for their country and countrymen. A truly disgusting message to put across.” See:
I would also recommend his detailed critique of a STWuk speech made by the veteran Tariq Ali on Syria (he was one of the founding members of STWuk):
He also links to an article in the IB Times on why British Muslims are turning away from STWuk:

Also some information about the official patrons of STWuk:


Going back to the main article. Paddy Vipond describes clearly the problem the UK anti-war movement has with the Syrian Crisis. I do wonder what stance an anti-war movement could take. The limited scope of these movements is a fundamental issue. In an article in the Independent on the 11th Dec 2015, Tariq Ali states: “It [STWuk] does NOT take positions on the demerits or otherwise of the Taliban, Saddam, Gaddafi, Assad.” See:

So what can the STWuk have to say about a conflict in which the Assad regime that rules Syria is murdering 100,000s of Syrians, torturing 10,000s of others to death, and plunging millions into desperate  poverty?  A continuation of a policy of brutality that the regime has fairly consistently followed for the last 45+ years. Please read Tariq Ali’s article. Apart from noting the rhetorical omissions, please observe his repeated praise for the fact that STWuk has not changed. He neglects to realize that the since 2011, the conflicts they are campaigning on, have changed radically. He puts opposition to STWuk as motivated by opposition to the UK Labour Party’s new leader and STWuk supporter Jeremy Corbyn. As to the Scottish National Party (SNP) getting away with the same nonsense on Syria. Some people did criticize them harshly, which was twisted into anti-Scottish sentiment even when made by people who are not English. The SNP’s position needs vigorous criticism, partly because they have the MPs in the UK parliament with direct  political power.  


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