The launch of the European Network for Peace And Human Rights took place at the end of January in the European Parliament in Brussels.
There was wide representation of socialists from across Europe, with visitors from the Middle East and North America. Indeed, the thirst for information exchange and bridge building was clear from the large number of activists attending the 'linking the issues' workshop. The other two workshops were on the war on Afghanistan and its aftermath, and the US plans for National Missile Defence, 'Son of Star Wars'.
The final communique included the following: 'We are in a situation where the greatest military and economic power on earth has declared war on its enemies as it perceives them. This it has done with the support of most European governments. We express our profound sympathy for all victims of terrorism, including state terror. But war cannot be the way to defeat terror. The US has shown itself ready to unleash the most prodigious weapons of destruction against human beings and their means of livelihood. It is extending its power from land, sea and air into space and information to achieve what its commanders call "full spectrum dominance", at the same time that it pressures others to support its actions. We refuse to do that, and call upon our fellow Europeans to join with us in our refusal to become accomplices in such a development.'
A small working committee has been formed which will prepare the way for a liaison committee. The latter will be looking to organising a major conference, with Europeans from east to west, and in the meantime to be working closely with activists in the US and on dialogue meetings with representatives from South Asia and the Middle East.
For further information contact Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation, Russell House, Bulwell Lane, Nottingham NG6 OBT.