Building Blocks of Protest

Issue section: 

War is a key issue for the unions, but how are we going to mobilise them?

Tony Benn's call to stop the city on the day they bomb Iraq is a brilliant opportunity for activists. But it is also a serious challenge-we need to start organising now if we are going to deliver action on the day.

First and foremost, this means holding workplace meetings to discuss Bush and Blair's war drive. Union branches need to decide what action they will take on the day, whether it's calling an immediate stoppage, a 15-minute lunchtime meeting in the canteen, or gathering to spread the word about local street protests.

We need to pile the pressure on our national union leaders to back members' action. Resolutions and petitions need to be landing on their desks without delay. Even where the union is weak, you can still pull good workplace meetings. Get a good, confident speaker by contacting your local Stop the War Coalition group. Get a union rep or official if you know they are against the war. Book a room nearby-in a pub, for example, or even at the back of a sympathetic bookshop or cafe. Build the meeting by taking round the Stop the War Coalition petition against bombing Iraq. Ask for small donations to cover the cost of the room. Media Workers Against the War is organising a series of lunchtime workplace meetings in London, starting with Tony Benn and Lindsey German speaking to workers at the Guardian newspaper.

We hope these meetings will be springboards for anti-war action in the media.

Dave Crouch
Media Workers Against the War