“Cameron wants a piece of the profits from the oil like Tony Blair before with Iraq”

By our reporters
30 November 2015

Socialist Equality Party members distributed copies of the World Socialist Web Site Editorial Board statement, “Turkey’s downing of a Russian jet and the danger of world war” at anti-war protests throughout the UK.

Reporters spoke to students Amy and Sam at the London protest. They had come from the Norwich in East Anglia to protest the government’s plans to bomb Syria.

Sam and Amy

Sam said, “This is the first demonstration I’ve ever been on. I think they are trying to get into Syria because Britain and America have big arms industries and they have to use those weapons. There are going to be casualities whenever you drop bombs. I have a limited knowledge of current affairs, buts it’s obvious bombing is not the right way.

“If military intervention stopped terrorism, then it would not still be taking place. We’ve been doing this for about 12 years now and there has to be another way. I think people are realising now and getting the capacity to think for themselves.”

Amy, who brought a homemade banner reading, “Drop Cameron, Not Bombs,” said, “There are always better way of doing things than bombing Syria. I’m a student and the people I hang around with all think the same.”

In Sheffield, Liam, a learning disabilities carer, said, “I think the government are looking for an excuse to go to war. They jumped at the chance of exploiting the Paris [terrorist] attacks. [Prime Minister] Cameron wants a piece of the profits from the oil like Tony Blair before with Iraq. I can’t see any other reason than greed. It’s an opportunity to sell more arms. It can only cause more problems. Cameron will be protected when ISIS retaliates. It will be the ordinary people who will suffer the backlash.

“The Defence Secretary [Philip Hammond] is justifying bombing, claiming that Britain has weapons that will only pick out terrorists.”

Liam explained that he had been involved with a group helping refugees at Calais. He said, “I heard the stories refugees have told from Syria. You only have look at photographs of Syria and what it looked like five years ago and compare it with today. They seem to want to flatten the whole area. A lot of people do not seem to understand until it is on their own doorstep.

“The way refugees are being treated today is no better than the 1930s and what happened with the Jewish people. You do not need to apologise for making that analogy. It the same even if they are not branded with badges and stars.

“The situation between the US and Russia [in Syria] is nuts. We need to take a step back.”

Liam purchased a copy of the SEP’s Socialism and the fight against war pamphlet to find out about the SEP’s perspective and struggle to build anti-war movement based on socialist principles.

In Leeds, two passers-by stopped as SEP members handed out leaflets warning of the danger of a Third World War. One of them, Susan, said, “I don't agree at all with what the government is doing. They have started wars in so many countries now, and they always use the same excuses for doing it.

“It forms a pattern each time. They bomb countries, cause havoc and ruin them. Then you get reactionary groups sprouting up based on sectarianism. Then they use the groups as a justification to bomb even more.

“Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria—how are these countries better for being bombed? They said all kinds of things would happen if they didn't bomb, but the bombing has proven much worse than what they claimed they were trying to stop.

“People are starting to understand what’s really going on. They are starting wars to pursue their own business interests. The wars are not in our interests at all. That’s why so many people are opposed to bombing Syria now.

“But even though a great majority are against bombing Syria, they are intent on doing it anyway. It’s the same as with Tony Blair—a big majority were against bombing Iraq then but he went ahead and bombed it. It’s all centered on grabbing control of parts of the world and its resources.”

Susan bought a copy of the Socialism and the fight against war.

A Polish women took a copy of the WSWS Editorial Board statement and said she was frightened by what is happening in the world and was opposed to UK plans to bomb Syria. She opposed the refugees from Syria being treated as criminals for “trying to escape a war zone and find somewhere more peaceful to live.”

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