WSWS to provide on-the-spot coverage of global anti-war rallies

The World Socialist Web Site will provide comprehensive international coverage of the rallies and marches being held around the world this weekend against the impending US war against Iraq. The coverage will commence with Monday’s postings, which will provide on-the-spot reports and photos from nearly two dozen major locations, among them London, Paris, Rome, Berlin, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Brussels, Copenhagen, Tel Aviv, Sydney, Melbourne, Wellington, Seoul, Toronto, Montreal, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Detroit, Pittsburgh and New York.

Both the size and international character of the February 14-16 events are of great historical significance. They are likely to constitute the largest single political protest ever conducted and the first truly global demonstration against war. Millions of people are expected to join rallies in cities and towns, large and small, on every continent, including Antarctica.

It is estimated that demonstrations will be held at more than 600 locations. In London, Paris and Berlin, more than half a million people are expected to join each central protest, making them possibly the largest demonstrations in the history of these countries. Significantly, demonstrations are scheduled in some 225 communities across the United States, underscoring the depth and breadth of the opposition among American working people and youth to the Bush administration.

WSWS correspondents will provide coverage of the marches, interviewing participants and noting the scale and scope of the mobilizations, the range of contingents and the speeches from the platforms, as well as police or military responses. Subsequent articles will critically assess the politics advanced by the speakers, provide a political analysis of the significance of this world-wide mobilization against imperialist war, and advance a program and strategy to develop it into a powerful international movement of the working class.

Over the weekend, supporters of the WSWS and the Socialist Equality Parties will distribute tens of thousands of copies of the February 12 statement of the WSWS Editorial Board: “The tasks of the anti-war movement.”

The statement is available on the WSWS in English, German, French, Spanish, Italian and Dutch in leaflet form as a PDF file. We urge our readers and supporters to download the leaflet and distribute it at the various demonstrations, as well as at work locations, schools, universities and other public venues.

In the opening words of the statement: “Rarely has a war crime been set out as openly before the eyes of the entire world as the imminent war against Iraq....The war against Iraq is threatening all of humanity with a catastrophe.”

The worldwide events commenced yesterday in Australia, where an estimated 200,000 people marched through downtown Melbourne in one of the biggest demonstrations in the country’s history.

In many locations, people will participate despite intimidating “terror alerts” and military deployments instituted by governments that are intent on war, or in the face of police bans, as in New York City, where the police department, backed by federal judges, has prohibited demonstrators from marching.

The WSWS Editorial Board statement explains that the crucial issue posed before this unprecedented movement is political clarity. The struggle against war requires a politically independent and consciously elaborated strategy, based upon an understanding of the causes and driving forces behind this war. The anti-war movement must be transformed into a powerful global movement of the working class against the entire economic and political system responsible for the new eruption of militarism.

We encourage our readers to circulate this statement as widely as possible, and send your own reports and articles to the WSWS Editorial Board at editor@wsws.org. Contact the Editorial Board or the Socialist Equality Party in your region, help build the world-wide circulation of the WSWS, and participate in the building of a new international socialist movement of the working class.