Stop the War coalition panel held in Manchester to discuss 20 years of the ‘war on terror’

  • Stop the War coalition speakers fighting towards peace hold panel discussion in Piccadilly Gardens
  • The last 20 years of war on terror labelled a 'catastrophic failure in all respects'
  • Four days of events and protests within the city amid Tory party conference held in Manchester this week

The People’s Assembly gathered in Manchester at the weekend during what has been dubbed a ‘Festival of Resistance’ to coincide with the Tory party conference.

Among many different events taking place the Stop the War coalition held a panel to discuss the failure of the war on terror over the last 20 years.

Ramona McCartney, national organiser of The People’s Assembly, told Northern Quota: “The very simple message is to end austerity”.

The whole objective of The People’s Assembly was to pull movements together so we can unite with each other and tackle problems on a larger scale, rather than individuals and small groups fighting in separate places – we believe that it’s about joining all the dots together,” she said.

The Stop the War coalition has campaigned against attacks in Afghanistan and Iraq since it was founded 20 years ago.

The panel discussed how terrorism has increased across the world and the ramifications of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan and the takeover by the Taliban, which was described an “utter failure”.

Speakers also noted Boris Johnson has increased military spending by 16.5bn while making cuts in different areas.

Speaking to the Northern Quota, activist and panel speaker Shabbir Lakha said: “It’s important that we show the Tories and the public that there is a large-scale opposition to what’s going on.”

National Union of Students president, Larissa Kennedy, said the NUS has “always stood with Stop the War” and would continue to do so “until we build a world that is free from this world of violence”.

She hoped that holding such events would “empower communities to go back out there, bring more people here to tell their stories and build this movement up”.

Stop the War coalition aims for a world of peace and justice for those who have suffered from imperial violence.