On June 28, 1914, a Serbian nationalist assassinated the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, triggering World War I. One outcome of this bloodbath was the cobbling together of the newly created state of Iraq, this to facilitate British control over Middle Eastern oil. As Iraq descends into sectarian warfare, the disastrous repercussions of imperialist meddling become all to obvious.
SPN Protests at UK Armed Forces Day in Stirling
Ironically, exactly one century later the UK government sponsored Armed Forces Day in Stirling in its unceasing effort to glorify war, militarism and imperialism. Hundreds of thousands of pounds were spent to finance marching bands and regiments of old soldiers.
45 activists from around Scotland came to Stirling to protest this travesty. We assembled under a large banner saying NO MORE WARS and distributed a flyer calling for Scotland and the UK to leave NATO. We came together under the auspices of the Scottish Peace Network, a broad coalition of organisations, peace groups and social justice organisations. These include Scottish CND, Women in Black, Edinburgh Peace and Justice Centre, Edinburgh Stop the War, the Palestine Solidarity Committee and the Industrial Workers of the World.
The Peace Network is already planning its next action. On August 4, the UK government will be holding a commemoration of the start of World War I, trying to defend the British role in a war of imperialist rivals that led to the death of tens of millions and set the stage for the rise of Hitler. There will be an official ceremony at the Glasgow Cathedral followed by a wreath laying in George Square. The queen, Cameron and other assorted bigwigs will be on hand.
The Peace Network is calling on activists to come to the Dewar statue on Buchanan Street in Glasgow City Centre at 9:30in the morning on August 4. From there we will be sending groups to a variety of sites to make known our disgust with this display of chauvinistic jingoism.
We showed we could act together in Stirling. We can do the same on August 4.
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