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24/6/06 
STOP THE WAR COALITION NEWSLETTER No. 2006/22
  

Email office@stopwar.org.uk
Telephone 020 7278 6694
Web: www.stopwar.org.uk

IN THIS NEWSLETTER:
1) JOHN PILGER JOINS NIGHT OF CONSCIENCE
2) ANOTHER LIEUTENANT SAYS NO TO WAR
3) SEPTEMBER 23: GET YOUR LEAFLETS
4) AN ‘EMBEDDED’ REPORTER CHANGES HIS TUNE
5) AFGHANISTAN: NO LONGER THE FORGOTTEN WAR

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1) JOHN PILGER JOINS NIGHT OF CONSCIENCE

WEDNESDAY 28 JUNE 7.30PM

ST JAMES CHURCH, 197 PICCADILLY

LONDON, W1J 9LL
Writer John Pilger is the latest addition to A NIGHT OF CONSCIENCE on Wednesday 28 June for Flight-Lieutenant Malcolm Kendall-Smith, now serving an eight month sentence in Cheltenham Prison for refusing to fight an illegal war in Iraq. (SEE tinyurl.com/z5vsx)

Tickets are still available for this unmissable event which aims to raise funds to help pay the 20,000 legal costs imposed on Malcolm. People are coming from all over the country, so moved have they been Malcolm’s refusal to be deployed to Iraq, the first serving officer to do so.

A NIGHT OF CONSCIENCE will be introduced by Tony Benn. Appearing with John Pilger, will be comedians Mark Thomas and Mark Steel, composer Michael Nyman, film director Ken Loach, playwrights David Edgar and Caryl Churchill, actors Simon Callow and Janet Suzman, fashion designer Vivienne Westwood and many others from film, stage, television and politics.

BUYING TICKETS: Online booking is available at tinyurl.com/z5vsx. Tickets can also be bought by debit/credit card: telephone 020 7278 6694.

DONATE: For those who can’t make A NIGHT OF CONSCIENCE, donations to the Malcolm Kendall-Smith fund can also be made by telephoning 020 7278 6694 or by cheques made payable to ‘Stop the War Coalition’ and sent to Stop the War Coalition, 27 Britannia Street, London WC1X 9JP (Please write MKS on the back of cheques.)

WRITE TO MALCOLM: You can write to Malcolm, sending messages of support, to:
Malcolm Kendall-Smith,
HMP Chelmsford
200 Springfield Road
CHELMSFORD
CM2 6LQ

SIGN THE PETITION: You can sign the Sign the Free Malcolm Kendall-Smith petition here: www.mfaw.org.uk/.

NOTE 1:
KEN LOACH’S film THE WIND THAT SHAKES THE BARLEY, which won the Cannes Film Festival Best Film award, is now on release in the UK. The film describes the early days of the IRA in the 1920s but is also a critique of the US-led invasion of Iraq. “Maybe if we tell the truth about the past, maybe we tell the truth about the present,” Ken says. “Our film is a little, a very little step in the British confronting their imperialist history.” He has faced a series of vitriolic attacks by several right-wing tabloids. The Sun said the film had a plot ?designed to drag the reputation of our nation through the mud?.
TO READ KEN LOACH’S REPLY TO THESE ATTACKS GO TO: tinyurl.com/h4gcw

NOTE 2:
JOHN PILGER’S new book is FREEDOM NEXT TIME, which reviewer Mark Curtis says, “allows us to hear the personal testimonies of those challenging power. The array of interviews with the voiceless and abused provides an indispensable corrective to the litany of disinformation we are fed by the media, and for this achievement Pilger is surely the most outstanding journalist in the world today.”
TO READ THE FULL REVIEW GO TO: tinyurl.com/mcog7

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2) ANOTHER LIEUTENANT SAYS NO TO WAR
America now has its Malcolm Kendall-Smith. Lieutenant Ehren Watada has become the first commissioned officer to publicly refuse deployment to the illegal war in Iraq. He has been confined to base and had a gag order imposed on him. As with Malcolm Kendall-Smith, Ehren’s integrity and courage have generated a groundswell of support across the country. For more information and to see a video in which Lieutenant Watada explains his reasons for refusing to serve, go to the website set up by his supporters: www.thankyoult.org/

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3) SEPTEMBER 23: GET YOUR LEAFLETS
70,000 leaflets publicising the Time to Go national demonstration in Manchester on 23 September have been distributed in the last week alone. Timed for the beginning of the Labour Party Conference in Manchester, the demonstration calls for Troops Out of Iraq and No Attack on Iran.

All over the country local Stop the War groups and peace organisations are planning public meetings, street stalls, press conferences etc, and booking coaches to ensure that we mobilise a massive demonstration in Manchester. Many individuals have contacted us to ask for leaflets to distribute among friends and at work, college or school.

Order your leaflets now from the Stop the War national office. We will have stickers, posters and a specially designed Time to Go T-shirt available very soon.
MORE DETAILS HERE: tinyurl.com/k7jhz

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4) AN ‘EMBEDDED’ REPORTER CHANGES HIS TUNE
Some reporters who were formerly “embedded” in the Pentagon’s spin machine have woken up to the scale of the catastrophe in Iraq. Bill Neely, ITN’s Chief international editor, has recently broadcast two devastating reports from Basra’s main hospital, showing how limbs which could be saved have to be amputated for lack of standard medical supplies, how children die from easily preventable diseases, how there has been no treatment available for cancer patients for three years. And all of this in Basra, Iraq’s second city, supposedly controlled by the British army and not so long ago portrayed by Bush and Blair as calm and orderly, in contrast to the rest of Iraq.
TO SEE ONE OF NEELY’S REPORTS: tinyurl.com/fxt6v

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5) AFGHANISTAN: NO LONGER THE FORGOTTEN WAR
The forgotten war in Afghanistan is now very much back on the political agenda. It was this war which prompted the creation of the Stop the War Coalition five years ago. Since then Afghanistan has been either ignored or presented as a picture of progress towards normality and democracy. When Bush visited in March 2006 for a few hours, he said everything was going brilliantly.

Now reality has forced Afghanistan back into the headlines. In the last three months the US has dropped 340 bombs on the country, twice the number it used in Iraq over the same period. Even Karzai, Afghanistan’s puppet prime minister, whose every movement is guarded by American security guards, has said the killing of hundreds of Afghans by US forces over the past few weeks is “unnaceptable”. We can in the coming months expect ever more death and devastation to be inflicted by Bush and Blair on the country which in 2001 they promised to bring only “reconstruction”, “freedom” and “democracy”.
READ MORE: AFGHANISTAN IN CRISIS: tinyurl.com/qz7ge
READ MORE: AFGHANISTAN ON THE BRINK: tinyurl.com/ppaot

 
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