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November 30 Protest: Jobs not Bombs - Cut Warfare not Welfare

Why Stop the War is supporting the strikes against cuts in pensions and public services on 30 November and urging our supporters to support local demonstrations and protests around the country.

Lindsey German
Stop the War Coalition
25 November 2011

Government austerity measures are not being applied across the board. Spending on war continues to rise without interruption. The recent bombing of Libya cost at least £1.5bn for Britain alone. The cost of the Afghan war is running close to £5bn a year. The estimated total costs of the war on terror to the US are $3 trillion.

Next week on 30 November around 2 million public sector workers will take strike action across Britain. They are trying to halt attacks on their pensions and are opposing the government's austerity programme. The government wants to make people pay more and work longer for a lower pension. So far 28 unions have balloted their members to go on strike.

The Stop the War Coalition has from its inception been widely supported by the trade union movement, including many of those who are striking on November 30th.

We support their members' action in defence of their rights. Government policies of cuts and austerity will increase poverty and misery for some of the most needy.

The budget deficits in the US and Britain have been caused in part by the rising cost of wars. Governments have borrowed money to pay for war. They are now asking people to accept cuts and austerity to pay for them.

There is an alternative to this. We could cut spending on war and the Trident nuclear submarine system and use the money to fund welfare.

Stop the War and CND are organising a contingent on the London demonstration calling for welfare not warfare. We urge our supporters to join us if they are in London or to support local demonstrations and protests around the country.

Mark Serwotka, PCS Union: We've been told that we're so strapped for cash that everything we hold dear has to be slashed. And yet we can still talk about renewing the Trident [nuclear missile] and fighting wars overseas irrespective of the cost.

My own view is that the war in Afghanistan and the war in Libya are wrong. They are misjudged; they are not about what people claim they are about. And we should actually find a way out of those pretty quickly, not make the situation in those countries worse as well as at the same time take valuable resources that could go into schools and hospitals.

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