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StWC Strategy Document - 25/11/17

Document for Stop the War strategy passed at Steering Committee on 24/11/17


Stop the War Strategy

Steering Committee 25/11/2017

Although there is no single issue of foreign policy that is capable of mobilizing on a mass scale for the moment, a number of things are clear:

1) With Trump in the White House and growing rivalry with other world players, US foreign policy is becoming more aggressive post- Obama, carrying the risks of major new wars. Direct involvement in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan has increased. Support for Saudi Arabia and its catastrophic war in Yemen has been stepped up and Trump's attempts to end the Iran deal has raised the already sky-high levels level of tension inthe Middle East. An alliance between Israel, Saudi and the US threatens a war on Lebanon and further attacks on the Palestinian people.Trump too has escalated in Korea, creating the most dangerous nuclear stand-off since the Cuban Missile Crisis. The War on Terror ​has been a prime cause of the refugee crisis in Europe, and is ​one of the main drivers of the increasing Islamophobia and racism in British society - all issues that we will be campaigning on.

2) There is a widespread popular understanding that the War on Terror has been a disaster and that more of the same is not an option. There is broad opposition to Trump's aggression and large numbers of people are very worried by the situation around Korea in particular. We have had big meetings and successful street campaigning on this issue.

3) The surge in support for Jeremy Corbyn is partly an expression of this. The popularity of Corbyn's statements after the Manchester bombing show majority public opinion is with him on these questions, even when the argument is apparently quite difficult. Most of Labour's growing membership is supportive, but there is still a big debate to be had in Labour. Even sections of the new leadership are taking conventional pro-NATO, high defence spending positions, which run counter to Corbyn's policies.

4) We have to find ways to increase our engagement with what is a wide and growing audience. This is necessary both to extend our impact and to increase our membership base. The office is expanding its analytical output and intervening in the debates in parliament and amongst Labour MPs, members and supporters. We have produced a new briefing document and we held a successful parliamentary briefing event in November. All local groups should make a specific effort to reach out to potentially sympathetic MPs, councillors, party branches and Momentum groups.

5) The office will also be working with local groups, members and supporters to put on speaking tours in the next few months. These will be around Trump's war-mongering in the run up to his visit, around why we need an anti-war government and if possible a tour with South Korean anti-war campaigners. These meetings need to have broad platforms including local MPs or councillors, members of
​Y​oung Labour, high profile commentators/cultural figures etc along with national Stop the War speakers. We should set them up well in advance, in good venues, produce large amounts of publicity and promote them widely on social media, on the streets, in the unions, in colleges etc.

6) Each group should organise regular petitioning sessions in their high streets or city centres to widen their networks. They should also actively promote the anti-war resolution passed at the Young Labour Conference and the resolution calling for affiliations in trade unions, Labour Party/Momentum branches.

7) Alongside this work we will be widening our successful membership drive and our affiliation work. As a result of the membership push, since the start of June we have had more than 300 new or returning members. We are planning a systematic operation to approach all the major national unions at national, regional and as far as possible local level to increase our trade union support base. Again we are asking all our groups to do the same locally.

8) We will be expanding our online operation, in particular producing new video content and developing links with some of the main new media platforms. We urge members and supporters to be part of this by producing content locally – including reports, articles, videos and memes.

9) This work will allow us to create new networks of support and get new activists centrally involved in building the campaign in every area. It will help us to strengthen our financial position and to influence the wider debate that is now going on around foreign policy, and it will ensure we are prepared to respond with mass protests should there be a new escalation or crisis.