Stop the War’s conference on Saturday (23 April) reflected a growing movement in the face of the worst threats to peace for generations. Delegates and members who attended showed a determination to oppose the war in Ukraine but also to oppose the threat of further militarism and war coming from our government and its allies.

The main resolution on Ukraine, proposed by Stop the War’s officers, was passed overwhelmingly with only 9 votes against. It reaffirmed the campaign’s opposition to Russia’s invasion, calling for a ceasefire but also for de-escalation and peace talks rather than pouring weapons into Ukraine and making a prolonged war more likely. It also opposed NATO expansion which has helped to create the conditions for the present conflict. The British government has been one of the most enthusiastic for more arms spending and sanctions. Boris Johnson has repeatedly dismissed peace talks and is sending further weapons to Ukraine. Two resolutions which were less clear about the opposition to Russia were heavily defeated.

Another resolution from the officers called to expand the reach and influence of the campaign through setting up new groups and reactivating old ones. Since the war in Ukraine began there have been many meetings and protests, and hundreds of new members have joined Stop the War. We need to step up this activity especially in the trade unions, in order to rebut the arguments put by those in the Labour movement like Keir Starmer who support NATO expansion and more military spending. Again, this was overwhelmingly carried.

Conference discussed further motions on nuclear weapons, Afghanistan, and Britain’s involvement in the bloody war in Yemen. Reports on finance and membership showed healthy results.

Conference elected a new steering committee and heard from guest speakers in an opening rally with Riccardo la Torre of the Fire Brigades Union, defence expert Professor Paul Rogers, rapper-activist Lowkey and Stop the War convenor Lindsey German. Jeremy Corbyn rounded off the day with a recorded message and chair Shelly Asquith highlighted future activities – including two international days of action on 7th May and 25th June.

Click here for the full list of passed resolutions.

Click here to watch back the opening rally.

25 Apr 2022 by Stop the War

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