Monday, 3 August 2009

Milly and Mandy: two for the price of one

David Miliband is a Tyneside MP as well as Foreign Secretary. This autumn he's playing host, in his South Shields constituency, to none other than Peter Mandelson, who is effectively Gordon Brown's number two in addition to overseeing trade and business. Mandy will deliver the David Miliband Annual Lecture.

But he and Milly might be disappointed when they are greeted by a crowd of protestors demanding 'Jobs not bombs' and an end to UK participation in the disastrous occupation of Afghanistan. This evening's meeting of Tyneside Stop the War Coalition enthusiastically agreed to call a major protest outside the event, on 23 October. Quite a few people locally have been itching to target the Foreign Sec for a protest - him being a local MP is an obvious temptation. Now - with the Prince of Darkness descending on us - we're getting two for the price of one.

Actually, it's not the first time this has happened. In January, days after the Gaza ceasefire, 100 people turned out in the freezing cold and the dark to shout boisterously at Miliband and his guest John Hutton, then Defence Secretary, at South Shields' Labour Party dinner. You might have expected Milly to learn his lesson.

The following day - Saturday 24 October - is the national demo called by Stop the War. We're organising transport and the previous evening's protest is sure to warm us up for a big and powerful demo in London. Shortly after, in November, we'll be mobilising for protests in Scotland: at the G20 Finance Ministers (7 November in St Andrews) and the NATO Defence Ministers (14 November in Edinburgh).

The movement for troops out of Afghanistan is growing. We must keep marching, and build in ever-bigger numbers, so we really turn up the heat on Brown and his discredited government.


  1. Very interesting - have fun - wish I was there!

  2. It's nice to have such advance notice, instead of a last-minute tip-off and desperately trying to get people there at hours' notice!