Bristol Stop The War Coalition urges supporters to join a 'Hands Off Libya!' protest on the Centre (opposite the Hippodrome) from 2pm to 3pm on Saturday 2nd April. Please bring banners, placards, friends, neighbours.
Please pass this information on to anyone you know who may be interested.
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The lessons of two disastrous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have not been learned. The price paid in the devastation of two countries and hundreds of thousands of deaths is now being extended to the people of Libya. Air attacks on Libya will not help end the civil war but will escalate it and could be the prelude to a much wider conflict. The approval of the United Nations doesn't mean that attacks by Britain, France and the USA on Libya are right. Only a third of people in Britain support the intervention in Libya.
The record of the west in the region is of support for dictators with no interest in the fate of the people. Western governments have prioritised cheap oil, arms sales and support for Israel's oppression of the Palestinians above the rights of the Arab peoples.
David Cameron exemplified this approach by touring the region selling arms to dictators at the very moment of maximum repression. The decision to intervene in Libya has more to do with control of that country's oil resources than with support for Libya's people.
Why intervene in Libya and not Bahrain? The US 5th Fleet is based in Bahrain. The government of Bahrain is a key ally of the USA. The USA has no interest in supporting those calling for democracy in Bahrain.
There was no call for a no-fly zone when Israel attacked Gaza.
And those Arab governments, like Saudi Arabia, who recently sent troops into Bahrain to oppose peaceful pro-democracy demonstrators, and who have shot unarmed people down in the streets, have now supported Western military action against Libya.
The experience of Iraq underlines the dangerous futility of trying to impose “regime change” from without. It also reminds us that genuine democracy and freedom cannot grow from aerial bombardment and foreign occupation.
Western intervention is at the root of the region's troubles. The disasters in Iraq and Afghanistan should have taught us that military intervention cannot hasten democracy. The future of Libya and the other states in the region must be determined by the people of those countries alone.
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