A public meeting attended by over a hundred people seeking to call an end to the governments recent decision to extend airstrikes in Syria was called in Brighton last Thursday.
The meeting followed the 2nd of December’s tragic events which resulted in an overwhelming majority of MPs voting in favour of military intervention in Syria.
Organised by two prominent anti-war organisations ‘Stop the War’ and ‘Syria Solidarity UK’, confirmed speakers included Caroline Lucas, the Green MP for Brighton Pavillion, Abdulaziz Almashi, the co-founder of the Syrian Solidarity movement, author of ‘The Blood Never Dried’ John Newsinger and Phil Clarke, a representative of the Brighton and Hove Trades Council.
After the speakers took to the platform, a lively debate took place amongst contributors on the floor. The general consensus reached by the public was that more bombing was certainly not the answer to defeating Daesh.
Almashi said: “People stopped counting all the casualties this war claimed last year”, referring to the conflict which has so far resulted in the loss of over a quarter of a million lives. The speaker added that the international community was silent during President Assad’s butchering streak of Syrian people during the Arab Spring saying: “They did not care about our blood.”
However, the Stop the War organisation has recently come under fire for allegations that anti-Assad Syrians were not allowed to speak at one of the events in parliament; and controversy surrounded Caroline Lucas’ resignation as patron of the organisation, who said that France had “reaped the whirlwind” of supporting Western military intervention after the Paris terrorist attacks which took place last November.
Caroline Lucas concluded that: “Airstrikes have driven many people towards radicalisation and the people of Syria are paying the price of the bombs.”
This may refer directly to the example of a French journalist who was held captive by Daesh just last year and upon returning, said that the airstrikes represented ‘a trap’ for Britain and other members of the International community. Nicholas Henin was held for a period of ten months and after being released, put forward his strategy to defeating Daesh – a no fly zone in opposition held areas of Syria – .