With the campaign against St Athan scoring successes throughout Wales and beyond, the date has been set for a major demo supported by the Stop the War Coalition. All activists should make a diary note for Saturday April 26th, when anti-military academy protesters will be assembling at 1.30pm on the lawns opposite Cardiff City Hall for a march at 2pm.
The case against the proposed privatised military academy has already been made on this site and others. Now is the time to build on the growing groundswell of support for the anti-St Athan campaign to ensure the 26 April march cannot be ignored.
The Stop the War coalition is already committed to the cause, and anti-St Athan speakers will feature in the STW “World Against War” rallies in Bristol (29th Feb) and Cardiff (3 March).
We criticised the SWP for initially opposing our attempt to make St Athan an issue for the Stop The War Coalition. Now we’re glad to say they’re on board the campaign and working to raise awareness amongst students.
Following our work building contacts with activists in north and mid-Wales, Cymdeithas Yr Iaith voted at their recent AGM to support the campaign. An active anti-militarist group in Caernarfon have held a successful rally against St Athan and plan to send a coach down to Cardiff for the demo.
We have already advertised our success in winning the Wales Further Education Sector Committee of UCU (lecturers’ union) to support our anti-St Athan resolution. The PCS (public sector workers’ union) continues to campaign against St Athan and the privatisation of defence training. Tony Benn has signed the campaign petition and John McDonnell has put down an early day motion opposing plans to continue with Package One at St Athan now that the government has backtracked on Package Two, admitting that the privatisation would represent poor value for money.
All in all, the rosy picture of the future of a militarised South Wales is revealing itself to be what we said it was all along: a fraud.
Unlike John McDonnell and Mark Serwotka of the PCS, however, we are not afraid to go all the way and question all the so-called “defence” spending which UK taxpayers subsidise. Attacking Iraq was not “defence”. Breaking the firefighters’ strike was not “defence”. Then why are we paying for it?
Posters and leaflets for the 26th March are available for download on our resources page: let’s pull out all the stops to turn the tide of public opinion well and truly against this latest misuse of public money.