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Hands off the Balkans

Troops out of Ireland

The Western powers stand poised to send military forces into Bosnia. In the Gulf, Western intervention cost the lives of some quarter of a million Iraqis. Western intervention in the Balkans could create another bloodbath.

Britain has played a key part in turning the new world order into a slaughterhouse. John Major acted as George Bush's trusty lieutenant in the Gulf War. In Yugoslavia, Lord Carrington's 'peace mission' has helped to target Serbia and pave the way for a Western assault. In July defence secretary Malcolm Rifkind published plans for more effective armed forces to deal with the 'threat' from Eastern Europe and the third world. Taking a stand against British militarism has never been more urgent.

But while Britain gears up for new conflicts, we should not forget that it is even now engaged in a colonial war on its own doorstep. For 23 years British troops have waged war against the republican communities of Northern Ireland, in order to maintain control over the Crown's oldest colony - a war that is already Britain's longest military engagement this century.

Twenty-three years on, the recent increase in the numbers of troops in Ireland shows Britain's determination to maintain its occupation by force. Revelations of collusion between the British Army and Protestant paramilitaries have exposed the Loyalist death squads as unofficial Crown forces. Cases such as the Guildford Four and Birmingham Six should remind us of how Irish men and women are arrested, tortured, framed and imprisoned.

Campaigning to get British troops out of Ireland is central to opposing British militarism. That is why the Irish Freedom Movement's march in London on Saturday 8 August is more important than ever this year.

Over the past decade, the IFM demonstration has established itself as the most important Irish solidarity event in Britain. But this year the march is about even more than standing up for Irish freedom. It is an opportunity to rally anti-imperialist forces in Britain at a time when Western intervention is paving the way for new bloodshed around the world.

Join the march on 8 August, and take a stand against British and Western militarism in Ireland, in the Balkans and across the globe.

March for Troops out of Ireland now!

Organised by the Irish Freedom Movement
Saturday 8 August
1pm Islington Town Hall,
Upper Street, London N1
For further details phone 071 375 1702
Reproduced from Living Marxism issue 46, August 1992
Reproduced from Living Marxism issue 46, August 1992



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