Stop the War Coalition (StWC) activists Rabia Khan and Nadia Chan have issued a statement asking critics of the organisation to consider the following points before accusing them of hypocrisy.
“To all those who are calling Stop the War Coalition hypocrites or making assertions that their efforts are a little too late and that they have been silent on the atrocities taking place since 2011, the following points should be considered:
The StWC since its inception has always made clear that as an organisation they are in place to criticise our government’s foreign policy and to voice our discontent with their aggressive tactics abroad. What will protesting against the intervention of Russia and Iran by a British citizen achieve? The answer is very little. It is for the people of Russia and Iran to pressure their governments to refrain from interfering in other country’s affairs, as that will have the most impact.
We as British citizens can’t live with a clear conscious when we know that the intentions of the UK in Syria are insincere. This isn’t to say that the intentions of Russia and Iran have been, of course they haven’t, but we need to rally our government to listen to its electorate. Also according to a Telegraph/YouGov poll, only 9% of British people support military intervention in Syria (74% oppose).
In relation to the claim that StWC has only become active on Syria in the past few days, this is simply false. Just because people are posting about their events and it’s appearing in your newsfeeds now doesn’t mean they having been holding events and writing articles about the situation in Syria since 2011. (Back in December 2011 there was a well attended demonstration against intervention in Syria organised by StWC).
Everyone is entitled to their opinion on whether they believe that intervention is right or wrong. And those who disagree with StWC because they believe intervention is the way forward have every right to do so. But the problems begin when people make assertions about the sincerity of those of us within the movement who oppose intervention. If we oppose intervention on the grounds that it will kill many innocent civilians, what makes you think we support a tyrannical autocrat who is butchering his own people? It’s just farcical. Before you start making unfounded accusations about the organisation and its members – please do some research.
The StWC website is the best place to start. And for those posting that image which states: “100,000 dead in Syria, no one gives a damn, US decides to bomb military targets of the Syrian regime, everyone becomes an anti-war activist” – how do you know people don’t give a damn? Do you know what’s in people’s hearts or minds? Get off your moral high horse and question how much have you done for the Rohingyas, the people of Tibet, Liberia, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Kashmir or those whose lives are a misery because of drone attacks in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen? We all have a lot to do, so start with yourself before you point fingers at others.
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Please understand that this statement is not specifically aimed at anyone. It is merely to clarify false accusations made against Stop the War Coalition.”