24 September 2004: for immediate release
The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, Labour CND and Labour Action for Peace are holding a fringe meeting at the Labour Party Conference at 7pm on Monday 27th September at the Hilton West Pier Hotel, Brighton. Key figures in the Labour movement will demand an end to the occupation of Iraq, the withdrawal of British troops from that country, an end to the doctrine of pre-emptive wars and abolition of Britain’s nuclear weapons. They will be identifying the necessary policy changes to turn Labour from the party of war to the party of peace.

Kate Hudson Chair of CND will chair a panel of speakers including former Cabinet Ministers Michael Meacher MP and Tony Benn. They will be joined by CND Vice Chair Jeremy Corbyn, MP and CND Council Member Alice Mahon MP, Sabah Jawad of Iraqi Democrats Against Occupation, and leading trade unionists John Holmes, CWU’s representative on Labour’s NEC and Keith Sonnet, Deputy General Secretary of Unison.

Kate Hudson, Chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament said,

“On the 1st September the Prime Minister announced ‘seven key policy changes’ that will be at the centre of the government’s strategy for winning a third term in office at the next general election. In making this announcement, Tony Blair stated the ‘key test that every policy decision should pass’ is whether it provides ‘security…in a world of constant and rapid change’. A commitment to peace was missing from the list. A commitment to pursue peaceful solutions, based on negotiation rather than war as a first response to international disputes and crises, is an indispensable contribution to the security of Britain and the world.

The warmongering actions of the government in Iraq have made this a government of war not of peace. The government must be made accountable for its actions and there must be real change on policy to make Labour a party of peace.”

Alice Mahon, Labour MP for Halifax and member of CND Council said,

“We are the problem, not the solution in Iraq. Setting an early date for withdrawal should be Labour’s top priority. The quicker we get out the better. Pursuing peace policies creates security in a changing world and releases much needed resources for domestic priorities such as health, education and pensions.”

CND will also be supporting a demonstration through the center of Brighton on Wednesday 29th September organised by Sussex Action for Peace. The demonstration will gather at Hove Lawns and march to the Conference Center. Protesters will come together to condemn the illegal war and occupation of Iraq and to point the finger at the Labour government for its policy of aggressive pre-emptive war.



Notes to Editor

1. For further information, please contact Ruth Tanner CND’s Press & Communications Officer on 07968 420859

2. CND’s Labour Party briefing ‘Which Way for Labour’ will be available from CND’s stall (35) or by contacting Ruth Tanner on 07968 420859

3. Labour: the party of war or peace? Hilton West Pier Hotel – 27th September 2004
Fringe Meeting at Labour Party Conference organised by CND, Labour CND, Labour Action for Peace, at 7pm. Followed by Networking for Peace social at 9am at Hilton West Pier Hotel (formerly Bedford Hotel), 137 Kings Rd, Brighton. Speakers: Tony Benn, Jeremy Corbyn MP, John Holmes, CWU representative on Labour NEC, Kate Hudson, Chair CND, Sabah Jawad Iraqi Democrats Against Occupation, Alice Mahon MP, Michael Meacher MP, Keith Sonnet, Deputy General Secretary Unison

4. The fringe meeting will be followed by a Peace Connection Social – 9pm – Hilton West Hotel

5. Protest against Tony Blair – 29th September 2004
Sussex Action for Peace supported by CND have organised a protest against Tony Blair on Wednesday 29th September. This march assembles at 12 noon at Hove Peace Lawns and the march starts at 1pm.

Photo Opportunity – 12-1pm, Peace Statue, Hove Lawns Peace campaigners will raise red-gloved hands skyward in a moving and symbolic protest symbolising the blood of have been caused to date by US and UK aggression in Iraq. The protest, organised by Sussex Action for Peace to take place at midday on Wednesday 29th September at the Peace Statue, Hove Lawns, will then see the anti-war campaigners marching from the statue to the conference itself. There, they will greet delegates with placards, banners, music, whistles and a giant papier-mache model of the Labour leader’s head.