Brighton & Hove Green Party yesterday came out alongside Caroline Lucas, Green MP for Brighton Pavilion, in support of the demonstration against British bombing of Syria called by peace campaigners at Brighton War Memorial, Old Steine.
Called by ‘Stop the War Brighton & Hove’, the demonstration took place from 5.30pm Tuesday 1 December, at the same time as Parliament debates the Government’s call to join in bombing Syria.
For Brighton & Hove Green Party, its co-chair Davy Jones said today:
‘We all share the horror felt by people world-wide at atrocities by so-called Islamic State in Syria, Paris, Beirut and elsewhere. But plastering Syria with yet more high explosive is not the answer.’
Noting that aerial bombing has had little effect on ISIS so far – with the number of fighters available to ISIS estimated to be unchanged despite US claims to have killed tens of thousands in its air war so far –
He went on:
‘British air strikes against ISIS add little in military terms and are bound to kill civilians too. They risk helping to fuel war in the Middle East and anger against the West. The net result will be more recruits for ISIS, and less chance of moving towards a long-term settlement that can bring peace to a region destabilized by many decades of Western interference.’
Caroline Lucas MP explained her stand against air strikes:
‘Bombing Syria will limit our political and diplomatic role. Playing into the hands of ISIS, every extra Western bomb in Syria helps to reinforce their self-perception as the protectors of Islam. The UK has the chance to stand for something different, to be the voice of reason and to contribute to diplomatic resolutions.’
Davy Jones added:
“Whilst the Conservative government forces massive cuts in local government services on city residents, it can happily drum up millions to support yet another costly, counter-productive military adventure. A single RAF bombing strike will cost on average £508,000 which could pay for 20 police officers or teachers, 19 nurses, 18 firefighters. How come we have no money for essential services which make our communities safer, yet can spend millions in stoking armed conflict, which risks making the Middle East more unstable?
‘We are dismayed to see that the Tories are cheered on by some Labour MPs like Hove’s Peter Kyle. MPs should join Greens in pressing for a region-wide political settlement that can drain support away from brutal extremists like ISIS and give the Syrian people a chance to rebuild their society in peace.’