Tuesday 28 January 2003

Stronger than ever

by George Monbiot

George Monbiot Mr Bush and Mr Blair might have a tougher fight than they anticipated. Not from Saddam Hussein perhaps - although it is still not obvious that they can capture and hold Iraq's cities without major losses - but from an anti-war movement that is beginning to look like nothing the world has seen before.

It's not just that people have begun to gather in great numbers even before a shot has been fired. It's not just that they are doing so without the inducement of conscription or any other direct threat to their welfare. It's not just that there have already been meetings or demonstrations in almost every nation on Earth. It's also that the campaign is being coordinated globally with an unprecedented precision. And the people partly responsible for this are the members of a movement which, even within the past few weeks, the mainstream media has pronounced extinct.

Last year, 40,000 members of the global justice movement gathered at the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, Brazil. This year, more than 100,000, from 150 nations, have come - for a meeting! The world has seldom seen such political assemblies since Daniel O'Connell's "monster meetings" in the 1840s.

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