Against the Iraq war, new film We Are Many


This video says about itself:

Do Demonstrations Matter? Amir Amirani and Phyllis Bennis | #GRITtv

13 January 2015

On February 15, 2003, millions of people in over 800 cities on seven continents marched against the impending invasion of Iraq. It was the largest mobilization of people in human history and yet it remains a little-known story. As we approach Martin Luther King Day and think about his legacy of civic resistance, this episode looks at the recent history of the global antiwar movement, and its relevance to today.

A new documentary by this week’s guest, Amir Amirani, tells the story of the mass protests against the Iraq war. From Iraq to Egypt to Syria to today’s protests, the film looks at the legacy of that protest movement and asks, what do mass mobilizations accomplish? Amir Amirani a long time filmmaker for the BBC, tells about his process making the film.

We are also joined by one of the organizers of those historic protests, Phyllis Bennis, an activist, author, and fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies in New York, to talk about the story behind the movement.

This episode also features a profile of the activists behind one of the biggest recent US environmental victories, the struggle that helped lead to New York state’s ban on fracking. And in a commentary, Laura discusses the need for movement unity.

By Ian Sinclair in Britain:

March of the majority

Tuesday 19th May 2015

IAN SINCLAIR recommends We Are Many, Amir Amiani’s documentary on the many millions who demonstrated worldwide against the Iraq war in 2003

We Are Many
Directed by Amir Amirani
4/5

FEBRUARY 15 2003 “was the single largest mobilisation of people in the history of humanity — bar none,” notes US analyst Phyllis Bennis in We Are Many, Amir Amirani’s brilliant new documentary about the global anti-war movement against the Iraq war.

Beginning with the terrorist attacks on 9/11, Amirani uses stirring archive news footage and original interviews with key figures like Tony Benn, Clare Short, Jesse Jackson and Noam Chomsky to tell the story of that momentous day.

Around 30 million people marched in 789 major cities in over 72 countries across the world. A small rally even took place at the McMurdo research station in Antarctica. Over 1,000,000 people marched through London in the biggest protest in British history.

The story will be familiar to many Morning Star readers but the film does include many important and interesting snippets of information and analysis, such as US air force veteran Tim Goodrich blowing apart the fiction that war was a last resort. The US bombing of Iraq increased by over 500 per cent in autumn 2002 “with the purpose of trying to goad Saddam Hussein into retaliating to give us a reason to go to war,” he says.

Elsewhere Hans Blix, the chief UN weapons inspector from 2000 until 2003, amusingly explains that the US and UK “were 100 per cent sure that there were weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq though “they had zero per cent knowledge of where they were.”

And who knew that Virgin boss Richard Branson had made an unsuccessful attempt to stop the war by flying Nelson Mandela to Baghdad on the eve of the invasion?

The film ends by exploring the long-lasting impact of February 15 2003, including its role in shifting British public opinion so much that it made it impossible for the coalition government to go to war against Syria a decade later.

Amirani also tells the unknown story of how the global movement against the Iraq war inspired Egyptians to start protesting against President Hosni Mubarak. “That’s exactly when I was thinking, and others, that if we were triple that number, or four times that number, we could take down Mubarak,” notes one Egyptian activist about the March 2003 protest in Tahrir Square against the war.

Writing in the New York Times, journalist Patrick Tyler commented that the global demonstrations were “reminders that there may still be two superpowers on the planet: the United States and world public opinion.”

Taking its name from the last line of Shelley’s 1819 poem Mask of Anarchy, We Are Many is itself a moving and timely reminder of the power of activism and protest — the perfect antidote to the despair created by the new Tory majority government.

Ian Sinclair’s book The March That Shook Blair: An Oral History of 15 February 2003 is available from the Morning Star shop for £10 + £2.50P&P.

Far from facing the truth, the US is telling new lies about Iraq: Gary Younge. Politicians who claim they had no choice but to support the invasion are wrong. America got a war it wanted – even if it wasn’t what it expected: here.

In 2003 UN imposed sanctions against Iraq – instigated by US and Britain – as a result of which 500,000 children died. IAN SINCLAIR has the story: here.

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