The British anti-war movement will turn into a political force to take on Tony Blair’s New Labour in the European elections in June 2004.

The historic announcement was made on Wednesday night in central London where the MP was addressing a rally of the now famous Stop The War movement which has more than two million supporters.

If national backing for the new political version of the movement continues, it will be larger than any political party in the UK with more than two million supporters.

Galloway, a lifelong member of Labour swore British Prime Minister Tony Blair would live to regret his decision in having the Scots-born MP expelled from the party last week.

Now it appears he has kept his word.

Lost bearings

 

Galloway given Palestinian guard
of honour during a recent  visit

He made his dramatic announcement at the Friends Meeting House in central London minutes after criticising New Labour, saying the party which had expelled him had “lost its bearings”.

 

“In short, we are in danger of losing our freedoms and rights to help foreign elites join an increasingly exclusive international club. This is not good enough.

"The national politicisation of the anti-war movement is now a necessary next stage in our own bloodless war of national liberation. The reality of the movement means that what we create must operate at two levels.  

"The first level requires steps towards a mass unifying movement of grassroots radicals to hobble the state, bring it under popular control and complete an unfinished radical democratic revolution.

 

“This level will unite Muslims, Christians and Jews, socialists, liberal and conservatives, men, women and the disadvantaged of all types in one movement of democratic liberation.”

 

European elections

 

Amid cheers, he added: “This is the movement launched in the Quaker’s Friends House in London’s Euston Road on 29 October 2003 and which will fight New Labour in the European elections and the elections of the Greater London Assembly next June.

 

“The second tier is where the battle for ideas and souls will take place in a People's Britain. In that battle, I will remain what I have always been - a radical democratic socialist in the Labour tradition - but until power is decentralised and returned to the people.

 

“I will work with anyone who shares those first-tier values because we need nothing less than a revolution in our national political life.”

 

* See related links for full copy of the Galloway speech