WWI: ‘Workers, Stand for Peace’
On 31 July 1914 the ILP’s Keir Hardie and Arthur Henderson signed an ‘Appeal to the British Working Class’ on behalf of the British section of the International Socialist Bureau, which called for them to ‘act promptly and vigorously in the interests of peace’.
‘There is no time to lose,’ they said. ‘Men and women of Britain, you have now an unexampled opportunity of showing your power, rendering a magnificent service to humanity and to the world. Proclaim that for you the days of plunder and butchery have gone by. Send messages of peace and fraternity to your fellows who have less liberty than you.’
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Unite and the TUC are organising a march and rally in London to mark the United Nation’s Anti-racism Day on Saturday 22 March.
The proposed reforms to Labour’s links with the trade unions are both a significant step forward and a fudge, says WILL BROWN. While the changes should be welcomed (with some reservations), the prospect of a mass, democratic, participatory party is still a long way off.
The ILP played a major role in the anti-war and no conscription movements during the First World War. Many were gaoled, and many abused for their principled, political opposition to the conflict. Yet, not all ILPers became conscientious objectors, as IAN BULLOCK explains.