Appeal for solidarity

Gary Kent replies to letter in Guardian and urges increased solidarity with the Iraqi labour movement.
Tuesday May 30, 2006
Jane Hoskins simplistic strictures on Iraq (Letters, May 29) define out of the equation those Iraqis trying to build a sovereign and federal polity after decades of minority rule. Hoskins ignores the new and non-sectarian Iraqi labour movement that was pulverised by Saddam, but has won nearly a million members in just three years.
A recent Labour Friends of Iraq delegation met many union leaders from across Iraq. They are not “puppets” but real people, who asked us to encourage moral and material assistance so that they can help overcome the physical and psychological legacy of decades of fascism and war. It is perfectly possible to walk and chew gum: to oppose the invasion, as they did, but also to assist Iraqi civil society to democratise their country. This isn’t a part of the “white man’s burden”, but elementary solidarity and it’s high time we saw much more of it.
Gary Kent
Director, Labour Friends of Iraq