Thursday, February 22, 2007

Tony Benn on Democracy Now

Tony Benn is one of Britain’s most distinguished politicians and the longest serving MP in the history of the Labour party...

AMY GOODMAN: Do you think protests matter? Do you think they have an effect?

TONY BENN: Well, after the big demonstration in London four years ago, at which I spoke -- there were two million people on the streets of London, the biggest demonstration in the history of Britain -- and then people said, “Oh, what did it do? Nothing happened. We went on with the war.” And then came the mid-term elections. And I think the peace movement must have played, in American opinion, a very large role in persuading the American voters to reject the Bush strategy. I was in the States a couple of years ago. And I’ve been over for the demonstration in New York about three years ago.

And, of course, the American peace movement is immensely powerful, and more significant because your mid-term elections and your new congress does allow that opinion to be expressed in a very effective way in terms of inquiries and whether to vote for funding, and so on. So, I mean, most people, including myself, look to the real America, which I love, to deal with this terrible problem created by the election of the neoconservatives, who believe that this is to be the American century. And I don't think that they were right. And I think a heavy price has been paid for their mistake...


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