Coventry J&P voice concern over vote to bomb Syria

We are very distressed at the decision to expand airstrikes in Syria as we consider that military options are not the best way to solve violent conflicts and nor have the criteria of a Just War been fulfilled.

However, peace activists must not be downhearted. The new situation presents new opportunities. For example, we now have 232 MPs definitely against the bombing, including 150 (70%) of the Parliamentary Labour Party. Not since 2003 have we had such a large group voting against more war, including some notable Conservatives.

We need to monitor the air strikes, recognise and publicise the consequences. We need to make sure that ALL elements of the Parliamentary Motion are given equal importance: the Vienna talks, support for refugees, post-conflict planning, sources of finance and weapons for IS AND the other militias, civilian casualties, no UK combat troops, three-monthly reports to Parliament. Imaginatively harnessed, these aspects could form a solid structure which holds the Government to account on a permanent basis, to ensure that the public is kept full informed at all times.

Coventry RC Deanery, Justice and Peace Group