VIDEO: UFPJ Talks Peace Movement Solidarity with Our Friend Jeremy Corbyn

One year ago, Jeremy Corbyn’s name was unlikely to ring a bell to even a world-news-thirsty North American. That said this British Member of Parliament has been no stranger to UFPJ and the international movement for peace and justice. Corbyn has established a name for himself as being one of, if not the most progressive politicians electable in his country. When his party, Labour, suffered major losses in the 2015 elections, Corbyn had no need to worry about losing his seat, which he has safely held for his district of North Isington since 1983. Recently, Jeremy Corbyn has made headlines for leading major marches and rallies against brutal austerity measures in the United Kingdom, but United for Peace and Justice’s connection with him stems way back to the February 15, 2003 international day of action, when millions said “no” to the US-led war against Iraq. Through his affiliation with leading peace groups in the UK, Corbyn was involved in the organizing of the demonstration which took place on that day in London and he continues to serve as Chair of the Stop the War Coalition in the UK. Corbyn has been a member of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) since 1966 and currently serves as one of its three Vice Chairs. In the mid-2000’s Jeremy Corbyn spoke at a UFPJ National Assembly! Corbyn is a longtime opponent of the Iraq war, and the US invasion and war in Afghanistan. He is also outspoken about justice in Israel and Palestine and is a member of the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign. Now, after a long road of unpredictable of occurrences that have led to his spectacular rise in popularity – namely his steadfast and outspoken positions on income inequality, peace, and humanitarian issues – Corbyn has become the most trusted politician in the UK, by people identified as left, far-right, and center. Just this weekend, Jeremy Corbyn, friend and ally of United for Peace and Justice, was named Leader of the Labor Party and Leader of the Opposition (to David Cameron’s Conservative Party). In April, while UFPJ was working in collaboration with hundreds of other organizations on the Peace & Planet Mobilization for a Nuclear-Free, Peaceful, Just and Sustainable World, Jeremy Corbyn was at the United Nations, closely following the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty Review Conference. After the meeting of civil society leaders, (in which several UFPJ affiliates, and our own co-convener, Jackie Cabasso spoke to international governmental and UN representatives about the need for immediate action on nuclear abolition) Corbyn asked Jackie and I, Matt De Vlieger, UFPJ’s Digital Coordinator, if we would like to meet “for tea” to discuss the conference and compare notes on the peace movements joined by the Atlantic Ocean. As we parted ways, he handed us his card and reiterated that we always have direct access and a “standing invitation” to visit him in London. At the time, we had no idea that we were speaking with the future leader of the UK Labour Party. I conducted a brief video interview with Jeremy Corbyn, which you can view here. As a true movement leader, he took it upon himself to discuss the Syrian refugee crisis, before the topic had become an international media topic of interest.

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