The Chilcot Inquiry

23rd January 2015  |  News

The Chilcot Inquiry – a reminder of 15 February 2003, ‘The day the world said no to war’

The mainstream news this week has been filled with questions and demands for answers regarding The Chilcot Inquiry launched 30 July 2009. The Inquiry was an investigation into the Uk’s involvement in the run up to the War In Iraq in the period between Summer 2001 and July 2009.  Four years on and the findings of the report have not yet been released to the general public which at the moment is controversially in the hands of those criticised in the report so that they are “given the opportunity to respond to provisional criticism”. (Sir John Chilcot, Chairman of the Chilcot Inquiry)

The findings of the Chilcot Inquiry are of particular concern to the British ,and indeed international public, because of what has been described by social movement theorists such as W Lance Bennet as the ‘transnational anti-war protests’ against the USA and Britain entering Iraq.(Della Porta and Tarrow, 2005, p. 207)

On the 15 February 2003 two million people facilitated by ‘The Stop the War UK’, a network of thousands of organisations, took to the streets of London to protest the Iraq War. Thus the movement falls directly into Charles Tilly’s criterion of a social movement, that is to display ‘worthiness, unity, number and commitment’. (Tilly, 2004, p.24)

I think the important connection between the Chilcot Inquiry and what has been labelled by the BBC as ‘the largest weekday demonstration in the history of London’ is that a claim made en masse in the form of a social movement was ignored by power holders who now have to justify their actions  twelve years on. It will be interesting to see if the results of the inquiry challenge how seriously governments take the demands made by the general public through demonstrations and social movements.



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