The British people want to see other action taken in Syria. Because of this, the hashtag #DontBombSyria has appeared on various social media platforms. The issue has divided individuals and politicians.
Much of the British public rallied together to encourage MPs to take other action. They protested outside the House of Commons, with the argument that bombing Syria would not help to control the situation. Many are using Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya as examples of when bombing has not helped in the past, so why would Syria be any different?
Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party, has also condemned the actions. He says that there is no proof that airstrikes will help to combat Islamic State, but will cause more devastation and problems. Prime Minister David Cameron has said that airstrikes are necessary. He is working with other western countries, including France, which suffered devastating terrorist attacks last month. Huffington Post acknowledges that the West could be proving ISIS’ arguments that Islam is “under attack from” the West by bombing the country.
#DontBombSyria has started to trend to encourage British MPs to think of different action. People want to see ISIS taken down, but they do not want to see the innocent casualties that the airstrikes will bring. Europe is already seeing its worst refugee crisis since the Second World War due to war in Syria. Thousands of people have already died, as millions cross countries to find a safe haven.
“If we can find the money to kill people, we can find the money to help people.” #DontBombSyria
— Catrin Stewart (@catistewart) November 29, 2015
— Dr Syntax (@drsyntaxraps) December 1, 2015
Social media has proven to be a useful tool in the past to raise awareness. It has helped to raise money for charities and change policies. It can help to spread online petitions, which has been the case in this instance. People have been encouraged to sign a petition to avoid Cameron from taking the British people into another war in the Middle East. #DontBombSyria is a quick and easy way for people to spread the content, because the hashtag helps to collect posts involving it. People can be kept up to date with the news and find petitions easily.
Stop the War Coalition has announced that the MP debate will take place on Wednesday, December 2. MPs will have the chance to vote on the action, and those against are encouraged to protest the night before. There are plans to gather in London at Parliament Square from 6pm local time. This has been spread quickly with the help of the #DontBombSyria hashtag.
— Stop the War (@STWuk) December 1, 2015
Individuals are also encouraged to contact their local MPs. They will be the ones voting, and they need to make decisions based on what they believe their constituencies want. By getting in touch with MPs, members get the chance to make their voices known. Their MPs are then held accountable. More than 40,000 people have already done this, but there are still thousands more who will need to get involved to make a difference.
Corbyn has announced that his Labour Party members will not be whipped to vote a certain way. The whip is used to ensure that all members of a party vote the way the leader wants them to, which in this case would be against the airstrikes. However, he argues that his MPs should be allowed a free vote to vote the way their constituencies would want. The problem is that some do not support the #DontBombSyria campaign. It is likely that 50 MPs will vote with the Conservative government in favor of airstrikes. This has led to debate over whether Corbyn has done the right thing. With the Conservatives having a minimal majority, all of Labour being on the same side would be preferable.
The #DontBombSyria hashtag continues to trend. Individuals can get involved to make their voices heard.
[Photos by Chris Ratcliff/Getty Images]