The stars tell NME.COM they're backing CND's anti-war campaign...

BLUR‘s DAMON ALBARN and ELBOW have teamed up with [/a] in support of the CND-backed campaign aimed at opposing war in Iraq.

All have spoken exclusively to NME.COM about their decision to join the ‘Stop The War’ campaign, which intends to show their opposition to proposed British involvement in the prospective US military campaign aimed out driving out leader Saddam Hussein.

Albarn told NME.COM that his decision to be involved comes from years of support for CND. “I’ve been working with 3-D from the last part of last year,” he said. “There has to be public debate about this. I want to get the message across to my country’s elected government. We need a democratic discussion about the rights and wrongs of going to war. There isn’t any kind of consensus. I’ve been a supporter of CND since I was a kid, my father and grandfather were consciences objectors. It’s very clear where my line is coming from. It’s something very consistent thoughout my entire life.”

Albarn continued: “I’m not having a go at anybody else’s Government, I’m talking and focusing in on my own, and we should have a discussion.”

[a] have been raising awareness of the campaign via their official website. Robert ‘3-D’ Del Naja called NME last week to explain his actions.

“I’m continually passionate on the anti-war subject because I don’t think war or violence is an answer to anything,” he said. “We’ve been involved with the Red Cross and CND for the last few years. We got in touch with the Stop The War organisation and the CND who both together are creating a demonstration on September 28 in London, and putting together a petition to hand to Parliament or the Labour Party conference. So we felt we’d add our names to it. It’s a list of supporters from all walks of life – religious leaders, academics, scientists, politicians, artists, writers.”

3-D feels that as a British citizen he doesn’t know enough about what the US campaign is about. “If it’s about a change in regime, if it’s really about weapons of mass destruction, we never get to know. Ten years ago this happened and no good came of it at all. I don’t believe this is the right way forward. The Middle East is unstable. That’s my personal view.

“Where does it end? Is he (George Bush) going to go through the whole ‘Axis Of Evil’ until they secure power or regime changes which they feel are adequate to stabilise the global economy? It’s all so vague, nobody really knows what’s going on.”

Just before going to press, Elbow‘s Guy Garvey spoke to NME.COM, saying he planned to get involved. He said: “The pressure needs to be put on Tony Blair. He needs to know he won’t be elected again if he keeps doing this. People have to realise innocent people are dying in their name.”

The bands are urging readers to add their names to the petition, which can be found here, or get involved in the London demonstration, which they plan to attend.

The Stop The War coalition supported by CND demonstration starts on September 28 at 12.30pm at Embankment, ending in Hyde Park. Speakers from National Unions and MPs will be present.

CND are now working with bands to organise a number of adverts which they hope to place in youth publications, including NME, opposing the war in Iraq. Albarn and 3-D are in the process of contacting other bands and artists who they hope will support the campaign.

What do you think of the campaign? Do you agree, or are their comments misjudged? E-mail news@nme.com with your thoughts.