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Year 2010 No. 57, November 22, 2010 ARCHIVE HOME JBBOOKS SUBSCRIBE

Many Thousands March to Demand Britain Out of Afghanistan Now!

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Many Thousands March to Demand Britain Out of Afghanistan Now!

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Many Thousands March to Demand Britain Out of Afghanistan Now!

Front of the March

Fifteen thousand people from across Britain marched on Saturday, November 20, to demand that Britain get out of Afghanistan now. The Afghanistan: Time to Go demonstration, called by the Stop the War Coalition, CND and the British Muslim Initiative, marched from Hyde Park to Trafalgar Square. The demonstration took place as leaders of the aggressive NATO alliance, including David Cameron, met in Portugal for the Lisbon summit.

The Con-Dem Coalition has declared that Britain’s combat role in Afghanistan will not end until 2015. This is not acceptable! The people’s movement against war demands that the troops be brought home now, that Britain withdraw from NATO and all aggressive military alliances, and that the warmongers responsible for crimes against peace be brought to justice.

Military Families Against the War, including Joe Glenton, who has famously been jailed for refusing to fight in the government’s criminal wars, took their place at the head of the demonstration. The march was also notable for the number of young people participating.

Rally at Trafalgar Square {short description of image}

At Trafalgar Square, the rally was addressed by a series of speakers. Seamus Milne, a commentator for the Guardian, said, “In Lisbon today the NATO leaders will try to make it appear that they are bringing an end to this war, a war that is now in its tenth year. This talk of an exit strategy is clearly a sham.”

John Hilary, the executive director of War on Want said, “We have a message for David Cameron and his Liberal Democrat allies. ‘Do not dare to tell us that there is no money for public services and public sector workers. We want the £11bn that is being spent on the war in Afghanistan to go on things we need in this country. Bring home the troops and bring justice to the people of Afghanistan.'”

Stop the War chair Andrew Murray declared that the message the march was delivering to the war criminals in Lisbon is that troops must be brought out of Afghanistan, not in 2014, not in 2013, not in 2012, but now!

CND vice-president Bruce Kent said the war in Afghanistan was "expensive, nonsensical and stupid". He condemned the army generals, saying, “They should never have accepted the orders from above when they knew it was an illegal war." British Muslim Initiative representative Dr Daud Abdullah expounded on the failures of the Western-backed puppet regime in Kabul which has attracted widespread criticism for its role in the conflict. Dr Abdullah accused the Karzai administration of stowing money away in foreign accounts rather than investing it in health care and education. UCU university and college union executive member Tom Hickey called on the anti-war movement to build a united campaign to oppose the Con-Dem government.

RCPB(ML) Contingent

A militant contingent from the Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist) took part in the demonstration, with the banner “Build The Movement To End Crimes Against The Peace! For An Anti-War Government!”. Together with a number of other contingents, they shouted vigorous slogans which were taken up by many on the demonstration. Hundreds of copies of Workers’ Weekly with RCPB(ML)’s statement, “For An Anti-War Government!” were distributed at Hyde Park, throughout the length of the march and at Trafalgar Square.

The demonstration was significant in that it was the first national Stop the War march since the election of the Con-Dem government. It underlined that the attempt of the Westminster parties to draw a line under the illegal aggression against Iraq and to continue their pro-war consensus in Afghanistan and elsewhere will not wash. The movement to bring into being an anti-war government is taking root.

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Demonstration Marching

Joan Humpreys From Military Families Against the War
Seamus Milne Guardian Commentator Speaking at the Rally



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Ton Blair's Taxi




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