Socialist Worker

Activists plan protests over Afghanistan

by Chris Nineham
Issue No. 2105

Some 500 peace and anti-war activists from ten countries met in Hanover, Germany, last weekend to plan how to step up the campaign against the war in Afghanistan.

It was a crucial meeting for the German movement, bringing together campaigners from across the spectrum of the peace movement with important sections of the left.

Activists from the new left party Die Linke were centrally involved.

The deployment in Afghanistan is the first time German troops have fought abroad since the Second World War. Speaker after speaker stressed that there is growing opposition to the war.

The movement has called a mass demonstration in Germany on 20 September.

This meeting was the first time activists from many of the key combatant countries have come together to discuss Afghanistan.

Die Linke MP Norman Paech made a keynote speech stressing that whatever proposals the movement suggests, the starting point must be that all foreign troops leave Afghanistan immediately.

This was echoed by Joseph Gerson from the US movement and by British activist Elaheh Povey who exposed the claims that the war in Afghanistan has done anything to liberate women.

Other speakers outlined the links between the war on terror and the alarming rise in Islamophobia across Europe.

The conference launched the call for a mass demonstration and a counter conference at next year’s Nato summit in Strasbourg, France, in May.

Campaigners in France are confident of a big mobilisation because President Nicolas Sarkozy is reintergrating the country into Nato and stepping up involvement in Afghanistan.

In Poland and the Czech Republic new movements have emerged against US plans for missile bases in their countries and opposition to Nato’s war in Afghanistan is on the rise across Europe.

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Tue 10 Jun 2008, 18:50 BST
Issue No. 2105
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