Socialist Worker

Soldier breaks ranks to lead thousands in London march against Afghan war

by Siân Ruddick
Issue No. 2174

Thousands of people poured onto the streets of London today to protest against the continuing war in Afghanistan. Countless Afghans have lost their lives and 222 British soldiers have now died in the conflict.

Members of Military Families Against the War led the march. Serving British soldier Joe Glenton broke Queen’s orders by marching and ran the risk of being arrested by doing so but he was not deterred.

Joe addressed the crowd, which had marched by Hyde Park to a rally in Trafalgar Square. Joe said, “I believe great wrongs have been perpetrated in Afghanistan. I could not in good conscience be part of them.

“I’m bound to try to stop them. The conflict is neither legal nor justifiable.”

The demonstration saw many Stop the War groups from around the country mobilise experienced and new activists. The march saw university and college students making up a significant proportion of the demonstration.

Shanika is a 16-year old college student from north London. She told Socialist Worker, “I’ve never been on a demonstration against the war before but some of my friends have. The government has lied to people and carries on lying every day while we’re still killing people there.”

The vibrant demonstrations saw loud chanting, music and stunts drawing media and passer-by attention on the way.

The demonstration is part of a national campaign by the Stop the War Coalition to bring all British troops home from Afghanistan and Iraq.

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