Protesters read out soldiers' names
Published 08/10/2011 | 03:32
The names of 120 servicemen and women who died serving in Afghanistan have been read out at a protest in central London to mark the tenth anniversary of the war.
Hundreds of people attended the Stop the War Coalition demonstration in Trafalgar Square, led by a former soldier who refused to fight and a 106-year-old peace activist.
Ten dozen balloons were released into the air after protesters heard the names of the dead listed - one for each month since the war started.
Lance Corporal Joe Glenton, who was court martialled and jailed for refusing to serve, read out a letter to the Prime Minister signed by more than 20 British and American former servicemen.
He said: "We are making this statement in defiance of the propaganda and the lies in support of the so-called War on Terror for the last 10 years.
"We know that these wars have nothing to do with democracy or security or women's rights or peace or stability. They are fought for money and power and nothing else. Our comrades' blood has lubricated the ambitions of the few."
Hetty Bower, who was born in 1905, told demonstrators how she remembered the start of the First World War, and "lies" are still told in order to justify conflict.
"I hear my father clearly saying, 'So, we are at war. This is where the lies begin'. And begin they did," she said.
"We learned the Germans were cutting off the hands of the children in Belgium. The lies have changed, but they continue. May peace in the world prevail."
Demonstrators applauded the speakers, who were introduced by Stop the War Coalition campaigner and Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn. Other people who addressed the crowd included Lauren Booth, the sister-in-law of former Prime Minister Tony Blair, and journalist Seumas Milne.