South Asia tags:
Afghanistan: anti-war demo
SEVERAL THOUSAND anti-war protesters marched from Hyde Park to Trafalgar Square, London, on 24 October to protest against the eight-year long military occupation of Afghanistan by Nato forces.
The demo was led by a serving British soldier - lance corporal Joe Glenton - who is facing a court martial for refusing to return to Afghanistan.
The protest coincided with the publication of a Channel4/Yougov opinion poll which showed that 84% believe British troops are losing the war, with 48% believing victory is impossible - up 12% on two years ago. 62% wanted British troops brought home immediately or within the next year or so.
While the platform speakers at the rally in Trafalgar Square criticised the continuing presence of western forces in Afghanistan, the question of through what social forces and under what conditions such a change in government policy could be achieved was left vague.
Socialist Party members in discussions argued that building a mass movement of workers and youth, linked to struggles on other social issues in Britain, is necessary to end the UK's military intervention. It is also necessary for a mass, democratic movement of workers and peasants in Afghanistan to challenge imperialism, the warlords and the reactionary Taliban.
These ideas will be discussed and debated at the forthcoming socialism 2009 event hosted by the Socialist Party.