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Afghanistan: past a tipping point



   
    Stop the War Coalition
25 September 2012
    Newsletter No. 1255
    Email: office@stopwar.org.uk
    Tel: 0207 561 9311
    Web: http://stopwar.org.uk
    Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/stopthewarcoalition
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/STWuk

IN THIS NEWSLETTER:
1) Afghanistan: past a tipping point
2) Anniversary conference - date for your diary
3) Syria and Iran
4) Extraditions given green light - no justice
5) Naming the dead - help us spread the word - 7th October 2012 at 1pm

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1) Afghanistan: past a tipping point

The occupation of Afghanistan has passed a tipping point. Monday's Daily Mirror reports a poll showing four out of five Britons think that the war has been a waste of lives and only one in ten think it has been worthwhile. 52% believe the troops should be brought back immediately and that David Cameron's timetable should be scrapped.

This is a majority of the population, according to polls, who want immediate withdrawal - a view barely represented in mainstream politics or media.

This reflects a growing realisation of what the war and occupation really mean: misery for ordinary Afghans, a growing death toll and a sense among soldiers that the war is lost. (SEE The Mirror: "Get our heroes out of pointless Afghan war now" http://bit.ly/OobT0f).

The attack on Camp Bastion two weeks ago revealed the weakness of  Nato forces and the underlying strength of the resistance. This attack and the continued green on blue deaths marked a turning point in opinion. We now need to increase our campaigning to end this war and occupation.

We are asking all our supporters to do everything possible to step up the pressure to bring the troops home by Christmas. There is a petition calling for troops out you can download at bit.ly/OScCH9

Members of Military Families have written an open letter to David Cameron calling for him to bring the troops out by Christmas which will be launched on the weekend of the anniversary of the invasion on the 7th of October.

There will be a Naming the Dead Ceremony in Trafalgar Square on the 7th October at 1pm organised with Afghans for Peace, which will be attended by Joan Humphries, whose grandson died in Afghanistan. Please share the facebook event widely. Other people attending include Paul Flynn MP, the actor Miriam Margolyes and the composer Howard Blake. Please spread the word as widely as possible.

We are reprinting our pamphlet on Afghanistan with a new introduction. Please order this and other materials from the office.

If you live in London, you will be very welcome at the London Activists' Meeting on 26 September 2012 to discuss actions. Full details at on.fb.me/RCet2E

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2) Anniversary conference - date for your diary

To mark the 10th anniversary of the major 2 million strong demo against the Iraq war, which took place on 15 February 2003 we are holding a conference in London which will discuss the aftermath of the war and the threats of war in the present and future. It will be in Friends House, London on Saturday 9th February 2013. A wide range of prominent speakers have already been booked. Brochures and more details to follow soon.

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3) Syria and Iran

The UN meets in New York this week with more threats of intervention in the Middle East, in Syria and Iran. Obama's speech to the UN general assembly is to say that the US will  'do what we must' to stop Iran acquiring nuclear weapons and that a nuclear-armed Iran 'is not a challenge that can be contained'. (SEE "Obama's UN General Assembly speech condemns extremism" bbc.in/OZy0og).

There is no sign of the crisis abating as we enter the final stage of the US presidential election. Stop the War has a public meeting against intervention in Syria and Iran on Tuesday October 9th at 7pm in University of London Union, Malet St, London WC1. Speakers include Tariq Ali, Lindsey German and Sabah Jawad.

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4) Extraditions given green light - no justice

The decision by the European Court of Human Rights to uphold the extradition of five terrorism suspects is a blow to all those campaigning against extradition to the US of suspects of crimes committed in the UK. In particular it is a blow to the families and campaigns over Babar Ahmad and Talha Ahsan, who have fought long and hard against this outcome.

We send our support and best wishes to the families and support them in any further steps they take to reverse this decision, which will mean long term solitary confinement for all the extraditees. Incredibly the judges sitting in Strasbourg agreed a ruling that their human rights would not be violated by life sentences in a 'supermax' prison. Please watch for any further actions which we will put on the website.

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5) Naming the dead - help us spread the word - 7th October 2012 at 1pm

We have created a Facebook event for the Naming the Dead Ceremony at Trafalgar Square on Sunday 7 October. This will mark the 11th anniversary of the start of the conflict in Afganistan. Please help pulicise this event as widely as possible. If you are on Facebook, share the event details with your contacts: on.fb.me/SjcRFQ

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Informed Activist

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