Sixty years ago, the Guardian carried a letter from the publisher Victor Gollancz calling for people to join him in an urgent campaign against world poverty and militarism. Britain was fighting an unwinnable war in Asia, the Korean War, and Gollancz asked all who agreed with his call for a negotiated settlement to end the conflict to send him a postcard marked with the single word ‘yes’. Within a month 10,000 people had responded, and War on Want was born.
Today Britain is mired in another unwinnable war in Asia, this time in Afghanistan. As detailed in War on Want's new report on Afghanistan, the Afghan people are paying a terrible price for the ongoing occupation of their country. The surge in military activity has led not to more security but to greater insecurity, both in Afghanistan itself and in neighbouring Pakistan as well. Opinion polls consistently show over 70 per cent of British people now support the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, either ‘immediately’ or ‘soon’.
We, the undersigned, believe that the ongoing occupation of Afghanistan is against the interests of the Afghan people. We call for the immediate withdrawal of British troops from Afghanistan, and a negotiated settlement which guarantees self-determination, security and human rights for the Afghan people.
If you agree please join us by adding your name.
People who have said YES:
- John Hilary, Executive Director, War on Want
- Malalai Joya, Afghan politician
- Len McCluskey, General Secretary, Unite
- Dave Prentis, General Secretary, UNISON
- Sally Hunt, General Secretary, UCU
- Jeremy Dear, General Secretary, NUJ
- Mark Serwotka, General Secretary, PCS
- Billy Hayes, General Secretary, CWU
- Bob Crow, General Secretary, RMT
- Michael Mansfield QC
- Tony Benn
- Marsha Singh MP
- Jeremy Corbyn MP
- Mike Hancock MP
- Caroline Lucas MP
- Martin Caton MP
- John McDonnell MP
- Elfyn Llwyd MP
- Paul Flynn MP
- Moazzam Begg, Director, Cageprisoners
- Salma Yaqoob, Birmingham city councillor
- Lindsey German, Convenor, Stop the War Coalition
- Phil Shiner, Public Interest Lawyers
- Ken Loach
- Victoria Brittain
- Bruce Kent
- Michael Rosen
- Mark Curtis