'End Afghan war' demand

19 November 2010 - 2:13pm
Press release

Charity to join national protest

The British charity War on Want will take part in a national demonstration today calling on UK prime minister David Cameron to withdraw troops from Afghanistan.

Its decision to give official backing for the protest against the war comes amid claims that the conflict remains unwinnable, with more civilian and military casualties in 2010 than during any similar period in its nine-year history.

The charity sets the estimated £11 billion cost of the war so far against the billions of pounds in British government spending cuts that will mean the loss of many public services and at least a million jobs.

Executive director John Hilary this afternoon will address a rally in London's Trafalgar Square organised by the Stop the War Coalition, after thousands of people march from Hyde Park.

War on Want is a supporter of the demonstration, which has also been called by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and the British Muslim Initiative.

Other supporters are Pax Christi, the Islamic Forum of Europe, the Cordoba Foundation and Friends of Al Aqsa.

Hilary said: "The UK government must face up to the reality that the war in Afghanistan is not only unrelenting in the growing toll of victims, but unjust and unwinnable. It must withdraw the troops and seek a political solution in favour of Afghans' freedom and human rights."

The charity says that while Afghan civilians are suffering, companies are cashing in on privatising the conflict.

With thousands of unaccountable private military contractors now in Afghanistan, UK-based mercenary companies G4S and Aegis Defence Services have won multi-million pound contracts from the British and US governments.

And since Afghanistan adopted a policy on privatisation in 2005, over 50 state-owned enterprises have been slated for selloff or liquidation.


NOTE TO EDITORS: War on Want campaigners will assemble with other protesters at 12 noon GMT today (Saturday, 20 November) at Speakers' Corner in London's Hyde Park, before the march to Trafalgar Square. The charity says the war in Afghanistan has worsened decades of destruction amid foreign interference in the country.

CONTACT: Paul Collins, War on Want media officer (+44) (0)20 7324 5054 or (+44) (0)7983 550728


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