Posted by CelticEwan on 30th January 2010
Aberdeen SSP are holding two major public meetings on why we must end the occupation of Afghanistan. Everyone in the general public is welcome to attend. The meetings will involve speeches from the speakers, followed by questions and discussion involving the audience. Details, poster and press release are included below. If you have any queries regarding these meetings, please contact us, our details are on the contact page of this site.
Aberdeen SSP Public Meetings
End the Occupation of Afghanistan
Wednesday 17th February
Meeting 1: Aberdeen University, NK10, 2pm
Speakers: John McAllion (former Labour MP, MSP) Joan Humphrys (Military Families Against the War)
Meeting 2: Aberdeen Trades Council Social Club (Adelphie Lane), 7.30pm
Speakers: Colin Fox (former MSP, SSP national co-spokesperson), Mohammed Asif (Chair, Scottish Afghan Society)
The continuation of the war in Afghanistan is an indictment of our democracy, says Colin Fox, leader of the Scottish Socialist Party. “None of the parties supposedly representing us at Holyrood oppose this war,” said Fox, “at a time when over 70% of the population believe we should not be in Afghanistan”
Fox’s comments come ahead of a day of meetings and discussion in Aberdeen, organised by the city’s SSP branch. An afternoon meeting, with guest speakers former MSP John McAllion and Joan Humphreys, will be followed by an evening meeting with Fox and the Scottish Afghan Society leader Mohammad Asif. Humphries recently joined the Scottish Socialist Party, to much publicity, after her grandson Kevin Elliot was killed in Afghanistan.
John McAllion echoes Fox’s comments on democracy, saying “”The anti-war voice on Afghanistan has been effectively silenced in Westminster and in Holyrood by the British establishment’s cynical exploitation of the real sacrifices of young soldiers to rally support for a war which in reality is based on a tissue of establishment lies. ”
Fox emphasises that the SSP is the only party that has continuously opposed the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, saying “Britain has been occupying Afghanistan for the past 8 years. Tony Blair said the invasion in 2001 was in retaliation for the 9/11 bombing. We know now, as he knew then, that not one single Afghan was involved in those heinous attacks. Afghanistan has never threatened us yet some 50,000 innocent Afghan civilians have been killed as a result of our invasion. The latest poll, conducted for The Washington Post, shows that 80% of Afghans want British and American forces to leave their country. Here in Britain three quarters of us want the troops to be withdrawn”
Joan Humphreys said “the war in which my grandson was killed is an immoral and unnecessary conflict”, she made clear that although her personal experience obviously had a huge impact on her, this feeling is wider than her own family connection to the conflict.
Aberdeen SSP Secretary Ewan Robertson said he is looking forward to the day of meetings as an opportunity for dialogue and discussion, adding “What makes these major public meetings so important is that it gives the general public a chance to learn about the brutal realities of British involvement in Afghanistan from those who have lost loved ones on both sides, as well as the political analysis of experienced and principled politicians.” McAllion adds “The truth about Afghanistan rarely surfaces in the mainstream media, making anti-war meetings like this all the more important for the citizens of what is still supposed to be a democracy.”
When: Wednesday 17 February, 2pm, Aberdeen University New Kings 10, and 7.30pm, Trades Union Social Club, Adelphi (off Union Street).
Press Contact Sarah Campbell, Aberdeen SSP Press Officer