A call for action to rebuild Afghanistan is being backed by protest events today (7 October 2011) in London and in five other European capital cities.
Participants will fly giant kites at key locations with the slogan: ‘Afghanistan ten years: Time to get it right’ to launch their campaign to secure strong international commitments at the forthcoming major summit between Afghanistan and its international development partners on 5 December 2011 in Bonn, Germany.
The London protest will take place from 9.15 – 10.15 at Old Palace Yard, SW1P 3JY, opposite the Houses of Parliament.
The face of Big Ben at 10 o’clock will mark the ten years since the NATO-led invasion of Afghanistan as the background to the demands.
Demonstrations will take place in Paris, Berlin, Oslo, Stockholm, and The Hague, alongside the UK capital. They accompany the publication of new research by ACBAR (the Agency Coordinating Body for Afghan Relief ), the largest independent grouping of relief agencies in Afghanistan.
A detailed ABCAR-commissioned opinion survey indicates widespread disatisafaction among Afghans about lack of decent and secure public services, not least in health and education.
There is also anger that the West has spent billions on war, but has failed to deliver on reconstruction and stability.
ABCAR has 111 member NGOs, 60 per cent of them international and 40 per cent Afghan.
Meanwhile there will be a mass anti-war rally backed by the Stop the War Coalition in Trafalgar Square, also in central London, at noon on Saturday 8 October.
Musicians, actors, writers, filmmakers and artists will join MPs, trade union leaders, faith groups, human rights organisations and other peace activists.
Performers and speakers include John Pilger, Jemima Khan, Lowkey, Billy Bragg, world renowned composer Howard Blake, Brian Eno, founder of Wikileaks Julian Assange, Mark Steel, novelist Ahdaf Soueif, Unite General Secretary Len McCluskey, actors Simon McBurney and Mark Rylance, Jeremy Corbyn MP, and many more.
* More on the ABCAR research and proposals for reconstruction: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/15511
* Anti-war assembly timetable: http://www.antiwarassembly.org/index.php/timetable