Six peace activists were arrested this morning, as they protested outside Downing Street on the tenth anniversary of the war in Afghanistan.
Organised by the group London Catholic Worker, the protestors poured red paint on the pavement outside the gates to symbolise the blood of the 25,000 civilians and 2,500 soldiers who have been killed or wounded in the last decade.
The six then blockaded the entrance to Downing Street for an hour before they were arrested.
They are John Lynes, Ciaron O’Reilly, Maya Evans, Ben Griffins, Chris Cole and Fr Martin Newell.
In a jointly prepared statement the six declared: “Today, 7 October 2011, marks ten years of non-stop war. For a decade British, US and NATO forces have been engaged in an on-going war in Afghanistan which has caused the deaths of thousands , wounded countless numbers, destroyed local communities and uprooted families.
“The war has been going on so long we have forgotten the reason it started. Was it to capture Bin Laden? To remove the Taliban? To bring peace and human rights to the people of Afghanistan? To make the world a safer place? All these reasons - and more – have been used to try to justify the death and destruction.
“The reality of course, is that war cannot bring peace, nor armed violence solve political problems. Just the opposite in fact. Ten years is much more than enough time to learn this lesson. Let us bury the dead, heal the wounded and end the war.”
Today is also the 500th day of US Army Specialist Bradley Manning's imprisonment.
Bradley was accused of releasing footage of a US helicopter gunship massacre of civilians in Iraq.
The six called for the release of Bradley Manning and also for the release of British military refusenik Michael Lyons.