Veterans for Peace UK discarded their service medals outside Downing Street “in disgust” at last week’s parliamentary vote to extend RAF bombings into Syria.
Veterans for Peace UK, are a group of men and women who have served in the military and have experienced the folly of war in the modern world.
They discarded their hard won precious medals of war which had cost them their bodies and souls in the line of duty to Queen and country.
Servicemen threw their medals to the ground in front of reporters and made a protest speech about their actions for the sake of revealing the unspoken truth of unjust war, and the aftermath on those who survive it.
The Guardian reports:
One by one, and in front of waiting media and supporters, the members of the Veterans for Peace UK group expressed their opposition to the bombing and to previous operations in the Middle East as they threw the medals to the ground.
The gestures were led by Daniel Lenham, who served in the RAF. Holding up his medals, he told those gathered around: “If you look close enough at these medals, you can see the reflections of dead Iraqis. You can see the embers of Libya. And you can see the faces of the men and women of the British armed forces who didn’t return and also those who did with lost limbs and shattered souls. I no longer require these medals.”
— Glenton (@joejglenton) December 8, 2015
Others taking part included Daniel Lenham, who served in the RAF from 2002 to 2014. He said bombing was never a solution.
“These invasions, occupations and attacks have caused great destruction, killed hundreds of thousands of people and have led to the destruction of societies. Bombing is never a solution; it is time to stop,” he said.
Veterans For Peace UK describes itself as a voluntary ex-services organisation of men and women who have served in every war that Britain has fought since the second world war. It says it works to educate young people “on the true nature of military service and war”, as well as resisting “war and militarism” through non-violent action and standing in solidarity with others doing the same.
They wanted to bust the “mythology” of heroism says Sputnik:
“I think it is ridiculous that they voted for [airstrikes in Syria]. We fought in Afghanistan, we fought in Iraq and in Libya, and it didn’t solve a thing, it made things worse,” former soldier Ben Griffin said.
“It is highly disappointing, having gone through these wars, to see MPs voting for more war. War is not the solution to this problem. More bombs in Syria isn’t going to solve this. We are completely disgusted by those MPs.”
Ruptly TV YouTube video:
Griffin also said that part of the protest was to destroy the “mythology” associated with the armed forces, with VPF aiming to “educate young people on the true nature of military service and war,” while attempting to convince people that war is “not the answer to the problems of the 21st century.”
A number of former military personnel spoke at the demonstration, including Gulf War veteran Kirk Sollitt, who said the increased airstrikes will only bring more suffering.
While parliamentarians voted 397 to 223 in favor of carrying out airstrikes on Daesh targets in Syria, polls have shown that the issue is highly contentious among the British public, with many polls suggesting that extending the military action doesn’t have the support of the majority of the population.
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