British war veterans made a powerful statement today, protesting the UK’s decision to bomb Syria by throwing their medals on the ground outside the Prime Minister’s Downing Street home.
As reported by the Mirror Online, some of those who served in conflicts including both Gulf Wars, Afghanistan and Libya, made the decision to give back their military commendations in protest against the latest air strikes in the Middle East.
— Lamiat Sabin (@LamiatSabin) December 8, 2015
Speaking to AFP, Ben Griffin, who coordinated the demonstration, said:
We are here today to protest the bombing that we are now carrying out in Syria. We think it’s going to make things worse, it’s going to create more refugees, it’s going to radicalise more people, [and] women and children are going to die as a result of our actions. So that’s why we came here today – to return medals given to us for our service in previous Middle Eastern wars in protest at this current one.
The demonstration was organised by Veterans for Peace (VFPUK), an ex-services organisation which includes veterans of every conflict since World War Two.
— Peace & Disarmament (@DisarmQuaker) December 8, 2015
Daniel Lenham, a veteran who served in the RAF from 2002 to 2014, added:
In protest at the decision to bomb Syria, we will hand back medals given to us for participating in previous attacks on the Middle East. 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.
MPs voted on Wednesday to extend UK airstrikes from Iraq into Syria, despite widespread public opposition to the move.
However, this latest protest shows it’s not only a significant portion of the British public who are against the decision, with many of those who have actually served on the front lines and witnessed first-hand the damage war can have taking a stand against the bombings too.
David Cameron’s response to this latest demonstration will certainly be interesting!