By Susan Clarkson
On 21 October our delegation met in the Peace News office for further planning and to talk to our friends, the Afghan Peace Volunteers on Skype…
On the 21 of each month the APV hold a Global Day of Listening when they are connected by the internet to friends and supporters all over the world. We had booked a half hour slot and once again it was very exciting to hear the greetings of the people we will be visiting in December. Hakim once again did a sterling job of interpretation and the session was moderated by Kathy Kelly of Voices for Creative Nonviolence.
After the greetings Kathy, who is always aware of what is going on, asked us to talk about the demonstration we had been on in London the day before against the Government cuts to services. We told our friends about the reason for the demonstration and how it felt to be there. We asked them about demonstrations in Afghanistan and soon realised that the treatment we receive from police on such events is mild compared to what the Afghan people face.
During our conversation we talked about the demonstration in 2003 against the invasion of Iraq, attended by a million people. Our young friends responded with a poignant question: why had there been no such demonstration against the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001?
After reflection we offered the explanation, but not the excuse, that in 2001 things happened very quickly. We had been told by our leaders that Osama Bin Laden was being protected in Afghanistan and immediate invasion was necessary. We pointed out tentatively that less than a month passed between the attacks of 11 September and the invasion on 7 October, whereas there had been a protracted build up to the invasion of Iraq during which we had been fed more and more lies.
This brief exchange brought home to us how little we, the British people, have, over the years, let down the people of Afghanistan by allowing this war to continue. It makes us even more resolved to make the most of our short visit and to be resolute in carrying the messages we hear in Afghanistan on our return.
Reflections on a Journey in Faith http://susanclarksondotcom.wordpress.com