In protest at yet another attack on a middle eastern country, veterans of the Gulf War, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya will discard their medals at Downing Street tomorrow.
One of the veterans, Daniel Lenham who served in the RAF from 2002 to 2014 said “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.” He continued “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.”
David Smith who served in the Royal Green Jackets said “I want to express my utter disgust at the decision to unlawfully bomb Syria, god help all those who are likely to suffer as a result of this action. I renounce all forms of state sanctioned Warfare and Violence.”
Kirk Sollitt who served in the Gulf War said “By bombing in Syria innocent, vulnerable sentient beings are being killed, men, woman and children. You cannot sow bloodshed and reap peace. I no longer want these medals.”
Veterans For Peace is a voluntary ex-services organisation of men and women who have served in every war that Britain has fought since WW2. We exist to convince people that war is not the answer to the problems of the 21st century.
Date – Tuesday 8 December
Time – 1pm
Location – Meet at Nelsons Column before heading to Downing Street, London
Dress – VFP Members to wear VFP Hoodies
Daniel Lenham – served in the RAF from 2002 to 2014. He deployed on operations against Iraq and Libya.
Kirk Sollitt – served in the Royal Engineers from 1987 to 1991 and the Cheshire Regiment from 1997 to 2000. He deployed to the Gulf War and N Ireland.
Phil Mace – served in the Royal Engineers from 2006 to 2012. He deployed to Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
Dave Smith – served in the Royal Green jackets from 1975 to 1981. He deployed to Northern Ireland.
Ben Griffin, Coordinator VFP UK
07866 559 312
Thank you Ben. I read your piece from here at Jeju Island, Korea where a naval base is built for US nuclear subs to come through. The local priest says Mass daily at the gate, so powerful.
These people make me laugh, what did you think would happen when you joined up, did you think you would go on exercise in some country and enjoy the adventure training, drinking and pay without being deployed to a hostile environment, I did not join for an easy time or the politicians I joined to fight for my queen and country whether I agreed with it or not. I am proud of every deployment and every rifleman I served with. This protest is a fucking joke. Grow up and get on with your lives. The government will always make discussions that are not always popular, as soldiers we get the job done and move on
I salute you all, you are the real heroes.
I spent half of my life in war, I was a kid I did not do anything bad to anyone, our village was bombed I lost friends and family there. Back then I didn’t know why would anyone do this to as, I did not know the answer..
Bombing is the worse thing ever, if you kill one terrorist you would kill ten innocent, and what do you think the the survivors of those who loose their lives would do to you?!!! We are creating 20 more terrorist for every bomb we drop.
Do not kill in the name of democracy, democracy is to embrace not to impose.
If they chose not to have your way of democracy and chose another way then that’s their democracy.
Peace is the solution.
Respect to all of you. It is sad to see you throwing you medals down, someone will pick them up either sell them or melt them down, I have been collecting Medel for a few years. I have seen ww1 medal been melted for the silver. Now they are gone forever. Is they no other way of doing this with out throwing your medals away.
If you do not what your medal, I would take them a keep them safe from been melted down and been sold for profit.
My email address K4c70@aol.com
All the best for your campaign
They don’t care what happens to them, they have discarded them, do you not understand the point of the protest. These government trinkets mean nothing to these men. That’s the point, they mean nothing, nothing at all.
Gus I full understand what they are doing. They is no need to have a go at me.
I hope that was a joke. If not, you are missing the whole point. It’s not the service these men are disgusted with it’s the current government and it’s outrageous policies. George Osborne that psychopath said the bombing of Syria including women and children – whom the military and any decent human being should be protecting – has given Britain ‘its mojo back’. So to make that point forcefully clear, they rejected something precious to them,their service medals. However even more precious that is their conscience and integrity. If you cannot understand that, you don’t deserve to be in the same room with them.
I have just watched Daniel Lenham`s interview on Russia Today and I doff my cap, true heroes and I hope more follow your lead.
Truly heartend to discover Veterans for Peace and to witness your powerful rejection of war with the throwing down of medals. Your words, based on first hand experience, add even greater weight to the argument against war as an answer. I wish you all well and I know that me and my friends will share and publicise yesterdays protest, and may we all work together towards a fairer and more humane world.
Proud of you. It is true heroicism to stand up for yourself and your beliefs even when it means giving away recognition. Thank you on behalf of civilians for helping us change the idea that war is good in such a powerful and selfless way.
Daniel, David, Kirk and all who align themselves to Veterans For Peace
I saw film of your protest at Downing St today and was intensely moved by it. I’ve recently joined protests against the current criminal intervention in Syria and, like you and god know how many millions of others, I am sick of wars and the self-serving motivations that underpin them. I support the troops; not the war.
As a civilian all I can do is lend my voice of protest to the many, but your voices are ten thousand times more powerful. I was unaware of Veterans For Peace until today, but the organisation strikes me as perhaps the most powerful protest organisation there can be. Who can argue with a battalion of peace-seeking soldiers who have put themselves forward with a degree of courage inaccessible to the majority, and who themselves faced the horror and futility of these absurd and needless wars that wrack the world on whims of corporate self-interest and the egos of individual sociopaths who call themselves prime ministers and presidents?
I like to think we are together at the beginning of a global movement to end this insanity. I dearly hope we are. As such, I extend my fraternity and support to you, and I thank you from my heart for your gesture at Downing St today, and for your clear-eyed compassion and continuing work toward the aim that every soldier and every civilian seeks: lasting peace.
Please be careful of using that term “I support the troops not the war”. It’s an oxymoron, supporting the troops is supporting the war, they are the one’s who will be the next incumbents.. It’s the equivalent of saying “I don’t support Hitler but I support the SS. By all means, question our troops, raise awareness amongst our troops and help them when they return with compassion and kindness.
But to say you support our troops is the equivalent of saying “We support you in what you do” and therein lies the problem, WE DON’T”
Gus, I think ‘supporting the troops’ means compassion for them because their intentions are honourable and admirable when they join up. Many or most over there probably have no clue as to the real reason they are there and contributing to the slaughter -which is to make rich and powerful men even more so. Their courage is to be supported. Their young lives are to be cherished. Their idealism honoured. Everyone chooses a path, many blindly and many in trust that what they’re doing is right. What we don’t support are the governments and the military-industrial complex who do not cherish these honourable young people, the mothers that bore them nor the fathers who protected them and instilled in them ideals such as love of country,decency and honour. I consult with many servicemen and women and they are good human beings who either don’t see what is really going on or don’t want to know because that knowledge will demand that they relinquish something precious – trust that we are doing the right thing and they are part of that valiant effort; The men who gave back their medals yesterday have nothing but compassion for these compatriots, I am sure. They gave up honours that one meant something and were dearly held, but now have become symbols of evil and oppression. Anyway, that’s my take on it. I don’t really have a say because I’ve never served but every make member of my family have.
A brave stance to take, guys. Thank you. Solidarity, b x
Well done Danny, Kirk Phil and Dave – and supporters who attended. I am very sorry but I do not yet have the courage to do what you gentlemen did today. I am also sorry that I was not able to just go and support anyway. What you did today was enormous for peace, and managed against all odds to make it into the Main Stream Media. I take my hat off to you and thank you for your beliefs, your courage and your comradeship. I am proud to serve with you – because what you did is really serving the people of this country.
Soldier gives back his six medals back 0- sent them to David Cameron because Army culled 20,000 and he was sacked 72 hours before receiving his pension. http://bit.ly/21N1P3c
The Independent has covered the veterans’ protest and there’s a video as well.http://ind.pn/1N9KiKR
Not sure my badgering had anything to do with it – probably not, but I am delighted to see it.
Of course ALL YOUR BADGERING HAD SOMETHING DO WITH IT
TRUTH JUSTICE PEACE
TI was unable to post the rest of the comment so it continues: he armed services mutinied and refused to kill anyone so Nixon pulled them out and started air strikes. The US lost a war for the first time. My point is, those soldiers became determined anti-war protesters and the movement grew and joined the civilian movement. It worked. I took part, as a civilian in that movement – I had to after My Lai. My understanding is that four volunteer veterans put their medals on Downing street and bless them for having the courage to do so. So far, I can’t find anything about it in the UK mainstream media. It took place at 1pm London time. There is a another planned protest for December 12. I was touched at the repose to my post from so many of you. I’m just a civilian who lost many relatives in both World Wars – the only wars they felt were justified – and Korea. My father served in the Royal Fusiliers in Egypt, Cyprus and Lebanon. I am sickened by this nightmare the US started and for which, as a nation, we are culpable. I admire you all for what you have done and are now doing.
it did make on telly but people HAVE TO BE AWAKE
My question is for those that have earned a pension, will you be denouncing that too??
No Marc, we will not. When we served, we believed in what we were doing, did our jobs diligently and at potential risk for every minute that we served and in giving up the best years of our lives, we earnt those pensions. It’s not our fault that our government are liars. If you worked for any company and left because you were unhappy with the conditions or thought your employers were dishonest, would you give up your pension or previous earnings?
Good on yer …
Gan y gwirion (y diniwed) y ceir y gwir. Mae’r rhain wedi profi be ‘di gwir effaith rhyfel nid fel y rhai sy’n eu gyrru yno.
Diolch am sefyll yn erbyn grym y wasg a hyrwyddwyr rhyfel.