Peace Group members marked the imminent bicentenary of John Bright’s birth in Rochdale on 16 November 1811 by gathering at Bright’s statue in Broadfield Park on Saturday 12 November 2011 to remember all those who have been killed in Afghanistan since the NATO invasion in 2001
Their placard recalled Bright’s speech from 1855, when, in opposing the war in Crimea, he famously, told parliament that “The angel of death has been abroad throughout the land; you may almost hear the beating of his wings. ... he takes his victims from the castle of the noble, the mansion of the wealthy, and the cottage of the poor and the lowly”. Peace group members read out the names of both the 37 British troops who have been killed in Afghanistan, since 1 January 2011 and the names of some of the many thousands of Afghan civilians killed since 2001.
Philip Gilligan said,
“Bright’s words resonate across 150 years and remind us that war is an indiscriminate killer. 385 British troops have been killed in NATO’s disastrous war in Afghanistan, since 2001, alongside many hundreds of other foreign troops and countless thousands of civilians, including many thousands of children. It is time to stop this slaughter.”
For the list of British troops killed in Afghanistan since 2001, please see http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInAfghanistanBritishFatalities.htm
For a list of the civilians known to have been killed in Afghanistan since 2001, please see http://pubpages.unh.edu/~mwherold/listing.htm
There will be a showing of Nick Wilding's film 'John Bright and the Angel of Death' followed by a discussion at The Touchstones Heritage Centre, Rochdale, starting at 7.30pm on Wednesday 16 November 2011. (For more details, please see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9l1coDOVcYw )