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I’ve been unable to write on this blog lately. My excuses include completing a chapter for a book on the English Early Years Education system that I was asked to write some time ago as a result of my work on the blog: “A Parents’ Guide to the Early Years Foundation Stage”.  It’s finished and submitted now. The plan is the chapter will be one of several written by internationally known childhood campaigners.

‘Childhood campaigners’. A loose kind of term – which could include those who notice (and try to address) the moral bankruptcy surrounding government inaction on child detention.

Here are some of them – writers, novelists and playwrights:

Clare Sambrook – deconstructing what the government is NOT doing about Yarl’s Wood immigration detention centre – the Liberal Democrats must fight to salvage their promise to end the detention of children for immigration purposes’…

Michael Morpurgo. His new book ‘Shadow’ is fiction for truth-telling…of Afghanistan, immigration detention and Yarl’s Wood.

Shadow by Michael Morpurgo

and the playwright Natasha Walter who wrote ‘Motherland’.

Chester Stop the War Coalition Stall. Bring the Troops home from Afghanistan. Free Joe Glenton. Thursday 17th. December, 2009 Chester City Centre

At five o’clock yesterday evening, as Christmas shoppers crowded into Chester City Centre for late-night shopping members of Chester Stop the War Coalition held a stall at their traditional pitch on the Cross. It was the second stall held this month.

Petition signatures were collected and Christmas cards had been sent to Joe Glenton in prison. (see this link)

Petitions calling for the troops to be brought home from Afghanistan are to be handed over to Downing Street by members of the organisation Military Families Against the War on the 21st. December, 2009.

To sign the petition online follow this link.

Joe Glenton still in custody

December 15, 2009

I received this message today from a member of the Stop the War Coalition. It’s about Joe Glenton (see also previous posts in category Joe Glenton).

“Joe Glenton is being held in custody despite being diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
 
He faces charges for refusing to go back to Afghanistan and for speaking out against the war.
 
He is woken up every morning at 6am by a loud kick on his door.
 
On learning of his disorder an army doctor told him he was still able to “run from a bullet”.
 
His wife Clare says “The support that he has been getting from the outside has made his time easier for him”.
 
According to the Ministry of Defence’s own figures, 67 soldiers who have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan have committed suicide.”
 
Please send a Christmas card and a message of support to Joe Glenton, Military Correction Training Centre, Berechurch Hall Camp, Colchester, Essex, CO2 9NU

According to the Guardian report today Britain is set to send 500 more troops to Afghanistan. Military Families Against the War  supported by the Stop the War Coalition are planning a protest at No. 10 Downing Street on 21st. December where they will deliver the ‘Bring the Troops Home’ petition and demand to see Gordon Brown.

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At a time when voices criticising the U.K’s involvement in Afghanistan could not be louder, the Wall Street Journal reports on a U.S. bid to seek up to 7,000 more troops from European Allies. See U.S. Enlists allies in new surge (Wall Street Journal).

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According to the Stop the War Coalition Lance Corporal Joe Glenton, the soldier who faces desertion charges for refusing to return to Afghanistan, has been arrested and charged with five further offences for leading Stop the War’s demonstration in London on 24 October and for expressing his opposition to the media in defiance of orders.

The new charges carry a maximum of ten years imprisonment in addition to the sentence of three to four years that Joe could get if the desertion charge is upheld.

Joe’s mother, Sue Glenton, has spoken out against his arrest:

“You’ve got government ministers, army commanders and MPs speaking every day in support of the war. What’s so scary about a Lance Corporal having his say? My son is only speaking
out for what he thinks is right.”

The Stop the War Coalition say Joe’s arrest and imprisonment are signs of panic by the government and military commanders, faced with an ever growing majority of the British public opposing the war and an increasing number of prominent voices in the media calling for
the withdrawal of British troops.

A poll published in the Independent shows that only one in five voters believes that Britain’s military presence in Afghanistan is helping to protect the country from terrorism, as Gordon Brown insists. The same poll shows that 48 percent of voters think the war in Afghanistan increases the risk of domestic terrorist attack.

Stop the War has launched a campaign to defend Joe Glenton and his right to freedom of speech. (For updates see http://www.stopwar.org.uk.)

An emergency protest is being held on Thursday 12 November, 5pm, at the Ministry of Defence, Whitehall (opposite Downing Street) FACEBOOK EVENT (Please circulate): http://bit.ly/2h9IOf 

* COLLECT PETITION SIGNATURES
The Defend Joe Glenton petition can be downloaded here:
http://bit.ly/10gDKb

* WRITE LETTERS OF SUPPORT TO JOE GLENTON
Lance Corporal Joe Glenton
Military Corrective Training Centre (MCTC)
Berechurch Hall Camp
Colchester
Essex CO2 9NU

* EMAIL SUPPORT
defendjoeglenton@gmail.com

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“I believe that there is no prospect of a military solution,” Gorbachev said in Russian through a translator in an interview in Berlin today.

“What we need is the reconciliation of Afghan society – and they should be preparing the ground for withdrawal rather than additional troops.”

See this Bloomberg news link:

Today’s piece in the Guardian: ‘Nation Commander warns of ‘mission failure’ in Afghanistan’.

 The U.K. based Stop the War Coalition are holding a national demonstration on the 24th. October to get the troops out. See this link:

Of the many interviews Joe Glenton has given over the past few months – I felt this one shows the man. Currently, Joe faces a two year prison sentence. Video by Counterfire.