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Magda Hassan
11-16-2009, 10:40 AM
http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/index.php/news/content/view/full/83256

Morning Star
November 15, 2009

Delegates to NATO join anti-war demo
Adrian Roberts

NATO conference delegates joined anti-war protesters on Edinburgh's streets on Saturday as they took their message to the doorstep of the organisation's chiefs.

Up to 1,000 demonstrators against the war on Afghanistan marched through the city centre where the annual NATO parliamentary assembly is currently taking place.

Politicians and families of dead soldiers were joined on the march by union, student and anti-nuclear groups.

The protest even involved some delegates from the assembly itself, including Dutch senator Tiny Kox. They joined their fellow legislators inside the city's conference centre after marchers had passed outside.

SNP [Scottish National Party] MSP Bill Kidd was among those on the march and he later addressed a rally in Princes Street Gardens.

"All those countries who shelter under the nuclear umbrella, those countries which maintain Trident and other weapons of mass destruction, are as guilty as any US president who threatens to use them in a first strike," he said.

"I believe that war is an abomination and that Trident is an abomination and that the money paid out for Trident is an abomination - anywhere between 35 and 100 billion."

Stop the War Coalition's John Cannell added that the only solution is a political one, but the troops needed to be out now to make space for talks.

And Scottish Socialist Party leader Colin Fox said: "We're speaking on behalf of the population of Britain - 65 per cent in three polls in the last 10 days have shown that they want the British soldiers brought back home.

"They believe this to be a pointless, senseless, unwinnable war."

CND international committee member Rae Street reminded marchers that NATO was a military alliance.

"Nothing proves that more than the number of casualties coming back almost daily from Afghanistan," she said.

The NATO assembly began on Saturday and will focus on six themes before drawing up resolutions.

These include reinforcing nuclear non-proliferation and "moving beyond" the economic crisis.

Foreign Secretary David Miliband is due to address the 55th annual assembly when it closes on Tuesday.