British refusenik Joe Glenton released from prison
„Bring the troops back from Afghanistan”
(28.07.2010) British soldier Joe Glenton, who was released from prison some days ago, spoke at a packed anti-war meeting in London yesterday. It was his first public appearance after his imprisonment. He demanded to bring back the troops from Afghanistan and added: „I consider it a badge of honor to have resisted and to continue to resist. I’ve learnt that the real enemy is not the man in front of you you’re pointing your rifle at, but the men directly behind you and above you telling you to pull the trigger.“
Joe Glenton was released on July 12th after serving a prison term for refusing to return to Afghanistan. On March 5, 2010, he had been sentenced to nine months in jail for having gone AWOL after refusing to return to Afghanistan because he opposed the war.
Joe Glenton was supported internationally with action days organized by the British organization Payday and a campaign to send him postcards launched by Connection e.V., Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) Europe and the German Peace Society & United War Resisters (DFG-VK) Hesse.
“At one point”, Joe Glenton said, “I was getting 200 letters a day from all over the world so I never felt alone at any point. I’m going to university in September and that’s going to be fantastic. I’ve got a lot to look forward to.”
The organizations along with Joe Glenton would like to thank for all protest letters to the British government as well as all the support shown for Joe Glenton.
In 2007, Joe Glenton had left his unit, traumatized by his seven months’ deployment in Afghanistan. He handed himself in two years later after speaking at an anti-war demonstration in London. Based on his own experience in Afghanistan, Joe Glenton wrote a letter to the British Defence Minister: “The war in Afghanistan is not reducing the terrorist risk. Far from improving Afghan lives it is bringing death and devastation to their country. Britain has no business there.“ He was among the first Afghanistan refuseniks to go public.
According to figures published by the British ministry of war, more than 17,000 British soldiers have gone AWOL since 2003. They have clearly voted with their feet: Against the highly controversial war operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Connection e.V., DFG-VK Hesse and IVAW Europe, Press Release, July 28th, 2010