Anti-war protestors demand troop withdrawal outside US Embassy

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By Scott Shepherd

ANTI-WAR protesters including veteran actor David Hayman demanded the withdrawal of British troops from Afghanistan yesterday but were moved on from demonstrating outside the US consulate in Edinburgh.

The Scottish Afghan society and Stop the War Coalition staged a protest but were blocked by police and had to stage their press conference further along the street after barriers were put up in front of the consulate general.

Chair of the Scottish Afghan society Mohammad Asif said: “We are here to voice our anger at the American authorities. We are here to tell them what is happening in Afghanistan should stop and it should stop today.”

“Afghanistan is now a more dangerous place than it was before this war began. We want to end the illegal occupation of Afghanistan. For the past seven years 80,000 innocent Afghans have been killed.”

The campaign hopes to attract one million signatures so their petition can be passed on to Gordon Brown in the hope he will withdraw British troops.

And Scots star David Hayman – Director of the charity Spirit Aid – is backing the campaign all the way.

He said: ““Afghanistan is a country that has not harmed us in any way. They have not threatened us in any way. The longer the British troops are there the longer we are going to escalate the war.”

The Trial and Retribution star has worked with the country since 2002.

He added: “We should leave Afghanistan to the Afghans. These are poor desperate people and we have been bombing the hell out of them. Outside of Africa it is the poorest country in the world.”

Police Inspector Gilhooly – whose team patrolled the protest – said: “Overall it was a very peaceful demonstration, they were afforded their right to protest and they left without any trouble.”

He added: “The US Embassy is an iconic structure, and there’s still business to be done here despite the protest but as long as they’re not breaking any laws it’s fine.”

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