British Soldiers Throw War Medals to the Floor*
By Sophie McAdam
“These are my medals, these were given to me were given to me as a reward for invading other peoples countries and murdering their civilians. I’m now handing them back.”
Friday 6th November Friday, Veterans For Peace U.K. staged an important protest which has been entirely ignored by the mainstream media. Just two days before Remembrance Sunday- that time of year when the British press savagely attack anyone who doesn’t look like they are showing respect for the troops- three ex-soldiers who are now self-proclaimed pacifists threw down their medals outside the Prime Minister’s residence.
Outside Downing Street, the veterans lined up to face the police barricades and made the following statement:
“We are members of Veterans For Peace UK, an ex-services organisation of men and women who have served this country in every conflict since the second world war. We exist in the hope of convincing you that war is not the solution to the problems of the 21st century. We have come here today to hand back things, given to us as soldiers, that we no longer require or want.”
These veterans believe that war is a senseless, brutal act of terror, and they should know. The ex-soldiers are John Boulton, Kieran Devlin and Ben Griffin. Boulton served in the Armoured Corps and was deployed on operations to Cyprus and Afghanistan. Devlin served in the Royal Engineers and was deployed on operations to the Gulf War and N Ireland. Griffin served in the Parachute Regiment and the SAS. He was deployed on operations to N Ireland, Macedonia, Afghanistan and Iraq.
The men threw their Oaths of Allegiance and their army berets to the ground in rejection of violence. “I used to wear this hat as a soldier, it used to have great significance to me. I no longer want to keep hold of this symbol of militarism,” said Griffin.
He was joined by Boulton, who spoke the words: “These are the medals given to me for the sick dichotomy of keeping the peace and waging war. They are trinkets, pseudo payments. But really all they represent is the self-interest of those in there, who hold power.”
Devlin, who joined up at just 16 years old, had this to say: “These are my medals, these were given to me were given to me as a reward for invading other peoples’ countries and murdering their civilians. I’m now handing them back.”
War has left Griffin with the same bad taste in his mouth. “I was given these medals for service on operations with the British Army,” he said. “This particular medal here was given to me for my part in the occupation of Iraq. Whilst I was over there, I attacked civilians in their homes and took away their men, off to be tortured in prison. I no longer want these despicable things.”
The three veterans then walked away from Downing Street leaving the oaths, berets and medals lying scattered on the floor. The actions of these brave men has been met with venom by many on social media. They have been insulted and called ‘scum’ for rejecting war and militarism. If you support them in their campaign for a peaceful world, please visit their website and share this video in solidarity.