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Soldier who refused to return to Afghanistan backs new party in London elections

Joe Glenton, a corporal in the Royal Logistics Corps, who refused to do a second tour of duty in Afghanistan and was charged with desertion in 2009, is backing the newly formed Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition in the London elections on 3 May.

Glenton handed in a letter to Prime Minister Gordon Brown, explaining why he would not go back to Afghanistan and he subsequently became a regular speaker at anti-war protests. He continues to speak out against the presence of British troops in Afghanistan.

He was represented throughout his court martial by left-wing barrister Nick Wrack who is now a candidate for TUSC in the London elections.

The desertion charges were dropped after six months but Glenton was sentenced to nine months in a military detention centre for going absent without leave.

Glenton said:

“I’m really pleased to be able to support Nick Wrack for election. I was facing a long time in prison for the desertion charge and he forced the army to drop it down to AWOL, which I was always prepared to admit.”

“I refused to fight because I thought the war was wrong. Nick thought the ‘little man’ on trial was right. The little man was me. Nick was prepared to challenge the legitimacy of the war in Afghanistan and expose the war crimes committed there. I can attest personally to his commitment to justice and fairness. Look at the state of politics in Britain today and you have reasons to support Nick Wrack. We need fighters, he is one.

There are three choices in Britain today, as far as electoral politics goes. All three are neoliberal; all three undermine the people who produce society’s wealth. Nowhere in any of their agendas is a meaningful response to the issues of war, corruption, cuts, private power, cronyism and inequality. Like many people down here at the base of society, I should be a natural Labour voter. I am not. There needs to be an alternative and the TUSC is a clear step towards that.”

ENDS

For more information call Will McMahon on 07968 950223

Editors Notes

(1) The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition stands in opposition to public spending cuts and privatisation, calls for investment in publicly owned and controlled renewable energy, the repeal of the anti-trade union laws, and the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan. For more information see: http://www.tusc.org.uk/

(2) TUSC is standing only on the top up list for the Greater London Assembly Elections. It is not contesting for mayor or in the constituency section.

(3) Joe Glenton is now studying for a BA in International Relations and Peace Studies at Leeds Metropolitan University.

(4) Joe Glenton has an article in today’s Mirror: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/british-intervention-in-afghanistan-has-been-a-failure-755301

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