Terence Bunch

Photojournalist & Writer

One of the Campaigners, Maria Gallastegui, is then arrested along with others and led to a waiting police van. Whitehall, London. 4th November 2009. All pictures © Terence Bunch.

Bring the Troops Home 229 Minutes Vigil. Cenotaph, London. 4th November 2009.

By Published Last Edited 2009-11-04 00:00:00

The day after another 5 British soldiers lose their lives in Afghanistan, peace campaigners gather at the Cenotaph War Memorial to hold a 229 minute vigil for each and every soldier killed so far. Earlier in the day the British MOD (Ministry of Defence) announce that five soldiers are killed after an Afghani police officer opens fire on them at a security facility at Nad e-Ali, Helmand Province.

In recent days the situation in Afghanistan has deteriorated with a default declaration of President Hamid Karzai as Afghani President after the withdrawal of his primary opponent, Abdullah Abdullah. The default has brought forward severe disenchantment amongst ordinary Afghanis and has enboldened partisan regional forces including the Taliban.

The soldiers die after an Afghani Police Officer they were training shot his commander and then opened fire on the soldiers. The attack is the second of its type during the election period with two American soldiers being killed last month, again by an Afghani policeman.

The campaigners are interrupted halfway through their vigil by Metropolitan Police officers who then arrest the campaigners before the 229 minutes can be reached.

Cenotaph, London. 4th November 2009.

The campaigners gather at the Cenotaph War Memorial to start their 229 minutes vigil for the 229 soldiers who have been killed predominantly in the South Afghani Gas Corridor. The corridor is the regional site of a planned gas pipeline running from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan, Pakistan and into India. The pipeline is planned to provide an Independent energy supply to India, a nation with over 1Billion inhabitants.

The campaigners gather at the Cenotaph War Memorial to start their 229 minutes vigil for the 229 soldiers who have been killed predominantly in the South Afghani Gas Corridor. The corridor is the regional site of a planned gas pipeline running from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan, Pakistan and into India. The pipeline is planned to provide an Independent energy supply to India, a nation with over 1Billion inhabitants.

A police officer arives a few minutes later to enquire as to why the campaigners are present.

A police officer arives a few minutes later to enquire as to why the campaigners are present.

A man stands talking to the campaigners a short while later as others stand opposite looking on.

A man stands talking to the campaigners a short while later as others stand opposite looking on.

Some time later a crowd develops including schoolchildren being guided through london by their teacher.

Some time later a crowd develops including schoolchildren being guided through london by their teacher.

Others arrive and begin taking pictures.

Others arrive and begin taking pictures.

Despite the peaceful intentions, and conduct, of the peace campaigners, police arrive before the vigil is complete and impose themselves.

Despite the peaceful intentions, and conduct, of the peace campaigners, police arrive before the vigil is complete and impose themselves.

Long-time Peace Campaigner and veteran, Maria Gallastegui, holds up her banner with another man while a police officer talks on his phone to a senior officer.

Long-time Peace Campaigner and veteran, Maria Gallastegui, holds up her banner with another man while a police officer talks on his phone to a senior officer.

Before the vigil is complete, the Campaigners are driven away.

Before the vigil is complete, the Campaigners are driven away.