Terence Bunch

Photojournalist & Writer

Senior figures from the coalition government, the Royal Navy (RN), the Royal Air Force, (RAF) and the British Army walk the short distance from the Ministry of Defence (MOD) to cabinet offices hosting the National Security Council (NSC) to take part in negotiations for the Strategic Defence Review (SDR). The announcement of the results of the negotiations are expected on October 19th , just one day short of the announcement of austerity measures. Downing Street, London. 7th October 2010. All pictures © Terence Bunch.

Ninth Anniversary Naming the Dead Afghanistan War. London. 7th October 2010.

By Published Last Edited 2010-10-07 00:00:00

On the ninth anniversay of the beginning of the Afghanistan war, and at the start of the tenth year of occupation, peace campaigners from the Justice Not Vengeance group (JNV) gather opposite Downing Street in London for nine hours to read the names of those who have been killed on all sides during the conflict.

They gather on the day senior military commanders meet with British Government ministers to negotiate the terms of funding for the armed forces of the UK over the coming period otherwise known as the Strategic Defence Review (SDR).

The negotiations take place just over two years after UK and US financial markets collapse sparking direct intervention into capital markets by those Governemnts primarily engaged in the so-called War on Terror.

The SDR was due to be completed in September 2010 but due to inter-service competition for resources the final announcement has been delayed and is now expected on October 19th just one day prior to the announcement of austerity measures, widely expected to cause severe drawing down of public services within the domestic UK public sector.

The coalition Government are now under intense pressure from non Labour party affiliated groups to favour the financial welfare of the domestic UK population over the armed forces and to take this opportunity to engage fully with demands for the withdrawal of the armed forces of the UK from Afghanistan.

As the anniversary passes, and the first decade of the occupation of Afghanistan attempts to begin, most media around the world continue to reveal chronic inability to understand what goals the military forces of the International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) are working towards, thereby confirming that the war and occupation of Afghanistan has now reached its logical conclusion.

Downing Street, London. 7th October 2010.

Ting-Sha symbols are laid out ready to be used to mark each minute for the naming of each person killed since the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan. The naming of the dead ceremony has been taking place outside Downing Street form many years and during the Labour Government, were met with arrest and summons for prosecution in the courts. Since 2005, the controversial Serious Organised Crime and Police Act (SOCPA) has been before Parliament for repeal and while it continues to be used as notification, it is not being enforced.

Ting-Sha symbols are laid out ready to be used to mark each minute for the naming of each person killed since the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan. The naming of the dead ceremony has been taking place outside Downing Street form many years and during the Labour Government, were met with arrest and summons for prosecution in the courts. Since 2005, the controversial Serious Organised Crime and Police Act (SOCPA) has been before Parliament for repeal and while it continues to be used as notification, it is not being enforced.

Maya Evans, long time peace campaigner, Gabriel and Alice, along with others stand outside Downing Street as they read the names of those who have been killed on all sides.

Maya Evans, long time peace campaigner, Gabriel and Alice, along with others stand outside Downing Street as they read the names of those who have been killed on all sides.

The names of Afghanistan civilians, many of them children, are read out through the loudhailer through a microphone. In the last month the UN have declared in a report that the death toll among civilians in the country has risen by 31 percent as a direct result of continuing fighting between belligerents on all sides. The report cites aerial bombing as continuing to be the most harmful tactic used by pro-government forces. Children and women continue to bear the brunt of the violence with a 55 percent increase in child fatalities over the previous year.

The names of Afghanistan civilians, many of them children, are read out through the loudhailer through a microphone. In the last month the UN have declared in a report that the death toll among civilians in the country has risen by 31 percent as a direct result of continuing fighting between belligerents on all sides. The report cites aerial bombing as continuing to be the most harmful tactic used by pro-government forces. Children and women continue to bear the brunt of the violence with a 55 percent increase in child fatalities over the previous year.

Leaflets demanding and end to ISAF bombing of civilians are handed out to members of the public. As has been seen during the earlier part of the year, public opinion over the continuing occupation of Afghanistan remains hostile to the pro-war position and once again hundreds of leaflets are taken during the reading ceremony.

Leaflets demanding and end to ISAF bombing of civilians are handed out to members of the public. As has been seen during the earlier part of the year, public opinion over the continuing occupation of Afghanistan remains hostile to the pro-war position and once again hundreds of leaflets are taken during the reading ceremony.

Maya Evans reads the names of the dead in Afghanistan, on all sides.

Maya Evans reads the names of the dead in Afghanistan, on all sides.

An academic by the name of Andy Lui joins the reading ceremony after reading a letter printed in the UK Guardian newspaper, He travels from Newcastle to be with the campaigners and to show that anti-war actions involving the Afghanistan occupation can be joined by all members of the public regardless of their background or political affiliations.

An academic by the name of Andy Lui joins the reading ceremony after reading a letter printed in the UK Guardian newspaper, He travels from Newcastle to be with the campaigners and to show that anti-war actions involving the Afghanistan occupation can be joined by all members of the public regardless of their background or political affiliations.

Buddhists who have joined the reading ceremony, and who have been chanting and drumming for most of the day, bow first to Downing Street, and then to each other as the ceremony ends.

Buddhists who have joined the reading ceremony, and who have been chanting and drumming for most of the day, bow first to Downing Street, and then to each other as the ceremony ends.

After nine years of war, hundreds of thousands of dead, an economy in ruins, major loss of reputation and international standing, chronic social disruption and severe political, social and cultural divisions emerging, the British people now face a stark choice...war or peace?

After nine years of war, hundreds of thousands of dead, an economy in ruins, major loss of reputation and international standing, chronic social disruption and severe political, social and cultural divisions emerging, the British people now face a stark choice...war or peace?