Monday's meeting of our local Stop the War group determined to build a good turnout from Tyneside for the national demonstration. We agreed to book a coach for the 24 October protest - organised by Stop the War with CND and the British Muslim Initiative - and publicise it widely.
We'll particularly be looking to local union branches for support. In May a relatively small central London demo for Gaza drew £500 in union donations for a coach from Newcastle, so there's likely to be good backing for what promises to be a much bigger event calling for an end to the occupation of Afghanistan.
We also confirmed the plans for a protest when Peter Mandelson visits to deliver a public lecture hosted by local MP and Foreign Secretary David Miliband:
Bring the troops home - Jobs not Bombs
Friday 23 October, assemble 6pm (lecture is at 7pm)
Harton School, South Shields
Following these demonstrations will be the big Edinburgh protest on 14 November, when NATO defence ministers assemble in the city. We're encouraging everyone to head to Edinburgh to demand the masters of war end the bloodshed in Afghanistan. Details will be posted soon.