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"Peace News has compiled an exemplary record... its tasks have never been more critically important than they are today." Noam Chomsky

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Peace News log archive: March 2014

Articles from the Peace News log.
For archive articles from the whole site, look here

For many of us, reading Peace News or attending Peace News events has sometimes had a significant impact in some way. We would be very grateful if you could send us your stories and views on what Peace News has done for you.

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In 500 words or less, please tell us what Peace News means to you.

Has reading Peace News raised your awareness of new issues or changed your mind about something important? Has attending a PN event led to an important connection or initiative? Has the content of the paper encouraged you to create or join a group, or to take part in new activities? Has it helped to meet the needs of your group or organisation? Have you helped to produce it or appeared in it?

Your responses will form part of our Social Audit, a research project designed to check the effectiveness of Peace News.

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Published since 1886 the print of edition of Freedom is to be discontinued.

The Freedom Collective, publishers of Freedom, the anarchist periodical founded in 1886, decided at a meeting on 3 March 2014 to discontinue printing and concentrate on online publication.  After the second printed edition of 2014, the intention is to publish a special edition for the anarchist bookfair in October, and after that to print only occasional free sheets.

Peace News and Freedom have much in common. Donald Rooum, who has contributed cartoons to Peace News since 1962, has been associated with Freedom since 1944, and his Wildcat strip cartoon has appeared in every issue of Freedom since January 1988.

The Freedom Collective issued the following statement on 10 March 2014:

"Since Freedom: A Journal of Anarchist Socialism first appeared in 1886 it has been in the form of a newspaper to be sold. Now the Freedom Collective has decided that we shall move content online, accompanied by a freesheet, after publication of the upcoming second issue of 2014.

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Opting to do something can lead to various forms of activism and that in turn can lead to the difficult area of politics. Saying 'no' to what we oppose is one approach.

How many of us are in some way dissatisfied with the way things are in the world? Perhaps you've witnessed some grave injustice or you're even the victim of a social ill? Maybe you've spent years in academic settings trying to understand what's wrong with the world, but isn't the point to change it? Maybe you just know, things aren't meant to be like this.

Chances are you can relate to most if not all of the above and if so you might have been drawn to do something about it. Making the choice to do something about situations we don't like can lead us to various forms of activism and that in turn can lead to the difficult area of politics, in one form or another.

Politics is something of a touchy subject. For some it's a passion, or a necessary evil to make change. For others it's pointless, boring and is best represented by a bunch of middle aged old men who sit around in parliament spouting hot air at each other, pretending to disagree whilst making polices that no one outside parliament wants. This latter view of politics brings to mind budget cuts, MP's allowance scandals, fracking in the “desolate” countryside and failed deals on Climate Change, not to mention illegal wars or drone strikes in far away places.

The political context in Britain at this point is rather bleak, when you think of it in these terms. More recently there has been a shift in government policy towards “permanent austerity”, showing that the budget cuts weren't about “solving” the financial crisis but were an ideological attack to the working class. Hardly a surprising move for a Tory government. Even more shocking, perhaps, are the revelations about the extent of corporate power that George Monbiot has written about recently, including allowing for “corporate courts” to protect multinational companies in international trade policies and the idea of having “ministerial buddies” available for meetings at companies' every request. These and other troubling insights have led Monbiot to suggest that politics has failed in bringing about positive social change and will continue to do so until corporate power is challenged.

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