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What’s up in 2017?

PN wrote to 32 peace groups around the UK asking what they were planning for 2017. These are the seven responses we’d received by the time of going to press.

Campaign for the Accountability of American Bases

1) Please explain your aims or purpose in about 25 words

Challenge the legitimacy of the presence and role of the US visiting forces and their agencies with the ultimate aim of the total removal of the US bases from the UK.

2) What’s your organisation’s budget for campaigns in 2017?

[No reply]

3) Do you have paid staff? If so, how many full-time and part-time? Otherwise, how many volunteers?

There are no paid staff and approximately 12 volunteers, with varying amounts of commitment.

4) Please briefly explain what plans you have for projects / campaigns in 2017 (limited to 2 or 3 projects)

5) If you have plans for events in 2017, please give some brief details

  • A weekly Tuesday evening demonstration at NSA Menwith Hill, a newsletter, monitoring relevant planning applications, Keep Space for Peace week event, website and Facebook presence. Asking parliamentary questions and commissioning research may be added to these.
  • The annual 4 July ‘Independence from America Day’ demonstration will be on Tuesday 4 July, 3pm–9pm, with speakers, music, food.

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East London Against Arms Fairs

1) Please explain your aims

To cancel the DSEI (defence and security equipment international) arms fair, held at the ExCeL exhibition centre in East London every two years since 2001.

2) Campaign budget in 2017?

No regular income. No budget. Supporters and sympathisers meet expenses.

3) Paid staff?

No paid staff. Irregular number of supporters, including musicians.

4) Projects in 2017?

Musical protests including leafleting and petitions outside ExCeL exhibitions to raise awareness of DSEI and the arms trade. Petitions on paper and online to cancel arms fairs.

5) Events in 2017?

As above, including musical protests at ExCeL on 4 March and 29 April.
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INNATE – An Irish Network for Nonviolent Action Training & Education

1) Your aims?

INNATE is a nonviolence network and organising group in Ireland supporting campaigning and education for peace, social progress, justice, inclusion and sustainability. We work in both Northern Ireland and the Republic.

2) Campaign budget in 2017?

Small. Total expenditure for the year is unlikely to be over £1,500 – £2,000.

3) Paid staff?

No paid staff. Half a dozen volunteers (a lot more members, subscribers and contacts).

4) Projects in 2017?

We are working, in co-operation with others, on peace trails for Belfast, Derry, Dublin and hopefully Kerry. It is particularly important in the Northern Ireland context to tell stories about ancient or modern work for peace, justice, inclusion and sustainability.

We will continue to produce Nonviolent News (in short paper and longer email and web editions) monthly.

We will continue to support different groups, campaigns and individuals through training, information and other support.

5) Events in 2017?

From 1 March – 13 April we are involved in a major exhibition on ‘War-Torn Children’ at the Linen Hall Library in Belfast. This is co-organised with Conflict Textiles and curated by Roberta Bacic.
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Milton Keynes Peace & Justice Network

1) – 5)

Milton Keynes Peace and Justice Network was founded in 1984. It has become a focal point for people living in the Milton Keynes area who are concerned about the condition of our world, who care about issues such as world poverty, environmental destruction, threats to peace and denial of human rights, and who want to do something about them.

Your questionnaire has arrived at a time of flux as we are considering disbanding after 30+ years of P&J activities.

So: no paid workers, we are a network and publish a newsletter bi-monthly, have a supper meeting and speaker monthly. We support other organisations by publicising through an email list, website and Facebook.

What the future holds, I’m not sure!
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Musicians for Peace & Disarmament
(MPD, formerly MANA)

1) Your aims?

Raising funds for the peace movement by organising musical events; increasing awareness of nonviolent methods of resolving conflict; promoting collaboration between musicians and the wider peace movement.

2) Campaign budget in 2017?

We don’t have a campaign budget.

3) Paid staff?

We have recently taken on an administrator who works from home, one day a week.

4) & 5) Projects & Events

A chamber concert on Friday 2 March at Hinde Street Methodist Church, London W1U 2QJ. All proceeds from our concerts are donated to organisations in the peace movement.

We are hoping to put on an orchestral concert in the autumn, but this is still in the planning stage.
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Peace Pledge Union

1) Your aims?

The PPU is a union of people who have pledged to take no part in war and to tackle its causes. The PPU promotes pacifism and challenges war and militarism in all their forms.

2) Campaign budget in 2017?

It’s not possible to be precise about this at this stage. Sorry.

3) Paid staff?

We have three part-time staff and we are in the process of recruiting another part-time member of staff. We rely heavily on volunteers.

4) Projects in 2017?

2017 promises to be an exciting year for PPU members.

After record sales of White Poppies in the last three years, we will be running a bigger-scale operation to keep up with demand. We will also be developing our campaigns against everyday militarism, working alongside others to challenge militarisation in schools, universities, local authorities and elsewhere. Including in the ‘No Pride in War’ campaign.

We will continue our work around the centenary of the First World War, preserving and promoting the legacy of conscientious objection.

5) Events in 2017?

  • 14–15 April: PPU presence at the National Union of Teachers conference in Cardiff, promoting peace education and resistance to the militarisation of schools.
  • 15 May: International Conscientious Objectors’ Day: Events around the UK run or supported by the PPU, coinciding with similar events around the world.
  • 3 June: PPU annual conference and AGM, London.
  • Run-up to 12 November: Promotion and sale of White Poppies; we will campaign for Remembrance events to remember all victims of war and to promote peace, not militarism.
  • 12 November: Alternative Remembrance Sunday Ceremony in London; support for other alternative Remembrance events around the UK.

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Trident Ploughshares

1) Your aims?

Trident Ploughshares is a campaign to disrupt and disarm the UK Trident nuclear weapons system in a nonviolent, open, peaceful and fully accountable way.

2) Campaign budget in 2017?

[No reply]

3) Paid staff?

We have just over 100 members and many more supporters who come along to our actions and events.

4) Projects & Events

Any time in 2017. Unannounced acts of resistance against weapons of mass destruction.

  • Monday 27 March. ‘Oyez! Oyez! Good news from the United Nations.’ Trident Ploughshares and friends. Meet Trafalgar Square 9.30am for Town Crier action. Small groups taking the news to central London venues. Contact: Sylvia Boyes. tridentsylvia@gmail.com
  • 8 – 16 July. Disarmament camp at Coulport in the West of Scotland. As the global nuclear ban treaty conference finishes in New York, we will gather to disrupt the Trident submarine bases at Faslane & Coulport. Contact: Jane Tallents. tp2000@gn.apc.org
  • 4 – 8 September. Trident Ploughshares day of action at DSEI to highlight the involvement of the world’s largest arms companies in Trident, as part of the week of action against the DSEI arms fair. Contact: Chris Bluemel. chrisbluemel@yahoo.co.uk

There will be further responses from peace, environmental and other groups (including PN itself!) online:
www.peacenews.info

Topics: Activism