Rigby, Andrew

Andrew Rigby
1 August 2015Feature

Extracts from the new book, Popular Protest in Palestine, an important study of popular unarmed resistance to the Israeli occupation since the second intifada

As one member of a popular committee in Silwan [on the outskirts of Jerusalem] observed: ‘A major challenge is the coordination of nonviolent activities. Some focus on the [Israeli Separation] Wall, others on checkpoints and others on settlements. There is no coordination like there was in the first intifada.’

Underpinning the different challenges organisers identified as obstacles was what many observed to be a pervasive lack of trust in leadership at any level, including…

19 December 2013Comment

Our dear friend and comrade Howard Clark was a mainstay of Peace News since the 1970s and of War Resisters' International (WRI) since the 1980s.

Howard's sudden death has left us shocked and bereaved, and with an irrational sense of outrage that he has left us so unexpectedly. He was only 63 and in the middle of helping organise next summer’s WRI conference in South Africa. He leaves a gap which others must strive to fill. It will be difficult, and the following overview and appreciation of his life as a peace activist, organiser and researcher will give some indication of the scale of the challenge.

But before reviewing his…

13 August 2011Feature

Andrew Rigby tells the story of the "peace symbol"

The most common representation of peace emblems in Britain occurs on people's clothing and attire in the form of badges, ear-rings and the like, or in the guise of “bumper stickers” and other emblems attached to cars and bicycles - personal possessions emblazoned with such symbols as rainbows, doves, olive leaves, broken rifles and “smiling suns”.

These are mobile peace symbols, worn for display and as items of fashion, but they can also signify something about the general…

13 August 2011Feature

Utopia - no place, a never-never land beyond the realm of everyday experience, a dream world that is unattainable, a fantasy vision to which people might like to fly in their dreams and escape the chains of reality.

Utopian was the pejorative term also used by Marxs associate Freidrich Engels to dismiss the work of early nineteenth century socialists like Robert Owen and Charles Fourier, who were naïve enough to believe that you could create a world based on the values of…

1 June 2011Feature

A PN board member looks back over the early years

Peace News had its origins in a pacifist study group convened by Humphrey Moore in Wood Green, London in 1936. Having completed their programme of studies they decided to engage in some form of practical action that would propagate the pacifist case to a wide audience. The publication of the first issue of Peace News on 6 June 1936 was the result, financed by donations from members of the study group and their friends.

The first issue had a print run of 5,000. Humphrey Moore was the…

1 April 2004Review

Verso, 2002. ISBN 1 85984 694 7; 451pp

During the 1948 war that resulted in the establishment of the state of Israel, some 750,000 Palestinians fled their homes and became refugees. Following the 1967 war in which Israel occupied the West Bank and the Gaza Strip many more Palestinians were displaced. There are now somewhere between four and six million - two thirds of the Palestinian people - living outside the borders of historic Palestine.

In many ways I think of my friend Hassan as a typical Palestinian refugee. His…

1 March 2003Review

published by and obtainable from Peace and Prosperity, PO Box 6, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD3 0XB, Britain; also available via http://www.peaceandprosperity.org.uk ISBN 0 9541814 0 9; 176 pp; £8.99

Steve Schofield is one of the foremost experts on demilitarisation and the conversion of military resources to civilian use. He is a kind of practical utopian, someone who has always used his specialist knowledge and rigorous analytical approach to inform his pursuit of a world without war.

In his latest book he takes a clear look at how the search for the twin goals of peace and prosperity - through the three pillars of federalism, international trade and comprehensive disarmament…

1 March 2003Review

Routledge, 2002; ISBN 0415 27855 4. 224 pp, US$80

Published works relating to forgiveness generally fall into one of three categories. First off are the Christians who urge us all to follow God's example and forgive and embrace all those who have done us wrong. Then there are the therapeutic manuals produced by behavioural psychologists and new-age gurus that tell us how to achieve the mental and emotional fulfilment which is the fruit of forgiveness by a simple six or maybe twelve-stage process. Finally there are the philosophical works…

1 December 2001Review

James Currey, 2001. ISBN 0 85255 859 7, 364 pp, £19.95 p/b

I had a Rwandan student who told me that during the genocide of 1994 husbands in cross-community marriages would kill their wives (and vice-versa). It is beyond imagining. This was not some bureaucratically organised, impersonal, rational process like the Holocaust of the Second World War. This was a genuinely popular genocide.

What most of us cannot understand is how it came about that hundreds of thousands of people who had never killed before took part in the mass slaughter. It is…

1 June 2001Review

Saqi Books, 2000. ISBN 0 86356 043. 294 pp

Over recent years, writings on gender in the Middle East have tended to focus on the status of women under Islam. The contributors to this volume, by contrast, explore the manner in which male identities are created and reproduced in different societies and settings within the Middle East.

What the contributors share is the basic assumption that masculinity is socially constructed, there is no fixed determinant of “male-ness”. What surprised me in reading some of the accounts of how…

1 June 2001Review

E & FN Spon, 2000, published in Canada and US by Routledge. ISBN 0 419 24670 3, 305pp.

More than twenty years ago Dennis Hardy wrote a great book on alternative communities in 19th century England which is now out of print. He has now written a “sequel”, a history of community experiments in England during the first half of the 20th century.

This new book bears some of the stylistic hallmarks of the earlier one: it is written with deep sympathy for the pioneers and their projects. The text is complemented by a host of photographs and other illustrations that help bring…

1 January 2001Review

Westport, CT: Praeger, 2000. ISBN 0 275 96516 3, 193pp

Genocide, according to the UN Convention of 1948, is defined as any acts committed with the intent to destroy in whole or in part a national, ethnic, racial or religious group. This book represents a review of the various dimensions of a strategy that might lead to a genocide-free world.

The key strands identified include 1) Strengthening the institutions and actors like the UN and NGOs that are dedicated to the monitoring and the protection of human rights - including the…