Hudson, Marc

Hudson, Marc

Marc Hudson

1 August 2019Feature

Some thoughts on how to improve meetings from a fed-up campaigner

Franz Sedlacek, Ghosts on a Tree (1933) via WikiArt

I think there are two major reasons why people come to public meetings (and, to a lesser extent, organising meetings). First, they come to learn facts and perspectives about ‘an issue’ – to get beyond the headlines. If you’re not particularly confident around the skills of tracking down different sources and perspectives and comparing and contrasting them, then this can be a relatively efficient way of getting information.

11 December 2018Blog

Speakers at a London book launch describe some of the many challenges we face around race and racism and connections with other oppressions.

Over 50 people gathered in London on Saturday 10 November to celebrate the launch of a new book, The Fire Now: Anti-Racist Scholarship in Times of Explicit Racial Violence.  The event was a welcome mix of hearing from different authors (people of colour and also white) about the work they had contributed, followed by a thoughtful Q and A and discussion, refreshments and more incisive observations by the rapper Lowkey and…

26 October 2018Blog

An important new book on anti-racism in the age of Trump and Brexit is coming soon.

A new book, The Fire Now: Anti-Racist Scholarship in Times of Explicit Racial Violence, published by Zed Books is being launched on Saturday 10 November in London. Peace News contributor Marc Hudson conducted an email interview with one of the book's three editors, Remi Joseph-Salisbury, presidential fellow in…

1 August 2017Feature

With the ever-cumulative emissions growing, a climate activist envisions the world two years from now and the lessons that tomorrow can teach today

Montage of 2005 Hurricane Katrina damage in Bayou La Batre, Alabama, USA (showing the cargo ship M/V Caribbean Clipper and fishing boats pushed ashore near the bayou) and David Attenborough. Photos: NOAA, agency of US Federal Government; and Malcolm McCallum via wikimedia Commons

Sometimes Mother Nature gives climate change activists a boost. She tried in the summer of 1988. She tried again in August 2005, when Hurricane Katrina bullseyed New Orleans. She tried again in the long hot summer…

1 February 2017Comment

Marc Hudson and Dr Tanzil Chowdury remember a Pan-Africanist, poet and environmental campaigner

Deyika Nzeribe. Photo: Green Party

Marc Hudson: Born in Hulme, Manchester, Deyika Nzeribe was a poet and and the chair of Commonword, which supports new and aspiring writers. He was also a co-founder of the Northern Police Monitoring Project, which works against police harassment; a trustee of the Manchester Environmental Education Network; and an organiser of the Pan-African PAC45 Foundation conference. While always concerned about environmental matters, Deyika became involved…

25 November 2014Review

Lexington Books, 2014; 222pp; £51.95

The school exercise books in Mozambique used to have an exhortation on the cover. In Portuguese, they said 'Let us study and make of our learning an instrument of the liberation of the people.' This was, in the years after independence and during the attacks by South African backed bandits, a stark reminder of the need for the young to put 'back' into society, to build the nation.

Tanja Müller has written a fascinating and moving book about one little known aspect of Mozambique's…

28 September 2014Feature

A transcript of an oddly-traumatic nonviolent training session

images: Marc Roberts

Thanks so much for asking me to facilitate your strategy and skills-share day. I really admire the work that ‘Peace Activists Resisting Plutocracy’ (PARP) has done over the years. So much so that I’ve knocked 10% off my very reasonable fee.*

This is going to be a session about how we find out who in the room has what skills, and how we can find out what skills we don’t have, but would…

21 July 2014Review

In historian Timothy Garton Ash’s book The File, there’s an anecdote about a prominent East German activist finally figuring out who the very-well-informed spy was in her life (names had been blacked out in the files she could see). It was her husband.

He had romanced her in order to get a paid job feeding back information to the Stasi, the East German secret police.

I often used this as an example of just how corrupt East German society was. That sort of thing…

9 June 2014Comment

Another staggering work of heart-breaking genius – about activists and academics

‘Run!!’ The activist yanked on the plasti-cuffs tying him to the academic. ‘Run THIS way NOW.’

They fled. They fled the tear gas and the screaming and the thud thud thud overhead. They ran through streets littered with abandoned placards, past puddles of blood and reefs of glass. Ducking into shops, out back exits, through alleys and over fences, leaving the terrifying kettle and the mass de-arrest behind them.


They walked along the pavement, holding hands as if they…

3 April 2014Comment

Activism and fiction

The absurdly handsome activist bit his lip. The Peace News crew were threatening military action if the final extended deadline for a 2,000 word essay on ‘Activism and Fiction’ was missed. The clock was most definitely two minutes to midnight.

He sighed, ran a hand through his thick shoulder-length blond hair, and thought quickly. His hands flew with perfect acuracy across the keyboard. ‘The four books under review, all by women, are useful and...’

1 September 2013Review

OUP USA, 2012; 224pp; £18.99

Do you give a damn about the future of democracy? Read this book.

Do you want tools to help our species to respond to climate change with the speed and breadth it needs? Read this book (although it barely mentions climate change at all).

Do you need to restore your faith in the ability of academics to have important ideas and insights and express them in real English? Read this book.

Kathleen Blee, an American sociologist, spent four years attending the meetings of new…

1 December 2005Review

Wild Goose Publications, 2003. ISBN 1 901557 76 6; 232pp; £9.99

Margaret Legum has written a good and interesting book, but not the one she set out to write.

Part of the problem is that the book emerged from a set of lectures given at a University of Capetown Summer School. There is therefore an expectation that the reader already has a relatively clear understanding of the social and ecological costs of unfettered capitalism. While this is true for South Africa, other parts of the world still have a (diminishing) cushion of illusion. I fear that…

1 June 2005Review

A Pen Press Publication, 2004; ISBN 1 904754 75 9; £7.99

Many Peace News readers will have written polite(!) letters to their MPs and various ministers.

Usually a reply comes, written in mandarin, full of comforting phrases, often regretting that such and such a question could “only be answered at disproportionate cost”. A waste, perhaps, of time and postage, with no satisfaction. What if, though, you stopped being polite to the criminals who run the show? Kevin Wicker has found out, receiving a few anodyne replies and even fewer…

1 March 2005Review

Rising Tide, Platform, Friends of the Earth, 2004; 32 A5 pages; 50p;

Our wondrous Western Civilisation, with its self-image of progress, rationality and human rights has, over the last hundred years, become a brutal glutton for oil. This much should be obvious to everyone. What isn't so obvious - but is made so in this short and punchy booklet produced by three campaigning groups - is the price paid by western workers, citizens of Majority World countries and the biosphere itself.

It moves swiftly (two pages per topic) through oil and conflict,…

1 June 2004Review

Transnational Institute TN Briefing Series No 2003/1. Available for free download at

Any TNI production merits close attention, and this handsomely produced, tightly argued and informative briefing is no exception.

As stated in the introduction;

The Kyoto Protocol has begun laying the foundation for a completely new global marketplace in greenhouse gases. Six gases... will be traded interchangeably in the brokerage houses and trading floors of the world markets. These `environmental markets' are being left to the private sector and neo-liberal government…