Lowe, Martyn

Lowe, Martyn

Martyn Lowe

26 February 2023Blog

A tribute to a warm and humorous peace activist and community worker.

The death in January of Neil Collins has left a gap in my own and many other people’s lives.

Neil Collins was one of those individuals who, though involved in many campaigning groups and organisations over the years, was not someone who wrote all that much.

He was very knowledgeable about many aspects of the early history of the anarchist movement and the peace movement. I learnt a lot about this history and honed much of my radical political thinking while having long chats…

1 December 2005Review

1971; DVD release, 2005

The first time I saw this film must have been shortly after it was released some 35 years ago. I felt that what was being described within this pseudo-documentary could happen to both me and my mates - really scary!

I remember it as a film which had a greater shock value to me than the more famous Watkins film The War Game, and even after all of these years I still feel that it is a stronger and much more shocking movie. The film is set in the America of the not-too-distant future in…

1 December 2005Review

Germany, 2005, 117 minutes

White Rose was the name of a student group in Munich that was engaged in the production of clandestine publications - leaflets that stated that the Nazi dictatorship were losing the war, and showed that it was totally futile to continue the conflict, especially after the horrific loss of German lives at Stalingrad.

The film concentrates on Sophie Scholl and, to a much lesser extent, her brother Hans, who were both leading figures within White Rose. It covers what happened to the pair…

1 February 2005Review

Pen Press Publishers 2004; ISBN 1 9047 5412 0

The fate of those brave men who deserted the German army during the Nazi dictatorship, and what became of them after WW2, is something which few people know much about. That these circa 20,000 deserters were either shot, or placed in labour battalions was bad enough. Yet having been branded with a “criminal record” for their war resistance, they suffered more fiscal, social, and employment discrimination once they were back within civilian society. As former “criminals” they were restricted…

1 September 2004Review

Kusanoe Syuppannkai, 2003. ISBN 4 876 48186 5

This is a book which makes a very useful contribution to the literature which already exists about the use of atomic weapons against Japan.

Noritaka Fukami was in Nagasaki at the time that the bomb was dropped. After the bomb fell he was involved in some of the rescue work within the city. Storm Over Nagasaki is a scroll depicting the bombing, and provides a visual record of what he and others experienced at the time.

Suffering from radiation sickness, he committed suicide in…

1 April 2004Review

Seven Stories Press 2003l; ISBN 1 58322584 6

This is a book which has three separate - but related - parts to it. It starts with an essay by Micah Ian Wright entitled “Moment of Clarity”, in which he writes about his experiences in the US military during the invasion of Panama in 1989 - something which made him question the aims of US foreign policy, and which eventually led him to his remixed poster project.

The most striking part of this work is the remixed (mainly) US military propaganda posters taken from WW1 and WW2 and…

1 March 2002Review

The Himat Group 2000. Third edition, no ISBN, pp290. US$12.00. Available from World Friendship Centre, 8-10 Higashi Kannonmachi, Nishi-Ku, Hiroshima 733, Japan; or Peace Resource Centre, Plye Centre Box 1183, Wilmington College, Wilmington, Ohio 45177, USA

This is a book of essays, written by H bomb survivors and concerned citizens.

It is a very useful book for anyone wanting to hear about the first use of the nukiller bomb, and about what nuclear weapons actually do to people.

It also contains messages of support from various foreign leaders, which include several presidents and prime ministers.

Unfortunately, this also includes a message from the still controversial ex-UN Secretary-General, Kurt Waldheim. Perhaps…

1 December 2001Review

3rd Edition, July 2001. ISBN 1492 4234, 114 pp, A4 spiral bound

This is a very useful work, which includes a 76-page bibliography that might well be described as an essential reading list for radicals.

The most useful part of this publication is devoted to directory of radical periodicals, which provides not just contact details, but also descriptions of what political issues they cover. However, these are mostly Canadian, US and British periodicals.

Many of them will already be well known amongst North American activists. For example:…

1 September 2001Review

House of Stratus, 2000. ISBN 1 84232 071 8

Here is an interesting question for you: how does the military protect its soldiers from chemical weapons? The answer, of course, is by exposing them to these toxic gases in “controlled” experiments, as “human guinea pigs”.

Since the British Government opened the “chemical warfare experimental establishment” at Porton Down in 1916, it is estimated that some 30,000 military personnel have been used in such tests.

Porton scientists also conducted these test on themselves. Tests…

1 January 2001Review

Zed Books, 2000. ISBN 1 85649 873 5 paperback, £15.95

This is a book which looks at what has traditionally been regarded as “gun running”, but which is in reality a covert aspect of many nations' foreign policy.

This covers the “small arms” (guns and rifles to you and me), which are used to fuel many of the world's civil wars. This includes arms that are also sold on, from nation to nation and from nation to insurrectionary groups, as a form of covert government activity. Plus arms which might publicly be represented as a form of aid to…