Jones, Sian

Jones, Sian

Sian Jones

8 February 2013Comment

In December, our good friend Ian Thomas died, unexpectedly, aged 49. He had a heart attack while asleep at home in Southampton.

We got to know Ian in the early 1990s when starting Women’s Aid to Former Yugoslavia. Ian had co-founded Tantric Technologies in 1989 – a worker’s co-op providing IT services. He – and Clive Debenham, who died last year – helped us become early adopters of the then-new email technology to communicate with women’s and peace groups in the region via the ZaMir network. He also did time in our warehouses, packing and loading aid onto the trucks.

Over the following 20 years, we had…

1 March 2010Review

Pluto Press 2009; ISBN 978-0-74-532-901-7; 256pp; £17.99

What does it really mean to “demonstrate in solidarity” or “support a solidarity campaign”, or to go to a country and join a solidarity project or action?

People Power brings together some answers from those involved in international nonviolent solidarity action – supporting conscientious objectors in Turkey (War Resisters International) – as international observers or in transnational accompaniment (Peace Brigades International) – and in global solidarity and transnational campaigns…

1 March 2009Review

University of California Press, 2009; ISBN 978-0-520-257-29-0; 240pp; £17.95

What Kind of Liberation? is a detailed critique of the US authorities’ promise of an occupation which would liberate Iraqi women. It stands out from other writings on post-war Iraq, not only because Iraqi women are its subject, but because of the transparency of the authors in setting out how their own identities, gender, politics and activism have constructed their analysis.

The book is based on interviews with diaspora and refugee women or those able to travel outside, together…

1 February 2009Review

Verso, 2008; ISBN 9781844672950; 534pp; £24.99

This vast history spans the late 19th and early 20th centuries, charting not only the life of Edward Carpenter, but also the early development of today’s political and social movements. But at its heart is Carpenter’s struggle with legitimising homosexuality, both in his own life and as an integral part of a new way of living.

While Carpenter’s commitments to the labour movement, democracy and social transformation led to his involvement in adult education, the trade union movement…

1 November 2008Review

Zed Books, 2007; ISBN 978-1-84277-866-1; 232pp; £17.99

In history, women who failed to adopt traditional gendered roles have been characterised as “the bad, the mad and the good”. Similarly, narratives of mothers, monsters and whores are used to deny the agency of women who confound the stereotypes of passive victims of war or non-violent peace women, and who act with violence in the context of war or armed conflict.

These narratives have their roots in western myths: Medea, the vengeful mother, who killed all of her children; the…

1 April 2008News

On 8 March, Aldermaston Women's Peace Camp (AWPC) read in The Independent that we were packing up our camp for the last time; famous people were mourning our loss and messages of support were flooding in.

This followed the judgement on 6 March at the High Court in a judicial review, brought by AWPC, of the legality of three Military Lands Act Byelaws introduced (as part of a package with SOCPA) in 2007, one of which prohibited camping.
We had argued against this, on…

1 December 2007Review

Ashgate, 2006; ISBN 075644812; 234pp; £55

This series of academic papers focuses on how gender relations - masculinities and femininities - have been represented in the “war on terror”, exploring how gendered narratives were used in the US to justify both the wars on Afghanistan and Iraq, and domestic measures taken to control those perceived as a threat to security.


Perhaps the most accessible example is the assertion - used by the Bush administration following 9/11 to sell “the war on terror” - that the (initial)…

1 October 2007Feature

By the time parliament voted in March 2007 to replace the Trident nuclear submarine fleet, AWE was busy building new facilities to test, design and build new warheads -- while the government continued to tell us that a decision on the new warheads would not be needed “until the next parliament”.

Britain has designed, tested and built nuclear warheads at Aldermaston for 50 years, including the warheads for the current Trident missiles. In 2002 AWE published their Site Development…

1 February 2007News

Later in the month, groups from Ireland, Leicester, Staffordshire and Stoke all blockaded successfully. Trident Ploughshares blockaded with the help of Faslane Peace Camp, who used nine-year old concrete barrel lock-ons to great effect. One group from TP attempted to use bikes to blockade. These tactics are part of the continuing effort to overcome the large numbers of police officers and resources.

Christmas crackers Scottish Students blockaded the week before Christmas with steel…

1 November 2005News

As our space to protest becomes increasingly curtailed by new legislation from a government obsessed with order and terror, more than 200 people from a diverse range of groups and campaigns met in London on 23 October to assert our right to protest.

The Freedom to Protest conference kicked off with contributions from school students, the Smash EDO anti-arms campaign, parliament square protesters, police monitors, and sacked Gate Gourmet workers, all demonstrating their persistence…

1 October 2005Feature

Well maybe not. Plans to build a £20 million state-of-the-art laser facility at Aldermaston are beginning to unravel. Thefate of the laser, which forms part of the massive new developments at AWE Aldermaston, the UK's nuclear bomb factory, currently lies in the hands of the West Berkshire planning committee.

For the past two years, Aldermaston Women's Peace Camp (AWPC) have been attempting to undermine AWE's plans, through opposing the developments as they come up before the planning…

1 July 2005Feature

As part of the week of G8 actions, more than 1000 people protested at Dungavel Detention Centre (officially Dungavel Immigration Removal Centre) on 5 July against the detention of asylum seekers, in a demonstration organised by groups including the

3 May 2005Comment

As the UK delegation to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference pack their suitcases, their speeches on verification and a shiny new presentation about some decommissioning they did several years ago, will they also have room in their briefcases for the Aldermaston Site Development Strategy Plan (SDSP?

We suspect that the government's massive investment in a new building programme at the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) Aldermaston won't quite fit into the…

1 September 2003Review

New Internationalist Publications/Verso 2002. ISBN 1 85984 426 X, 144pp

It's not often you read a book which does just what it says on the cover, but in this excellent little book - based on his years of research and activism in the UK based Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) - Gideon Burrows has succeeded in providing a very useful guide to “the arms trade for beginners”.

Masses of statistical information is threaded through chapters on the countries and corporations which control the arms trade; the impact of arms sales on conflicts, human rights and…

1 June 2002Feature

Siân Jones examines the "feminisation" of western militaries and argues that the gendered view of peacekeeping and peacebuilding, by both militaries and mainstream feminists, has created new challenges for antimilitarists.

Peace News 2443 (Gender and militarism) began to open the door of a debate within the antimilitarist movement on activist responses to the changing military landscape. As western military forces adapt to new roles, how does that movement respond to the feminisation of the military, as seen in increasing numbers of women in the military, and in the deployment of armies in peace-keeping operations. How too, do we respond to the military's co-option of the traditional - and often…