Hill, Symon

Hill, Symon

Symon Hill

1 June 2022News

Peace campaigners across globe mark International Conscientious Objectors' Day

Messages of solidarity were sent around the globe on 15 May, as protests and vigils were held to mark International Conscientious Objectors’ Day.

Countries such as Colombia and Turkey saw demonstrations calling for the abolition of conscription. Peace campaigners in countries from Spain to Japan sent messages of support to conscientious objectors in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.

In Finland, protests against conscription were combined with demonstrations against the Finnish…

1 April 2022Feature

People on the streets are pointing the way out of war, says Symon Hill

Yurii Sheliazhenko has not left Kiev since the war began. The last time I heard from him, he apologised in case the background noise of explosions made it harder to hear him. His home often shakes following Russian missile attacks.

Yurii, secretary of the Ukrainian Pacifist Movement, is frustrated by the way the war is covered in international media. ‘Reporting on conflict focuses on warfare and almost ignores nonviolent resistance to war,’ he says. ‘Brave Ukrainian civilians are…

1 December 2021News

Wreaths of white poppies laid across UK

Wreaths of white poppies were laid in more than 20 towns and cities around the UK to remember all victims of war on 14 November, Remembrance Sunday.

The white poppy represents: remembrance for _all_ victims of war, a commitment to peace, and a challenge to attempts to glamorise or celebrate war. They were founded in 1933 by the Co-operative Women’s Guild.

The Peace Pledge Union (PPU) organised the National Alternative Remembrance Ceremony in London’s Tavistock Square, with…

11 December 2020News

Call for UK to 'remember Yemen'

Launching this year’s white poppy campaign, Geoff Tibbs of the Peace Pledge Union (PPU) encouraged people in the UK to ‘remember Yemen’, where British-trained Saudi forces are targeting civilians with British-made weapons.

Despite the closure of shops and other outlets, white poppy sales were only slightly below last year’s level.

There was a sharp rise in orders from schools. The PPU, who produce and distribute the white poppies, received over 200 orders for remembrance…

8 November 2018Blog

Sales of white poppies are higher this year than they've ever been – since the Co-operative Women's Guild created the symbol in 1933 to remember all those killed in war.

The Peace Pledge Union – the pacifist organisation that supplies and distributes white poppies in Britain – has sold 119,555 white poppies this year, as of the end of Wednesday 7 November.

The number is bound to rise further in the remaining days until Remembrance Sunday.

The previous record was 110,000 white poppies in 2015. Until 2014, the record was around 80,000 in 1938. Last year, the figure was 101,000.

The rise comes despite a…

1 April 2018News

Military police blame 'more urgent enquiries' for 'unacceptable delay' in bringing case to trial

On 23 March, it was revealed that 16- and 17-year-old recruits at the Army Foundation College in Harrogate made 50 allegations of abusive and violent behaviour by army instructors between 2014 and 2017. The Freedom of Information requests by Child Soldiers International and Liz Saville Roberts MP also revealed that there had been around 50 investigations by royal military police into staff at the college over the last decade, with allegations declared to have been proven in about 15 cases.…

1 December 2016News

Alternative remembrance day events held around UK

‘I would rather have been there than anywhere else in the world,’ said Scottish pacifist poet Ashby McGowan after the Alternative Remembrance Sunday Ceremony in London on 13 November. He added: ‘Like many of the people there, I was in tears during the ceremony.’

The Peace Pledge Union (PPU) organised the ceremony in Tavistock Square only a short distance from the official ceremony at the Cenotaph with its display of military pomp.

Ashby McGowan read some of his poetry…

13 August 2011Feature

No Trident Replacement

If Trident is replaced, it is our money that will pay for it.

Between seven and ten percent of tax raised is used for “defence” spending. Our money equips occupying troops, and subsidises arms companies. Trident provides even more reason to oppose military taxation. Trident will be funded by everyone in the UK, because we all pay tax. This includes pensioners, students and people receiving benefits, who all pay VAT. It would be virtually impossible not to. Withholding income tax is…

1 March 2008Feature

Mike Turner, the head of BAE, is used to getting his own way. He wrote furiously to Gordon Brown last July, ranting against Brown's decision to close the Defence Export Services Organisation (DESO).

DESO is a marketing agency for private arms companies, paid for by taxpayers.

DESO's closure follows years of campaigning. In 2006-7, groups including Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) focussed on the economic arguments against DESO. Brown realised that he could save money by…

1 December 2007Feature

In a dramatic ruling, the High Court has given the go-ahead for a review of the Government's decision on BAE's Saudi arms deals.

The ruling came on 9th November, in response to a legal challenge brought by Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) and The Corner House, an anti-corruption NGO. The judge, Justice Moses, insisted that the issue “cries out for a public hearing”.

He gave permission for a judicial review - a process by which a court considers if the Government has…

1 September 2007News

September will see the DSEi arms fair return to London in a year that has seen political and commercial support falling away from the UK arms trade.

DSEi's current owners Reed Elsevier - best known as publishers - announced in June that they would sell their arms fairs by the end of 2007.

The news followed a campaign co-ordinated by the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) which included Reed's own writers and shareholders. Commentators have now predicted a reduction in…

1 September 2007News

Anti-arms trade campaigners are celebrating a historic victory following the prime minister's announcement that he will close the infamous Defence Export Services Organisation (DESO), a unit of the Ministry of Defence that promotes sales for private arms companies.

DESO has long been seen as a channel through which arms dealers exercise excessive influence over government.

The news follows decades of activism against DESO, with a particularly high-profile campaign in the last…