Welcome to Peace News, the newspaper for the UK grassroots peace and justice movement. We seek to oppose all forms of violence, and to create positive change based on cooperation and responsibility. See more

"Peace News has compiled an exemplary record... its tasks have never been more critically important than they are today." Noam Chomsky

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The Peace News log

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Allen Lane, 2021; 256pp; £20

Bob Matthews was an American bomb aimer in WWII. He hit the largest air raid shelter in Kassel, Germany and killed hundreds of civilians. He said, 'I was so distraught that I stayed drunk for nine days and was the sickest drunk in the air force.'   A member of my church, I met him 50 years later and we talked several times.

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Protestor at anti-Trump rally, London, 2017. PHOTO: Alisdare Hickson from Canterbury, United Kingdom, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Tom Huggins-Teasdale finds inspiration in a recent Glasgow demo

Community is one of those words that carries different meanings to different people. It’s a word that people attribute their own values at times and as such the context it’s used in can be all important. For some, it means the people that live around them.

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PHOTO: Spudgun67, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

A volunteer explains how a group of young people have constructed an oral history of 5 Caledonian Road in London – Peace House – which has been a hub for social activism since 1959.

Just by Kings Cross in Central London, 5 Caledonian Road (also known as ‘Peace House’) was bought by Peace News in 1959 to be the home of the newspaper and its sister project, Housmans Bookshop. Since then, 5 Cally Road has housed many other groups and campaigns.

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Ian Sinclair, Rupert Read and Joanna Booth explain how they ended up publishing the most comprehensive record of the UK government’s response to the pandemic to date

After creating and then updating a timeline of the pandemic every week since April 2020, in April 2021 Ian Sinclair and Rupert Read, working with editor Joanna Booth, published a free eBook A Timeline Of The Plague Year: A Comprehensive Record of the Government’s Response to the Coronavirus Crisis. 

The impetus for the timeline came from a sense Rupert had, in February-March 2020, of the then emerging coronavirus pandemic in the UK as being, in the words of Richard Horton, Editor-in-Chief of The Lancet medical journal, a ‘national scandal’. This was especially true when compared to the appropriately rapid and precautious response to Covid-19 that occurred in many other island states, such as Taiwan and New Zealand. 

Ian had known Rupert since they were contributors to a progressive weekly column in the Eastern Daily Press regional newspaper in the mid-2000s. After being invited by Rupert on 1 April 2020 to join him in compiling a timeline of the crisis, Ian led on developing the content of the timeline, and Rupert added to it and arranged for its publication in Byline Times. 

The timeline was also borne out of a realisation and frustration the media were failing to hold the government to account, and failing to educate the public about the dangers the virus presented to the nation.

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Five ways you can take action

The need for a #PeoplesVaccine is the front page story in the latest issue of Peace News<

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It’s being processed by an arms company... again!

This year, the contract for processing census forms has been put in the hands of Leidos, one of the world’s biggest military companies.

So far, there hasn’t been much debate about this. We’d like to change that. We invite you to take action through the census form itself, to suggest to your friends they do the same – and, crucially, (a) tell your local paper about what you’re doing and (b) tell us what you’re doing!

In 2011, the contract for processing the census in the UK was awarded to the US arms company Lockheed Martin (strictly speaking, to its British subsidiary), leading to quite a lot of protest, including by the ‘Count Me Out’ network.

The part of Lockheed Martin that ran the UK census in 2011 was its ‘information systems and global solutions’ section. This business arm was sold off to Leidos in 2016, and no doubt helped Leidos win the £65m contract for ‘census questionnaire management’ in the UK.

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Collecting the stories of people involved in positive social change  

Peace News has recently launched a new survey of UK activists and campaigners, with the aim of encouraging them to share their stories of success in winning concrete gains for people targeted by racism – and in making their  groups, events, spaces and projects more racially-inclusive.

By encouraging UK campaigners to share their stories of constructive anti-racist action we aim to create a peer-to-peer handbook, based on people’s lived experiences that celebrates our successes and inspires campaigners to take action.

You can complete the survey here: https://tinyurl.com/arwhatworks (deadline: Sun 14 March)

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PN launches new survey of UK campaigners

Press release
15 February 2021
Peace News [1]
More info: 07596 483 272

“HAVE YOU GOT A STORY OF SUCCESSFUL ANTI-RACIST ACTION?” NEW SURVEY ASKS

15 February: A new survey of UK activists has been launched today (Monday 15 February), with the aim of encouraging campaigners from across a broad range of social movements to share their stories of success in winning concrete gains for people targeted by racism – and in making their groups, events, spaces and projects more racially-inclusive.

Long-time radical newspaper Peace News [1], which has created the survey, hopes to turn the results into a handbook of practical actions born of experience that grassroots activists and campaigning NGOs can take to root out racism and build stronger movements for peace and justice.

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The Biden administration must act swiftly to prevent a Trump-administration 'death sentence' for thousands of Yemenis, argues Kathy Kelly

In 1565, Pieter Bruegel the Elder created The Massacre of the Innocents, a provocative masterpiece of religious art. The painting reworks a biblical narrative about King Herod’s order to slaughter all newborn boys in Bethlehem for fear that a messiah had been born there. Bruegel's painting situates the atrocity in a contemporary setting, a 16th Century Flemish village under attack by heavily armed soldiers.

Depicting multiple episodes of gruesome brutality, Bruegel conveys the terror and grief inflicted on trapped villagers who cannot protect their children. Uncomfortable with the images of child slaughter, the Holy Roman Emperor Rudolph II, after acquiring the painting, ordered another reworking. The slaughtered babies were painted over with images such as bundles of food or small animals, making the scene appear to be one of plunder rather than massacre.

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The coup mob in Congress has led to an outpouring of propaganda about the US love for democracy. Actually, the US has regularly opposed democracy, overthrowing democratically elected leaders it doesn't like.

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Trump rally at Lower Senate Park near C Street between Delaware Avenue and First Street, NE, Washington DC on Wednesday morning, 6 January 2021 by Elvert Barnes Photography (CC BY-SA 2.0).

'To those who wreaked havoc in our Capitol today: you did not win. Violence never wins. Freedom wins.' So said US vice-president Mike Pence. Incoming US president, Joe Biden, said: 'The scenes of chaos do not reflect the true America, do not represent who we are.'

These statements came after armed pro-Donald Trump protesters flooded into Congress in Washington DC on 6 January, breaking windows and doors and occupying offices for hours. One member of the mob was shot dead by a police officer, in circumstances which are not clear at the time of writing. The violence could easily have escalated. Molotov cocktails were found in the grounds of the Capitol, where Congress is, and pipe bombs were found at the headquarters of the Democratic and Republican parties.

My first reaction to hearing Mike Pence was to think of the US- and British-sponsored coup in Iran in 1953. Violence never wins?

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