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Peace News log archive: April 2012

Articles from the Peace News log.
For archive articles from the whole site, look here

Extended text by Diana Francis on nonviolent revolution

The ‘Arab Spring’ revived and broadened interest in the power of nonviolent popular action to challenge tyranny. However, the level of positive outcome promised by events in Tunisia has not been replicated elsewhere, and the slide of nonviolence into unequal violence in the face of violent repression, or civil war backed by foreign military intervention, has led to disillusion and soul-searching.

In this context a range of questions that have long been forming themselves in the back of my mind have come to the fore. I will name them here and set out my own thoughts on them, as far as they go.

I will end with some reflections on what all this means for the idea of nonviolent revolution and a suggestion for future thought and research.

I am acutely aware that the whole piece, which is brief in relation to the size of its subject matter, is full of gaps – and probably some contradictions. As ever, I am struck by the apparent contradiction between our actual experience of being out of control of the way things go and our ongoing attempts to understand and plan things better. Given the infinite complexity of contexts and processes, in itself beyond our grasp, renders the effect of any human endeavour inescapably unpredictable.

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A film about two determined peace activists.

Peace Campaigners Helen and Sylvia grew up during the Cold War; they have 10 grandchildren, have been arrested countless times, been imprisoned at Holloway, and were the first people to be charged, under new Anti-terror legislation, for invading a U.S military base to free Britain of Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Disarming Grandmothers is a 31 part web series which follows their lives through their trial for terrorism: revealing their relationship with the authorities and the press to their quirky direct actions in the dead of night!  Spanning almost 6 years in production, this series provides a unique insight into the modern day peace movement through the eyes of two extraordinary women.

The Trailer

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Peace News' co-editor Milan Rai photographed some of the participants at the "International Symposium on Nonviolence Movements and the Barrier of Fear", held 10-12 April at Coventry University.


Who can you spot?

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'Counterpower: Making Change Happen' author Tim Gee reflects on his UK tour and Gandhi's social movement maxim.

I haven’t seen a lot of my house recently. For most of the last four months I’ve been on the road (or rather the rails) visiting different towns and cities to run workshops and seminars looking at the methods adopted by movements for change. I tend to begin by asking people to shout out the tactics they see as central to why the movement succeeded in ousting Mubarak in Egypt.

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Two peace projects; one upcoming, one on-going.

This month I want to promote an event coming up in Manchester next month that Maggie Fox and I and the Manchester and Warrington Local Area Quaker Peace group have been organising. Maya Anne Evans is coming to our Central Manchester Meeting house at Mount Street on 20th May as part of her National speaker tour and we are

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