Blog posts

    12 Aug 2021

    Andrew Bolton

    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. In the end he wrote out his story for me. A humble, family man, he was still deeply struggling with the guilt and shame of what he had participated in. He suffered ‘moral injury’; he had violated his deeply held Christian values about the worth of all persons.

    03 Jul 2021

    Tom Huggins-Teasdale

    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. For others, community means the people they choose to surround themselves with, in person or online. 

    While generally positive, it does have one downside. Like any grouping, it means that no matter how many people fit into a community, some people can feel like they don’t belong there. This is an issue that can be seen frequently…

    03 Jul 2021

    Reece Evans

    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. It’s been a hub for social activism and a refuge for progressive ideas and people. A website and sound installation are going to be launched to tell the story of the building. The 5 Cally Road project, run by the oral history group, On the Record,…

    17 Jun 2021

    Joanna Booth , Rupert Read , Ian Sinclair

    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 …

    14 Mar 2021

    Five ways you can take action

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

    05 Mar 2021

    PN staff

    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),…

    01 Mar 2021

    PN staff

    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: …

    15 Feb 2021

    PN

    PN launches new survey of UK campaigners

    Press release, 15 February 2021

    “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…

    21 Jan 2021

    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…

    07 Jan 2021

    Milan Rai

    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.

    '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…

    01 Dec 2020

    PN staff

    Write to people imprisoned because of their actions for peace

    1 December is Prisoners for Peace Day. For over 60 years, War Resisters’ International have publicised the names and stories – and prison addresses – of those imprisoned because of their actions for peace. This is a chance to write to someone whose freedom has been taken away because of their work for peace. 

    We can find the prison address for Julian Assange here – please do write to him as he is waiting for the verdict in his extradition trial, due on 4 January. In his written evidence to the trial,…

    01 Dec 2020

    Milan Rai

    You can be part of the new world of online campaigning even if you don’t have (reliable) broadband or a webcam. 

    Organisers, you should be circulating details of how people can phone into your online events (or at least your phone number).

    You can go to a Zoom Meeting by phone if 
(a) the organisers allow this in the settings of the Zoom call and (b) you have a telephone with these two keys: # and *

    You will need to get from the organisers the Meeting ID number and the Passcode (password).

    1) A few minutes before the meeting is meant to begin, phone Zoom. There are a lot of possible numbers, here’s one:
    020 3695 0088.

    2) Follow the…

    08 Nov 2020

    Ian Sinclair

    Ian Sinclair reports on a new feminist-driven initiative

    Coined by cartoonist Alison Bechdel in 1985, what has become known as The Bechdel Test – whether a movie includes at least two women who talk to each other about something other than a man – is now widely discussed by consumers and creators of popular culture.

    But just as we have got our heads around one necessary and very welcome feminist-driven test, along comes a shiny new challenging feminist-driven test: the Clit Test.

    Dreamt up by Frances Rayner and Irene Tortajajada, the test is a product of the wealth of research which shows…

    08 Nov 2020

    Robin Holtom

    The politics of sound bites and Twitter  need to be replaced with a refreshed politics of sensibility, argues Robin Holtom

    'Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world' - Shelley

    Suppose that Shelley is right and poetic sensibility (and by extension) artistic sensibility really does create the underpinning of decisions by the legislature. If so, a country with a taste for good poetry and art will make good laws. It also follows that bad poets and bad artists lay the foundations for bad laws.

    The Joy of Painting with Bob Ross is a salutary lesson in this process.

    For those who are not familiar with it, this is a TV series made in the 1980s supposedly to help…

    08 Nov 2020

    Nuclear weapons states applied enormous pressure to try and stop the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, recalls Janet Fenton.

    On 24 October, Honduras ratified the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), becoming the 50th state to signal its binding agreement with the treaty. Passing the 50-ratifications threshold means that the TPNW will now actually ‘enter into force’, 90 days from Honduras’s ratification.

    The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, WILPF, as its known to its friends, has a unique perspective on the TPNW that has been a significant driver in bringing it to this wonderful moment of entry into force.

    With the 50th ratification, the treaty is irreversible…