Blog posts

    08 Nov 2023

    Albert Beale

    A brief appreciation of long-time peace campaigner Bill Hetherington

    Many of you will have encountered Bill Hetherington during your peace movement campaigning; I'm sorry to have to tell you that he died on Sunday night (5 November '23), having been ill for some time.

    Those of you who've had a long involvement with British peace organisations will have known him for a long while - his activism goes back around 60 years.

    He was a direct actionist in Britain in the 1960s, and has been involved in pacifist activism ever since. Internationally, he…

    31 Oct 2023

    The Villages Group

    More reports from the West Bank by the Israeli-Palestinian peace group The Villages Group

    Erella, on behalf of The Villages Group writes:

    Greetings to our friends all,

    Yesterday (Monday, 30.10.23) afternoon, coming back home from another day in the South Hebron Hills, I could not find the strength to write. Now, morning, so much has happened since yesterday, so many things in the same places I had visited yesterday afternoon, that writing seems pale in comparison and cannot keep up. We need a kind…

    31 Oct 2023

    PN staff

    The UK public overwhelmingly supports an immediate ceasefire in Israel-Palestine.

    Indeed, in a 19 October 2023 YouGov poll 58% said that there should 'definitely' be an immediate ceasefire in Israel and Palestine, with a further 18% saying that there 'probably should' be such a ceasefire.

    Though the UK government continues to offer…

    30 Oct 2023

    The Villages Group

    More reports from the West Bank by the Israeli-Palestinian peace group The Villages Group

    Yair, on behalf of The Villages Group writes:

    We began our morning shopping at Hura (Israeli Bedouin town). The supermarket owner, a learned, nice man who already knows us, refused to let us pay for the food we bought for D and her family. We also bought diapers, a gas stove, and Sim cards and chargers for the three phones we received as a donation and passed on to friends whose devices were stolen or vandalized. …

    27 Oct 2023

    The Villages Group

    More reports from the West Bank by the Israeli-Palestinian peace group The Villages Group

    Erella, on behalf of the The Villages Group writes (27 Oct '23):

    Every day on our way to south Mt. Hebron, we call our friends there to find out what awaits us on the road. Whether there are soldiers and / or settlers at the junctions and / or in the villages we wish to visit. On weekends we pay even more attention. "The religious settlers are very careful not to do any work on the holy Sabbath, but I guess destroying…

    26 Oct 2023

    The Villages Group

    More reports from the West Bank by the Israeli-Palestinian peace group Villages Group

    Yair, on behalf of The Villages Group, writes:

    On Wednesday [25 Oct '23], D. recorded some WhatsApp messages for Erella. Soldiers came, entered the cave. Taftish - that's the magic word – a search.

    D. lives in a cave somewhat distant from the houses of Tuba village, just she and her widowed mother and another younger brother. This distance from the village makes it easy for settlers and soldiers to…

    26 Oct 2023

    Felicity Laurence, The Villages Group

    Reports from an Israeli-Palestinian peace group

    Felicity Laurence writes: The Villages Group is a small but totally dedicated Israeli-Palestinian peace group who have worked year in and year out to show friendship and support to people under occupation in Palestine. I visited many times, to sing and do music with children in the villages, including in the very places right now being destroyed. Things are desperate as never before. I am receiving their letters every day. Here are some…

    18 Oct 2023

    Gabriel Carlyle

    By taking to the streets in our hundreds of thousands, flooding MPs' inboxes with letters and emails and staging savvy nonviolent direct actions, we can set limits - or even terminate - British support for Israeli war crimes and apartheid

    With the UK government offering “unequivocal” support for Israel - and Labour's leadership not far behind it – nonviolent protest could play a critical role in protecting Gaza's civilians.

    By taking to the streets in our hundreds of thousands, flooding MPs' inboxes with letters and emails and staging savvy nonviolent direct actions, there's the possibility of setting limits on or even terminating British support for Israeli war crimes and apartheid.

    But many people are…

    12 Oct 2023


    Take action over poisoning of Israel-Palestine discourse

    On her Tuesday 10 October show Breakfast, Sky presenter Kay Burley repeatedly misrepresented comments by UK Palestinian Ambassador Husam Zomlot concerning recent atrocities in Israel-Palestine.

    Specifically, in interviews with three separate guests she asserted that Zomlot:

    • 'basically said the Iraelis had it coming' (interview with James Cleverly)
    • 'basically said, the last couple of days, that Israel had it coming' (interview with Pat McFadden)
    • '…

    06 Oct 2023

    Pete Godfrey

    'They sound their horns; the criminals' names we shout'

    On a scraggy patch of land we stake our claim -
    this country's ours, not terrain of the owners -
    and string up banners, raise placards that name
    a wrong so grievous it has shown us

    that the courts of justice are courts of disgrace
    with judges so corrupt they take their cue
    from whispered briefings designed to erase
    all sense of fairness - take a bow, yes you,

    Emma Arbuthnot, Vanessa Baraitser,
    bewigged and wooden, reeling off…

    06 Oct 2023

    Milan Rai

    Will Sunak's smoking ban help to normalise the idea of carrying a national ID card in the UK?

    On 4 October, British prime minister Rishi Sunak made a series of policy announcements at the Conservative party conference in Manchester.

    One of these was a year-on-year smoking ban. Sunak said: 'I propose that in future we raise the smoking age by one year every year. That means a 14-year-old today will never legally be sold a cigarette and that they and their generation can grow up smoke free.'

    Currently, the legal age to buy tobacco or cigarettes is 18, throughout the UK.…

    20 Sep 2023

    World Beyond War

    Ukrainian pacifist still under investigation for serious charges

    The prosecution did not show up for the hearing today (Wednesday 20 September) in Kyiv to pursue the filing of charges against [Ukrainian pacifist] Yurii Sheliazhenko, who is being charged by the Ukrainian government with the crime of justifying Russian aggression. The evidence is this statement which explicitly condemns Russian aggression.

    Here is a…

    04 Jul 2023

    Helen Kidan

    Eritrea is a highly-militarised state, with at least 18 months' compulsory military service for all men and women aged 18 – 40 ('indefinite national service'). This is the text of a speech given by Helen Kidan, chair of Eritrean Movement for Democracy and Human Rights, on 17 June 2023 at Antimilitarist Roots, the War Resisters' International gathering in London. The material in [hard brackets] and embedded links have been added by Peace News to help the British reader. Helen Kidan has also made some minor changes to her text.

    [Lying on the Red Sea coast in North East Africa,] Eritrea is a former Italian colony, and it was federated to Ethiopia after Italy lost the Second World War to allied forces. Haile Selassie [emperor of Ethiopia from 1930 – 1974] broke the agreement by forcing Eritrea to be annexed. Therefore, in 1961, the 30-year war for independence broke out, this became the longest conflict in Africa.

    Eritrea and Eritreans were isolated during the war of independence and the outlook of Eritreans…

    16 Jun 2023

    Erica Smith

    Erica Smith on 'a perfect production' at London's Finborough Theatre

    Benjamin Lay is having a renaissance – thanks largely to American professor and writer Marcus Rediker. His biography The fearless Benjamin Lay was first published in 2017 and more recently he has collaborated with David Lester to produce a graphic novel, Prophet against slavery.

    Now he has collaborated  with playwright Naomi Wallace on the…

    14 Jun 2023

    Henrietta Cullinan

    Henrietta Cullinan reviews Orisun Productions recent performance of Playfight at the Pleasance Theatre, Islington (29 May - 3 June)

    TJ, Kai and Zara, are school friends who have been inseparable since childhood. Their relationship changes as they struggle with parental expectations at the same time as their own desires.

    The two boys are involved in a fight, caught on cctv. Zara is physically hurt when trying to break it up.

    The headmistress, instead of supporting them, divides them and disbands their friendship group. In chance meetings - in the street, in the playground - we hear from the characters two at…