Activist history

15 December 2021Resource

An oral and visual history of Peace House, home for over 60 years to Peace News, Housmans Bookshop and many activist groups. A project by On The Record.

5 Cally Road

1 December 2021Review

Mariner Books, 2020; 448pp; £13

With the Vietnam War still raging, in early 1971, a coalition of American anti-war groups converged on Washington, DC, around May Day (1 May) for a series of protests, including an attempt to shut down the city.

‘If the government won’t stop the war, we’ll stop the government’ was the unofficial motto of the movement.

Though it remains one of the lesser-known demonstrations against the US attack on Vietnam, by 6 May more than 12,000 people had been taken into custody, making…

1 October 2021Feature

Erica Smith reviews a new book from Four Corners

The eighth of Four Corners’ picture-rich ‘Irregulars’ publications celebrates the powerful heritage of banners produced for and at Greenham Common Peace Camp between late summer 1981 and when the camps were finally disbanded in 2000.

Banners made by one of the Peace Camp founders, Thalia Campbell, often with the help of her husband, Ian, her children, friends and others, are well-represented in this book. Thalia was one of the women on the inaugural march from Cardiff to Greenham…

1 October 2021Review

Pluto Press, 2021; 256pp; £16.99

Roads, Runways and Resistance is infused with a sense of urgency in terms of the climate crisis.

Underpinned by 50 original interviews with activists, policymakers and lobbyists, Steve Melia surveys key campaigns against government transport policy over the past 30 years. These range from the anti-roads protests of the ’90s to the fight against airport expansion and the Extinction Rebellion (XR) mass actions of 2019. His review includes the fuel protests of 2000, which nearly…

1 October 2021Feature

An extract from a speech at the recent event 'Greenham 40th: Feminist Peace - opposing violence, militarism and war'

‘Greenham 40th: Feminist Peace – opposing violence, militarism and war’ was one of the many events organised by Greenham Women Everywhere this autumn to mark the 40th anniversary of the beginning of the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp in 1981. These events included an online series of ‘Weaving the Web/inar’ meetings organised by Greenham campaigners.

The ‘feminist peace’ webinar included local and international speakers involved in Women in Black (WiB) in conversation about the…

3 July 2021Blog

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…

8 December 2020Comment

Magellans roll back gas price rise 

GOALS: To create dialogue with government and stop the increase of natural gas prices in the region.

SUCCESS IN ACHIEVING SPECIFIC GOALS: 5 points / 6
SURVIVAL: 1 / 1
GROWTH: 2 / 3
TOTAL: 8 / 10

For Chileans living in the southern Patagonia region, natural gas is crucial for heating their homes, most importantly during the frigid winter months.

The Chilean government had been subsidising natural gas up to 85 percent for all people in this region because…

8 December 2020Comment

Pat Gaffney reviews the new biopic of Franz Jägerstätter

It is not often that we see our peace heroes on the big screen. It can be a source of great joy or a complete disaster. So it was with some anxiety that I watched A Hidden Life, written and directed by Terrence Malick, telling the story of Franz Jägerstätter and his wife Franziska (‘Frani’).

The name may be familiar to readers. Franz was an Austrian conscientious objector who refused to serve in Hitler’s army and who was executed in Brandenburg an der Havel in 1943.

28 September 2020Comment

What can Extinction Rebellion learn from the experience of the Committee of 100?

The spectacle of thousands of predominantly young people taking to streets in nonviolent protest against the threat of climate catastrophe is reminiscent of the mass demonstrations and sit-downs of the anti-nuclear Committee of 100 in the 1960s.

Like Extinction Rebellion (XR), the Committee – as indeed the broader anti-nuclear movement – was a response to an existential threat to civilisation, possibly even to human survival.

Like XR, the Committee was committed to using mass…

28 September 2020Review

Granta, 2019; 192pp; £12.99

In the afterword to this, her latest collection of essays, Rebecca Solnit describes her book as ‘in a sense, transcripts of my side of some conversations with the society around me as it undergoes tumultuous changes, with the changemakers winning some remarkable battles against the forces trying to protect the most malevolent parts of the status quo as it crumbles away’. These include both ‘seismic activity in feminism, racial justice, climate action’ (among other movements) and ‘changing…

28 September 2020News

Conference marks 60th anniversary of Cale Rd's Peace House

This year, Peace House – the building on Caledonian Road which is home to Peace News, Housmans Bookshop, War Resisters International, Network for Peace, Campaign Against Climate Change, and many others – is celebrating its 60th anniversary.

To mark the occasion, we are organising a conference on 28 March.

‘Our Power Is Real: A Festival of Grassroots Social Change’ is a one-day event bringing together a wide range of community and grassroots campaign groups.

In…

1 December 2019Review

Matador, 2017; 210pp; £13.99

The sub-title of this book condenses a complex life into a compact haiku.

The author was born in London in 1965 to a Colombian mother and a father with Hungarian heritage. Charlie Kiss is his real name, but when he was born, his birth certificate identified him as female. He lived as a lesbian until his early 30s when he realised that he was transgender. It took until 2007 for him to complete his transition.

The early part of Charlie’s life saw him growing up playing…

1 December 2019Comment

Rubber tappers defend the rainforest

GOALS: Establish extractive reserves. Better marketing and price guarantees for rubber. Better living conditions for rubber tappers. Better marketing policies and working conditions for those who harvest nuts. Industrialisation and marketing of other ignored forest products. Research on plants and resources of the Amazon.

SUCCESS IN ACHIEVING SPECIFIC GOALS: 3 points / 6
SURVIVAL: 1 / 1
GROWTH: 3 / 3

In the 1970s, ranchers from southern Brazil began to…

1 October 2019Feature

A poster for Black history month

Remember Saro-Wiwa by Emily Johns. Linocut, 2005.

On 10 November 2019, it will be 24 years since the Nigerian writer and activist Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight Ogoni colleagues were hanged by the military government for campaigning nonviolently against the oil company Shell. It is over 60 years…

1 October 2019Feature

A tribute to Donald Rooum

This page is a tribute to our very wonderful cartoonist, the life-long anarchist Donald Rooum, who sadly died as this issue was being prepared.

We will publish an obituary in the next issue.

Donald has been drawing cartoons for PN since 1962. We asked him to produce this graphic retelling for the 50th anniversary of the Challenor case in 2013 (PN2558).…