Anti-militarism

3 August 2022News

Dissident Israelis held on remand for one month

On 20 June, the British branch of Elbit, Israel’s largest arms company, announced it was closing its offices in Kingsway, Central London.

This was five months after Elbit, which produces 85 percent of the military drones Israel uses for attacks on Palestinian territory, announced the sale of its Elbit Ferranti factory in Oldham.

Both these closures are due to a sustained direct action campaign by Palestine Action (PA). In the case of Elbit’s London offices, they’ve been the…

8 July 2022Blog

Instead of using its resources to solve world poverty and homelessness at home, the US government continues to ship weapons abroad. Unexploded US weapons including cluster bombs continue to litter Afghanistan, causing casualties every day. What the world needs is a healing of the Earth – perhaps through permaculture, a US anti-war conference suggests.

'No War 2022, July 8 – 10', hosted by World BEYOND War, will consider major and growing threats faced in today’s world. Emphasizing “Resistance and Regeneration,” the conference will feature practitioners of permaculture who work to heal scarred lands as well as abolish all war.

Listening to various friends speak of the environmental impact of war, we recalled testimony from survivors of a Nazi concentration camp on the outskirts of Berlin,…

1 June 2022News

Protest calls for 'Windmills Not War Machines'

On 22 April, Earth Day, a local anti-militarist action group in North Carolina, USA, held a two-hour blockade of the construction site for a 1.2mn square foot jet engine manufacturing plant belonging to Pratt & Whitney (wholly owned by Raytheon Technologies, the second largest war corporation in the world). The ‘Reject Raytheon Asheville’ protest, called ‘Windmills Not War Machines’, was one of over 30 events in a week of mobilisation around the US sponsored by the War Industry Resisters…

13 May 2022Blog

Reject Raytheon AVL, a local anti-militarist campaign group in North Carolina, USA, shut down the construction of a military plant in the US.

It was an Earth Day to remember. On a beautiful sunny spring day, our local citizen coalition Reject Raytheon (in Asheville, North Carolina, USA) pulled off a three-part demonstration for the protection of the earth and earthlings and against the US military-industrial complex. We rallied, we paraded, and we performed a direct action.

The event, on Friday 22 April, began at 10am in the Bent Creek River Park, on the banks of the French Broad River. The park sits exactly next to the new…

1 October 2021News

Fortnight of protest against UK arms fair

Before the start of the DSEI arms fair in East London on 14 September, there were several arrests as many protesters attempted to blockade the two service roads used by vehicles carrying military hardware into the ExCeL Centre.

A great variety of groups organised a great variety of actions against DSEI this year, though numbers overall were smaller than in recent times.

This year, the mostly autonomous protests were co-ordinated by a coalition called ‘Stop the Arms Fair’ (STAF…

1 October 2021News

Rebecca Elson-Watkins is a Londoner, an activist and a writer. She's probably on some sort of watchlist as a rabble-rousing peacenik.

As part of the two weeks of protest against the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) arms fair held in London’s ExCeL Centre, Stop the Arms Fair organised a Festival of Resistance on 11 September. They were joined by activists from Extinction Rebellion (XR), Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT), Trident Ploughshares and others – there were even jointly-produced flyers available in the information tent (along with copies of PN). The XR activists I talked to all spoke…

1 December 2019News

White poppy wreath laid at Cenotaph

Photo: Veterans for Peace UK

On 10 November, Veterans for Peace UK marked Remembrance Sunday by walking to the Cenotaph in Whitehall, in central London, behind a banner saying ‘Never Again’. James Florey read a poem: ‘Suicide in the Trenches’. Jim Radford sang ‘1916’.

Ben Griffin, the outgoing national co-ordinator of VfP UK, laid a wreath of white poppies saying ‘Never Again’ (pictured).

1 August 2019News

Campaigners fined £3,180 for bomb factory blockade

On 8-9 July, four Trident Ploughshares activists were acquitted and four were found guilty at High Wycombe magistrates' court. They were being prosecuted for an all-day blockade of the Burghfield nuclear bomb factory in Berkshire on 24 October last year. (PN 2624-2625)

Jan and Brian Jones, Jane Picksley and Marie Walsh were charged with highway obstruction for sitting in front of Pingewood Gate while locked to each other through arm tubes. District judge Sophie Toms acquitted them on…

1 April 2019Comment

'Is it an anarchist utopia? Of course not, don't be silly.'

In the last issue, I declared my intention to achieve the impossible and set up a commune – a living, working, playing, caring community of about 100 people. I don’t really believe it’s possible, but I am going to talk about it a lot and am full of good intentions to give it a go, just as soon as I have some time, maybe after the conference-organising is over, maybe once I’m in the swing of my new part-time job, maybe once we’ve dealt with the moths, updated the book, organised the house…

1 June 2018Feature

A ForcesWatch interview with poet and campaigner Ambrose Musiyiwa

A soldier gives a machine gun demonstration to a child in Leicester city centre. PHOTO: Ambrose Musiyiwa/Civic Leicester


ForcesWatch: Hi Ambrose! Thank you for putting on such a fantastic event in Leicester at the end of last year as part of the Leicester Human Rights Arts and Film Festival, ‘This is Belonging: Challenging militarism at home and abroad’. We had a lively and informed discussion, and it was great to be able to take part. Could you tell us a bit about how…

1 December 2017News in Brief

The ministry of defence (MoD) was facing ‘brutal’ cuts in a new strategic review, a Tory rebellion and ministerial resignations as PN went to press.

A £36bn ‘black hole’ in the defence budget had already been predicted back in 2010. Then Brexit devalued sterling by 11 percent against the dollar. MoD equipment purchases may cost £5bn more over the next decade as a result.

The government had ordered 138 US F-35 fighter jets. Now it is only confirming the first 48…

1 December 2017News

Anti-war veterans remember all war deaths

Members of Veterans for Peace UK line up in Whitehall, London, on 12 November for a Remembrance Day ceremony at the Cenotaph. VfP UK lays a wreath of white poppies and remembers all those killed in war, including civilians and enemy soldiers. The banner at the front says: ‘Never Again’. Photo: Veterans for Peace UK

1 December 2017Comment

Penny Stone reflects on this year's White Poppy gathering in Edinburgh

As I write, it is Remembrance weekend; a difficult one for many of us. For anyone who has lost family and friends to war, whether soldiers or civilians, it is important to have space to remember those people as well as the circumstances of their loss. Unfortunately, the pomp and circumstance surrounding our annual remembrance ceremonies based around the ‘victory’ of the First World War can be troubling for peace activists such as myself.

Most years I am involved with alternative…

1 October 2017Comment

How the armed forces and arms companies influence our schools and colleges

While arms companies have been at the top of the peace agenda recently with the DSEI arms fair, their involvement in education in the UK is less well known. Many of the top names have a presence – BAE Systems, Rolls Royce, Babcock, QinetiQ, Chemring. Some are big players, forging the way ahead, others have a smaller role.

A ForcesWatch report on military interests in education (out soon) will detail the extent to which this has developed and why. It looks at how the armed forces,…

9 December 2016Blog

A report from the Movement Against War youth delegation to the International Peace Bureau Congress on demilitarisation.

 

Young delegates stop nuclear missile launch at the IPB Congress!

From the 30 September – 3 October, MAW Youth (Jen Harrison, Becky Garnault, Maddy Ridgley) plus 2 competition winners (Ella Johnson and Khem Rogaly) attended the International Peace Bureau world congress in Berlin.

For 4 days we were immersed in fascinating panel discussions and workshops delivered by an impressive collection of academics, activists, writers, politicians and economists. In our…