Anti-war action

1 October 2022Feature

New call-up prompts mass protests

Anti-war campaigners took to Russia’s streets on 21 September after the government there announced that it would be calling up 300,000 reservists to fight in its ‘special military operation’ in Ukraine. Brutal repression had put a stop to mass protests earlier in the year (see PN 2659), but the new announcement led to a new surge in protests.

It was reported that, in the hours after president Vladimir Putin’s speech on television launching the new policy, at least 300 people…

1 October 2022News

Unarmed Civilian Protection team mooted for nuclear plant

Activists are exploring the possibility of setting up an Unarmed Civilian Protection team at the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant in Ukraine ‘to prevent a nuclear explosion that would impact Ukraine – and the world’. A deliberate attack or an accident at Zaporizhzhia could create a Chernobyl-like disaster.

On 30 September, it was reported that 30 people were killed when a Russian missile struck a civilian convoy waiting to go into Zaporizhzhya. According to the authorities, there were…

1 June 2022Feature

Fines for ‘holding invisible anti-war posters’

On 24 February, at 5am Russia invaded Ukraine. Waking up in the next few hours, many Russian citizens were shocked when they found out what had just happened. Among those who would not welcome such an invasion, it was a common belief that Putin was merely bluffing by threatening the West with a full-scale war. It turns out that we were wrong.

By 2022, the mass opposition movement in Russia was pretty much destroyed, so there were not many influential political forces that called on…

1 April 2022News in Brief

The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) won a victory over Transport for London (TfL) at the end of March.

CND had asked to put up an advert on London’s public transport system, which is run by TfL, in late 2021. It shows a nuclear weapon broken in two by the peace symbol and asks: ‘Why are we getting more nuclear weapons? We could be investing in healthcare, renewable energy, education.’

TfL refused at first, saying the ad is ‘party political’, but has now been forced (by…

1 April 2022Feature

Over 15,000 arrested for anti-war protests

Russian citizens continue to protest against the invasion of Ukraine despite harsh repression by the Russian authorities. As of 27 March, 15,106 arrests and detentions at anti-war actions had been recorded by the human rights monitoring group OVD-Info, who provided the following information. These arrests took place in 151 Russian cities, starting from the day of the invasion, 24 February.

That protests continue is astonishing, given the level of harassment, physical brutality and…

1 April 2022Feature

Russians speak out against the war

Human rights activist Lev Ponomaryov’s Russian-language petition against the war with Ukraine has gathered 1.2 million signatures as of 27 March. Tens of thousands of Russians have signed petitions or open letters against the invasion of Ukraine – groups of Russian doctors and nurses, Russian teachers, academics and students, Russian architects, Russian lawyers, Russian culture workers (artists, curators, architects, art critics, art managers) and many more.

Below are a few of the…

1 December 2019News

Solidarity with Catholic peace activists facing jail

Photo: Peace News

On 21 October, the first day of the trial of the Kings Bay Plowshares 7, Peace News held a vigil outside the new US embassy in south London. We stood in solidarity with the seven US Catholic peace activists who broke into a US Trident base in Georgia, USA. The seven were found guilty three days later on all counts: trespass, ‘depredation’ and destruction of government property, and conspiracy. See here for a court report.

1 October 2019News

Anti-nuke activists face 25 years in prison

Kings Bay Ploughshares 7 (left–right): Clare Grady, Patrick O’Neill, Liz McAlister, Steve Kelly SJ, Martha Hennessy, Mark Colville and Carmen Trotta.
Photo: Kings Bay Ploughshares

Seven US Catholic peace activists are facing up to 25 years in prison each, after breaking into a Trident submarine base at Kings Bay in Georgia, on the east coast of the USA. On 4 April 2018, the 50th anniversary of the assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr, the seven entered…

1 June 2019News in Brief

On 29 March, two US Veterans for Peace were released from prison in Limerick, Ireland, after being arrested at a protest against the US military base at Shannon airport on 17 March. Shannon is used for refuelling US troop planes bound for the Middle East.

Tarak Kauff (82) and Ken Mayers (77) entered the airfield to investigate a plane on contract to the US military. They were charged with: causing a security breach; €2,500 worth of criminal damage to the fence; and trespassing on a…

1 February 2019Feature

Connecting war in West Asia with war preparation in East Asia

Kathy Kelly and 10 other Voices for Creative Nonviolence (VCNV) activists were arrested on 2 January for blocking the entrance to the US mission to the United Nations in New York city. This was part of a two-week ‘Fast for Yemen’ in New York and Washington DC organised by VCNV. A British participant in the liquids-only fast in New York was VCNV UK co-ordinator Maya Evans, a Labour councillor from Hastings, England.Photo: Felton Davis

4 December: Several days ago, I joined an unusual…

1 October 2018News

Anti-drones action caused £500,000 damage

On 5 August, Italian Ploughshares activist Turi Vaccaro was arrested near Niscemi in southern Sicily, and then imprisoned in the capital, Palermo. The barefoot campaigner will serve an 11-month, 27-day sentence in a maximum-security prison for nonviolent direct action against the MUOS military satellite communication system. MUOS is used to direct US drones, among other ‘mobile users’.

Italian special police attempted to arrested Turi at this summer’s annual ‘No MUOS’ protest camp…

1 August 2018News in Brief

On 17 May, three of the Kings Bay Ploughshares Seven were released on bail at a court hearing. Martha Hennessy, Carmen Trotta, and Patrick O’Neill posted a $50,000 bond (with either $1,000 or $5,000 paid in cash), surrendered their passports and are now wearing ankle monitors under house arrest.

Liz McAlister, Clare Grady, and Mark Colville refused the conditions and stayed in Glynn county jail. Steve Kelly wasn’t given the choice because of a pending case.

The seven…

1 June 2018Feature

Reflections from inside Camden County detention centre by three of the Kings Bay Ploughshares prisoners

Kings Bay Ploughshares activist Clare Grady at the admin building on 5 April, with blood and banner. Photo: Kings Bay Ploughshares

Elizabeth McAlister:

Absurd Convictions, Modest Hopes is the title of one of the more than 50 books by my late brother-in-law Daniel Berrigan (RIP and Presente!). It might be fair to say that we came to Kings Bay submarine base animated by the absurd conviction that we could make some impact on slowing, if not ending, the mad…

1 June 2018News

Anti-nuke activists singled out for harsher treatment following arms fair blockade

On 11 April, four defendants from Faslane Peace Camp were tried for aggravated trespass allegedly committed during last September’s week of action against the DSEI arms fair in London.

Most of the 102 activists arrested during the week of action were charged with highway obstruction. The Faslane four were the only protesters to be charged with aggravated trespass, even though their blockading actions were identical to those of many of the others arrested.

The Faslane…

1 June 2018News

Thousands protest British missile attack

Photo: Garry Knight (CC-BY-SA 2.0) from Flickr

On 16 April, hundreds protested in Parliament Square, London, after 100 missiles were fired at targets inside Syria two days earlier by Britain, France and the US. The three governments claimed to have proof that the Syrian government was responsible for chemical weapons attacks the previous week in Douma, on the outskirts of Damascus. Inspectors from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons collected samples from Douma…