1 October 2023Feature

Emily Johns interviews the curate who made the purchase of the Peace House possible.

Tom Willis was a curate in Hull in 1958 when he inherited £10,000 (worth over £180,000 today), the money that would buy 5 Caledonian Road for Peace News and Housmans Bookshop. PN production worker Emily Johns interviewed reverend Willis at a 50th birthday event for Number 5 in 2009, five years before he passed away.

I was 28 when I inherited the money and I thought: ‘What am I going to do with this money because Jesus…

1 October 2023Feature

An extract from an exciting new book

A new book, Peace! Books! Freedom!, brings together generations of campaigners and activists to share memories of 5 Caledonian Road in Central London, the base for Peace News and its sister project, Housmans Bookshop. It is a little-known history of sedition, resistance, solidarity, and the ongoing struggle for justice and liberation.

When 5 Cally Road opened in 1959 as a home for Peace News and Housmans Bookshop, Peace News was already two decades…

1 August 2023News

PN wishes a fond farewell to its current admin worker

What a shock! It is hard for us to believe – and hard to forgive! – but our very own Claire Poyner is stepping down from her position as admin worker staffing the PN office, from the end of August. We will miss her very much. (For the next few months, from 1 September, Claire’s work will be covered by other staff members.)

Here is Claire’s statement on her departure:

‘It’s been 16 years since I started as PN admin worker. I think even if I wasn’t eligible for…

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…

1 June 2019News

No PN camp in 2019, but a winter gathering in 2020 ...

Sadly, there will be no actual Peace News Summer Camp in 2019. (But there may be a Peace News Summer Camp ‘neighbourhood’ within the Reclaim the Power camp in South East England, 26–31 July.)

This year, the organising team did not feel that we had the capacity to attract enough participants and to secure the funding the camp needed – in addition to creating a programme exciting and original enough to do both of these things.

Also, a number of other broadly-…

1 April 2018News in Brief

This year, for the first time in nearly a decade, there will not be a Peace News Summer Camp!

The organising group have decided that they needed a break after nine camps in nine years, so this will be a fallow year. However, there may be a social get-together over the usual weekend at the end of July for folk who’ve been to camp previously. No workshops, just camping together.

Peace News Summer Camp has been bringing together the British grassroots and…

1 April 2018Feature

Thursday 14 – Sunday 17 June 2018

Do you want to strengthen your workshop facilitation skills? Do you want to help social change groups and mission-driven NGOs deal more skilfully with social class and classism in their own organisations, in their members’ lives and in the wider society? If so, Exploring Class may be for you.

This intensive, three-day Training of Trainers draws on several decades of work in the US and will adapt US tools to the UK class system. This residential draws in particular from the…

1 June 2017Feature

Meet Betsy Leondar-Wright at this year’s ground-breaking Peace News Summer Camp

When the organising collective gathered to think about this year’s Peace News Summer Camp, we were still reeling from the EU referendum result and the election of Donald Trump.

We tried to think about what we needed to help us keep going as activists, and what would help our movements to keep going in the middle of this bewildering turmoil and with the growing scale of the threats that we face.

That’s why we chose this theme together: ‘Surviving Politics – self…

1 December 2016Feature

Former PN worker Andrew Shephard sets out the background to his new novel

Late in January 1975, soon after my arrival at Peace News in Elm Avenue, Nottingham, where the magazine was then produced, the more established members of the editorial collective travelled down to London’s Savoy Hotel to collect the ‘What the Papers Say’ Scoop of the Year award. The scoop in question was the exposure of a secret organisation, GB 75, being built by the retired colonel David Stirling, best known as the founder of the SAS.

The purpose of GB 75, a kind of…

1 August 2016News

PN celebrates 80th birthday

It’s not always easy being 80-years-old.... On a slightly-drizzly Saturday in June, PN readers and staffers – and their children – gathered in Regents Park, in central London, to celebrate the paper’s 80th anniversary – with birthday cake, a parachute, nerf balls, vegan jelly and a small mountain of falafel, among other delights. It was on 6 June 1936 that the Peace News Group launched the paper in London by giving away 5,000 free copies. Happy birthday, everyone!…

1 October 2015Comment

On Saturday 12 September, we had a wonderful ideas day in London with 18 PN workers, readers and supporters, thinking about how Peace News can develop and grow and become more useful to the cause of nonviolence and to grassroots movements struggling for radical social change.

More power than we know

One of the interesting moments came at the beginning of the day, when we considered the question ‘When have I felt powerful?’ The answers to this were meant…

1 August 2015News

Making PN more useful to our movements?

On 12 September, a group of readers, writers, volunteers, staff, trustees and all-round good people will be coming together in central London (11am - 4pm) to think about how Peace News can be even more useful to grassroots movements for social change.

We’re looking for folk new to activism, and people who’ve been hard at it for some time; we’re looking for old-timers steeped in the history and culture of Peace News and for campaigners just getting to know us.…

1 August 2015News

Volunteers needed to categorise, code, pack and sell.

PN needs volunteers for a variety of jobs, including ‘web categorising’, which is to do with labelling things on our website (full training given). There are other computery jobs like this which can be done remotely.

We also love it when folk can sell/distribute the paper at events, and we appreciate help with packing the paper when it comes in from the printer. If you have some hours to spare, please do get in touch with us on 0207 278 3344 or…

1 August 2015Comment

The letters pages in Peace News have long been a forum for debate on pacifist ideas: the August 1955 issues were no exception. Sid Parker, individualist anarchist, contributed to and edited political publications over many decades; pacifist Denis Barritt lived in Northern Ireland - including during “the troubles” - opposing all armies, ‘legal’ or ‘illegal’.

Anarchist position

There is one paragraph [of a Peace Pledge Union document in a previous PN] with which…

1 June 2015Comment

As the Second World War’s killing ended – in the European theatre at least – news emerged from recently-liberated concentration camps and extermination camps. Much of this PN report was based on a visit to Buchenwald a few weeks earlier by a London-based Swedish journalist.

The details of the treatment of German conscientious objectors which we print below give the first detailed factual reply to the oft-repeated war-time question – ‘What would happen to any conscientious objectors in…