1 July 2011Comment

Reagan's 1986 attack on Libya and the UK peace movement's response.

On the night of Monday/Tuesday 14/15 April 1986, US aircraft bombed Libya as a response to alleged Libyan support for terrorism. The 18 April issue of (the then fortnightly) PN was already on its way to the printers when news came through; but a Stop Press supplement written on the Tuesday carried news as it came in – of the attack, and of some reactions in just the first few hours.

Peace groups respond to attack on Libya

At Upper Heyford airbase, one of the bases where the F1-…

1 July 2011Blog entry

<p><em>PN</em> invited activists from around the movement to record what they were doing when Peace News turned 75. &nbsp;Our birthday was on 6 June 2011.</p>

Looking back, looking forward

So Peace News was first published on 6th June 1936.  6th June was also, as it happens,  the date of  other momentous events – the D-day landings in 1944, the publication of  George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four in 1949, the bombing of Haiphong during the Vietnam War in 1972.

2011 seems to be a year of  significant anniversaries: 75 years of Peace News… 50 Years of Amnesty International…  and good grief, very nearly 10 years  of…

1 July 2011Blog entry

PN invited activists from around the movement to record what they were doing when Peace News turned 75.  Our birthday was on 6 June 2011.

Peace News is 75. Happy birthday! Today is another anniversary; it’s two years  since my Mum’s death so I’m feeling somber, remembering the failings in the hospital care she received and our struggle to get her home so she could die as well as she had lived: in peace, with her family, in familiar surroundings. Time was short, and when some of the things that should have happened to facilitate this did not and our questions met with poor excuses, we blew the whistle to get things moving.…

30 June 2011Blog entry

<p>Emily Johns and Gabriel Carlyle talk about Peace News, the birthday party, the Egyptian revolution, Peace News Summer Camp, and the point of doing pointless things.</p>

9 June 2011Blog entry

The site of the PN75 party
Gail Chester (shiny jacket) comperes the Red & Green Choir
Dennis Gould, anarchist poet These are some pictures from the party on Saturday 4 June. First three: The Catholic Worker building on the Harringay Ladder in North London (in Haringey!) / Compere Gail Chester of Peace News Trustees with the…

1 June 2011Comment

In Charing Cross Road in London in the 1950s, there used to be an elderly woman selling Peace News who stood on the pavement saying: [uses frail voice] “Pacifist paper. Pacifist paper.” And it put me off! Although I was interested in the peace movement and remember going to a big anti-bomb meeting in Hornsey town hall addressed by Alex Comfort among others, before CND was formed, to buy the paper seemed uncool, although I wouldn’t have used the term then. Of course I regret it now!

1 June 2011Comment

75 years on, what is the future for Peace News? One thing is clear. As activism, and life in general, become more and more digital, Peace News will have to develop its presence online, and find new ways to be useful to new generations of activists. The new website we’re launching this summer is just the start of a broad range of major digital PN projects.

Having said that, and despite our reliance on phone conferences for organising PN activities, we remain firmly committed to old-…

1 June 2011Feature

A PN board member looks back over the early years

Peace News had its origins in a pacifist study group convened by Humphrey Moore in Wood Green, London in 1936. Having completed their programme of studies they decided to engage in some form of practical action that would propagate the pacifist case to a wide audience. The publication of the first issue of Peace News on 6 June 1936 was the result, financed by donations from members of the study group and their friends.

The first issue had a print run of 5,000. Humphrey Moore was the…

1 June 2011Feature

Like much of the (male-dominated) British peace movement, Peace News had an uncomfortable time coming to terms with second-wave feminism in the 1970s. Here are some thought-provoking reflections on feminism and nonviolence published in PN over the last few decades.

“If I ever decided to go through Catonsville again, I would never act with men; it would be a women’s action for me or I wouldn’t act.... I don't want to waste the sisters and brothers we have by marching them off to jail and having mystical experiences or whatever they’re going to have.... I think you have to be serious and realise you could end up in jail but I hope that people would not seek it as we did.”

Mary Moylan, writing from underground (Peace News, 3 July 1970). Mary Moylan…

1 June 2011Feature

Albert Beale makes a personal selection of a few of the more noteworthy images and pieces of writing that have appeared in Peace News over the last 75 years. Some of the items are chosen because of their eloquence, some because they typify PN's often lonely and unique take on the world, and some because they connect with major world events. And sometimes all three.

The paper reports from the first meeting of War Resisters' International after the Second World War (10 January 1947)

The Hitler question

One of the challenges still regularly thrown at pacifists today is the “But what about the Second World War?” question. This might be thought to have been even harder to deal with at the time. But James Avery Joyce rose to the challenge on the front page of PN on 26 September 1941.

“At this…

1 June 2011Letter

Congratulations and thanks on PN attaining the ripe old age of 75; five years older than me! How the world has changed yet remained dangerous. Among the hundreds of events I cite three special memories.

My PN cuttings of 1961 (and arrest warrant) remind me of the Committee of 100 sit downs in London – I recall – no shouting or violence, but not enough involvement from the Labour movement either.  My notes of the Cuban Missile Crisis include a visit with local folk to Bertrand Russell…

28 May 2011Blog entry

Peace News is 75 years old this month. Come and help us celebrate 75 years of radical reporting and resistance to the war machine.


Saturday 4 June 2011, 4pm onwards (till late) at the London Catholic Worker building, Giuseppe Conlon House, 49 Mattison Road, London N4 1BG. Tube: Manor House. Bus: 29. Map:

Performances will include:
- Leon Rosselson:
- the Carbon Town Cryer:…

1 May 2011Letter

This June marks our 75th anniversary as a publication dedicated to peace and justice. We've decided to mark the anniversary in a unique way by having a one-year donation-based subscription offer. We are allowing people to subscribe for a year with whatever donation they think is appropriate. For a whole year, we will be entrusting ourselves (and our salaries) to the generosity of the British peace movement!

Instead of having "subscribers", we want to recruit more "sustainers", people…

1 May 2011Letter

Brilliant. I hope your new donation-based subscription system [to be announced fully in the June issue] works as well for you as it did on our market garden, Growing Green. Dave introduced a subscription system, to separate “money” and being part of the project. At least one third of the subscribers paid far more than the minimum, some double! Occasionally people paid less, and increased it again as soon as they were able. A beautiful, trusting system.

1 May 2011Letter

I write in reply to your notice of changing from “subscribers” to “sustainers”. I feel it is a bit risky. But on the other hand it seems a bold step which might call forth greater support than you ever dreamt of.

I can’t remember what my subscription is but I would, at least, wish to retain it at its present level. Maybe, if it is possible I would consider slightly increasing my subscription, though I am not weathy being an 80-year-old pensioner.

Best wishes for your new…