Resources and institutions

1 June 2019News in Brief

On 31 May, Brighton’s Cowley Club launched a £10,000 appeal to repair its roof. The Club is a volunteer-run social centre on London Road. Open since 2003, it is a hub for the local activist community, including Smash EDO and Earth First! More info:
www.cowley.club

1 April 2018News in Brief

Would you like to think more deeply about ‘How Social Change Happens’? Global climate action group, 350.org, has created new online ‘skill-ups’ (rather than ‘classes’) for campaigners.

As well as the valuable ‘Having Climate Change Conversations’ and a guide to divestment campaigning, sections include ‘How Social Movements Win’ and ‘Advanced Campaigning Lessons’ using real-life examples.

US course designer Daniel Hunter wanted to avoid the situation where ‘The student…

1 April 2018News in Brief

The activist-led grant-making body, the Edge Fund (PN 2546), is appealing for financial support. Annual income has fallen from over £220,000 to less than £50,000 last year. In the last five years, the group has supported over 200 groups, including Peace News Summer Camp.

In the last round, grants included: Highlands Against Nuclear Transport, Scotland (£500); Friends of Detainees, UK-wide (£3,000); African Rainbow Family (by and for LGBTIQ asylum seekers and…

1 August 2016Feature

A how-to guide by the Rural Organsing Project

The Rural Organizing Project promotes a community-building culture where food, children and our friendship circles are all a part of our social justice efforts.

Relationships of trust are a priority especially at a time of wedge politics, where topics that people are less familiar and thus comfortable with are used to divide. A core part of our work is talking about the most polarised issues of the day....

Establishing a culture of trust, though, is not that easy. Where…

31 March 2015Feature

Michael Randle explores an important Bradford-based cultural resource

Commonweal is a free library which specialises in works on peace and radical politics. Its aim since inception has been to provide a service for activists and academics alike. It has been housed since 1976 within the main JB Priestley Library at Bradford University, West Yorkshire. It has had strong links from its early days with Peace News.

The library had its origins in the private collection of books, journals and pamphlets of David Hoggett, whose life in many ways…

25 November 2014Feature

What happens when the founders of a radical organisation move on, new people come in, and the strict entry standards that were put in place originally are set aside? How does it affect who joins the organisation, and how does it affect the politics of the organisation?


'Flickr - Laenulfean - crossroads' by Carsten Tolkmit from Kiel, Germany. Photo: Carsten Tolkmit CC-by-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

After 26 years supporting its activist membership in taking over £4m-worth of housing out of the private property market, the Radical Routes network of radical housing and worker co-ops deleted a fundamental membership condition in the summer of 2014 and may well abolish another before the end of 2015.

Shortly after being formed in 1988,…

25 November 2014Feature

The long story behind current debates about principles in a radical co-op network


The pink house, Walden Pond Housing Co-op in St Leonards-on-Sea. photo: Milan Rai

Radical Routes has been an amazing radical success story, proving that democratic radical institutions can survive and thrive, operating by a modified form of consensus decision-making, and turning private property into collectively-owned, activist-controlled spaces. For some, the success of Radical Routes (RR) has proven that ‘anarchists can deal with money’.

Today, Radical Routes is changing…

25 November 2014Feature

The US anti-racist collective, Catalyst Project, recently circulated this text with the subject heading ‘What do you mean by anti-racism?’

Catalyst Project works to consciously create a culture that helps white people take strategic and effective anti-racist action as a part of multiracial movements.

We think that white anti-racist organising requires that we move away from competitive, individualist thinking, and instead support as many people as we can to be effective change agents, working in accountable relationships with people of colour-led organisations. These shifts in organising culture help create more…

1 November 2013Review

More Like People Press, 2013; 263pp; £15 – available from Housmans bookshop or online at www.morelikepeople.org

Like the author of this book, I’ve had the experience of working for a large NGO (non-governmental organisation) and, in the process, becoming de-skilled, de-motivated, uncreative and disempowered.

After a couple of years of struggling with hierarchy and unimaginative bureaucracy, I left to do more activism, study for an art degree, and work part-time for a small start-up charity where my skills have been appreciated and nurtured. So naturally I was keen to crack open my copy of…

1 September 2013Review

OUP USA, 2012; 224pp; £18.99

Do you give a damn about the future of democracy? Read this book.

Do you want tools to help our species to respond to climate change with the speed and breadth it needs? Read this book (although it barely mentions climate change at all).

Do you need to restore your faith in the ability of academics to have important ideas and insights and express them in real English? Read this book.

Kathleen Blee, an American sociologist, spent four years attending the meetings of new…

1 September 2013Review

Microcosm Publishing, 2009, 160pp, £4.99

The first zines I bought were punk publications in the late ’70s, and in the early ’90s I produced my own zine. (Wikipedia definition: ‘A zine [zeen; an abbreviation of fanzine, or magazine] is most commonly a small circulation self-published work of original and/or appropriated texts and images usually reproduced via photocopier.’) I’ve read hundreds of zines over the years, and samizdat publishing holds a huge place in my heart. There is an immediacy and humanity about holding a zine in…

24 January 2012Tool

PN looks at some of the free/cheap software tools that are actually used by the PN staff to do their work, in addition to complicated and expensive things like Photoshop and InDesign.

We’ve tried to be honest about what we actually use rather than just telling you about the most politically-correct Open Source software out there. If you have suggestions to share, please drop us an email or put a comment on the blog (www.peacenewslog.info). Peace News is interested in improving the online services available to activists.

Phone conferencing: Skype
Meetings by phone for freeish

We organised the Rebellious…

13 August 2011Feature

Some are really great, some area bit weird, but we felt that all these online guides are potentially useful. There were more ... but we just could not fit them in!Find the rest at: http://peacenews.info/resources/

http://www.schnews.org.uk/diyguide/blockadingforbeginers.pdf Amazingly comprehensive guide to carrying out blockades, with advice on everything from what to wear to building obstruction devices. Also contains useful tips on how to organise your action and liaising with the police and the media. Some of the legal guidance is specific to the UK. http://www.…

13 August 2011Feature

The global, Co-operative Commonweal a long desired dream is now becoming a practical reality: it is a vision of global peace and security, through practical, local and co-active co-operation.

Over the past seven years, this dream has been turning into real, tangible action. Here, I hope to share these developments and give some pointers to the next steps.

These developments got under way in 1995, when The International Co-operative Alliance (the ICA) met to refresh the…

13 August 2011Feature

Fiction George Orwell, 1984 (New American Library Classics, 1990. ISBN 0451524934, 268pp).
Orwell's prophetic view of the future of the world is a chilling dystopia in which totalitarian control and conformity prevail. Aldous Huxley, Brave New World (Harperperennial Library, 1998. ISBN 0060929871, 268pp)
In exchange for crime being virtually non-existent in Huxley's imaginary utopian world, there is an absence of personal freedom. Margaret Atwood,The Hand-maid'…