Useful tools and how tos

1 April 2024Feature

A guide to filming protests on your smartphone – for maximum impact – by one of the most experienced activist filmmakers around.

If you film your campaign group in action, the footage can be used on social media or even broadcast news to get the message out to a wider audience.

By filming it yourself, you are being part of DIY (Do It Yourself) culture and not relying on the mainstream media to turn up.

Here are a few hints to get you going, using a smartphone.


Before you go out
Try and make sure your phone is fully charged.

Pack your…

1 April 2024Comment

Seven behaviours to help us stay active and effective

To be in shape for the long haul, we have to get our minds and spirits ready, as well as jump into action.

When we’re in bad shape, our power is diminished – we’re less creative, more reactive, and less able to plan strategically. If we intend to stay active and effective in the world, we have a responsibility to tend to our spirits.

Here are seven behaviours we can use right away to strengthen ourselves, so we can keep taking more and more powerful and strategic actions.

20 October 2021Blog

Rachael Mellor explores a key information hub for peace campaigners

Over the years people have found incredible inspiration in the brave words, actions, and leadership of peace heroes - Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr and Mahatma Gandhi, to name a few. They display courage, moral strength and compassion to gain the right to freedom and safety, regardless of political or religious differences. 

To achieve peace, we must compete against governmental institutions, law and order, high-level corruption, the global arms trade, injustices, human rights…

20 July 2021Feature

What’s the worst that can happen on a street stall?

Maddie is on a street stall in her town centre on Hiroshima Day, 6 August, wearing a placard and handing out leaflets about the atomic bombings. Every so often, someone stops to argue. Sometimes Maddie can’t get a word in edgeways ...

Passerby: You should be ashamed of yourself.

Maddie: Excuse me?

Passerby: My granddad would have died if we’d listened to people like you.

Maddie: Was he a …

5 March 2021Blog

It’s being processed by an arms company... again!

This year, the contract for processing census forms has been put in the hands of Leidos, one of the world’s biggest military companies.

So far, there hasn’t been much debate about this. We’d like to change that. We invite you to take action through the census form itself, to suggest to your friends they do the same – and, crucially, (a) tell your local paper about what you’re doing and (b) tell us what you’re doing!

In 2011, the contract for processing the census in the UK was…

11 December 2020Feature

A brilliant new resource for the world we’re moving into

Here are some nuggets from an excellent, very practical 48-page guide to running online events. Leading Groups Online has just been written (for activists and others) by two people with deep experience and a lot of wisdom.

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, teachers, educators, trainers, organisers, consultants, and event planners are being asked to do the same things but online. You may find this a delightful challenge or entirely overwhelming. Maybe you have been in online…

1 December 2020Blog

You can be part of the new world of online campaigning even if you don’t have (reliable) broadband or a webcam. 

Organisers, you should be circulating details of how people can phone into your online events (or at least your phone number).

You can go to a Zoom Meeting by phone if 
(a) the organisers allow this in the settings of the Zoom call and (b) you have a telephone with these two keys: # and *

You will need to get from the organisers the Meeting ID number and the Passcode (password).

1) A few minutes before the meeting is meant to begin, phone Zoom. There are a lot of…

1 December 2019Feature

Getting the word out through online audio

This year, ForcesWatch produced the first season of a podcast titled ‘Warrior Nation.’ (A podcast is a radio programme turned into a computer file that people can download from the internet and listen to on their smartphone or computer – ed.)

Our aim was to create a platform for anti-militarist thinkers who might otherwise not be heard. We interviewed academics, activists and artists.

For our season finale, on 4 December, we will interview the political hip-hop artist Lowkey…

1 December 2019Feature

Top tips from a DIY video-making workshop for activists in Manchester

Liam Acton shows activists how to edit their footage. Photo: Kellen Wren

We ventured out into the city of Manchester with our cameras to get some footage which we would then edit into short films.

On 9 November, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) and Pugwash collaborated to bring a DIY video-making workshop to a group of social justice activists in Manchester.

The intention was to offer the tools to make short, dynamic videos on camera and smartphones that will…

2 February 2018Tool

Resources from the Weaving Our Own Web dayschool in January 2018.

Peace News held the second of our Weaving Our Own Web dayschools, in January 2018, for campaigners who want to learn more about online tools that can help them with their groups, and help them win their campaigns. Here are some resources from the day:

Wordpress for campaigns by Kirk Jackson

Social media presentations are available at …

1 June 2017Tool

PN's DIY guide to meeting online

Holding a meeting by online video saves travel time, money and carbon emissions, but it does mean most people have to have access to the equipment and to the internet. (You can add someone who just has a phone, but it costs money – see below).

We’re going to talk about using Skype for internet video meetings though there are other options.

Skype has been owned by Microsoft since 2011, and Microsoft has made Skype video, audio and text messages available for capture by US…

1 August 2016Feature

Effective anti-racist organising in white rural and working-class communities in the US

Semi-functional artwork at TriMet’s Gresham central transit centre, Gresham, Oregon. PHOTO: Steve Morgan CC-BY-SA-3.0 via Wikimedia

With hundreds of volunteer leaders and 65 member groups across Oregon, the Rural Organising Project is a powerful example of a statewide social justice organisation with a statewide strategy. At the centre of their work for peace, justice and democracy is an organising strategy to develop anti-racist politics, leadership, and action in rural white…

1 December 2015Feature

How two activists learned to code from scratch in order to build an online tool to support activist groups

Sky Christensen and Keira PatersonPhoto: eConvenor (timer photo)

About three years ago, two Australian campaigners were surprised and frustrated to discover that the next generation of student activists were making the very same mistakes in organising that they had made at university. Nothing seemed to have changed. A lot of people have had a similar realisation.

Unlike a lot of people, however, Keira Paterson and Sky Christensen decided to do something about it. ‘Sky had this…

1 March 2012Tool

What can we as individuals do to reduce the threat of violence – whether we encounter it in our daily lives, or whether we are concerned about the growing stockpile of nuclear weapons? Alison Whyte highlights some new on-line courses.

In 2005, a group at the University of Tromsø in Norway decided to create online training courses based on the ideas of Johan Galtung, the Norwegian sociologist who founded peace and conflict studies.

Professor Galtung defines peace as the capacity to handle conflict in a creative and empathic way. Galtung, who said that ‘violence is to peace what disease is to health’, believes that health professionals and others have a moral responsibility to address violence whenever they encounter…

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 ( Peace News is interested in improving the online services available to activists.

Phone conferencing: Skype
Meetings by phone for freeish

We organised the Rebellious…