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"Peace News has compiled an exemplary record... its tasks have never been more critically important than they are today." Noam Chomsky

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Peace News 2016 appeal

Dear friend,

Thank you so much for your support of Peace News. With Saudi Arabia using British weapons to bomb Yemeni civilians, British airstrikes in Iraq, the frictions and divisions here in the UK following the EU referendum vote, and the election of Donald Trump, it's clear that Britain and the world need a strong voice for radical nonviolence, more than ever.

This year, Peace News has done a lot. In January, we were honoured to be able to publish Andrea Needham's wonderful memoir of her historic Ploughshares action, in which she and other women took hammers to a Hawk fighter jet bound for Indonesia, and were then acquitted of criminal damage. Andrea launched her book, 'The Hammer Blow: How 10 Women Disarmed a Warplane', at a meeting at Friends House in London, and since then has spoken to dozens of groups around the UK. Financial support from last year's appeal helped us to promote the book widely, and we continue to promote and sell this valuable nonviolence resource. If you haven't already bought a copy for someone's Christmas present, please do so now! We're looking to make our first royalty payment to Andrea shortly, and the more books you buy, the more she'll earn! (Books can be bought online or by phone on 020 7278 3344.)

This year, the eighth Peace News Summer Camp, which drew 120 people to Crabapple Community in Shropshire, focused on celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Seeds of Hope Women's Ploughshares action, with Andrea and Jo Blackman from the hammerers, and Lyn Bliss and our own Emily Johns from the support group. The camp once again helped people to deepen their understanding of nonviolence and radical social change, and to move towards activism. One first-time Summer Camper wrote to us recently to say that the camp had helped him to move into climate-related nonviolent direct action:

'Peace News Summer Camp was a revelation. I experienced an amazing welcome, a great opening of new possibilities for action, and a feast of community, education, insight and joy. Truly deeply profoundly worthwhile. As a direct result of attending the camp, I am now engaged with the Rising Up! climate direct action project.'

We've continued marking the 100th anniversary of the First World War with exhibitions and talks by Emily Johns and Gabriel Carlyle, who put together the stunning 'The World is my Country' poster set and book. Gabriel and editor Milan Rai have also been taking nonviolence workshops out to the movement through their involvement in the Quaker Peace & Social Witness 'Turning the Tide' training programme.

This year, PN had a lot of content that you wouldn’t have found elsewhere. Among other things, more investigation of class and classism - and what we can do about these forms of oppression; guidance on anti-racist work in white working-class communities; the real story of teenage First World War 'war hero' Jack Cornwell; the inside story of the Heathrow 13 climate action and trial; an in-depth profile of the director of the Institute for Race & Class (her first!); an important intervention in the Labour party's 'anti-semitism' crisis; Rev Billy's Golden Toad bank occupation; a challenge to the widespread practice of 'calling people out' for their oppressive language or behaviour; and an eye-opening look at France's possible motives for its part in the 2011 assault on Libya.

We have been inspired by the Campaign Nonviolence initiative in the US, which this year generated 700 nonviolent actions, and contributed to 648 nonviolence trainings around the world.

Next year, 2017, Peace News aims to promote radical nonviolence and to support local campaigning around the UK, by visiting towns and cities and offering support to groups large and small. We want to build on the face-to-face connections that have been made at Peace News Summer Camp, and on the support base of PN readers, to strengthen active nonviolence - and nonviolent direct action - in the UK. This work might contribute in future years to the setting up of a British network of nonviolence study and action groups. This possibility excited our former editorial worker, and much-missed educator and activist, Howard Clark.

Please now contribute as generously as you can to:

  • help fund the spreading of radical nonviolence by holding meetings and workshops to support nonviolent action around the country, events which might lead to people setting up nonviolence study groups;

and to

  • help Peace News survive and thrive.

Warm wishes,

from Claire, Emily, Emma, Gabriel, and Mil
the Peace News team

November 2016

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