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Peace News 2019 appeal

Dear friend,

Thank you so much for the support you've given Peace News.

2019 highlights

This year, PN has had a particular focus on strategy and effective campaigning. Among other things this has included:

  • Running a well-attended day-long workshop on this topic in Edinburgh (with participation by folk from a wide-range of different local groups including Extinction Rebellion, CAAT, Quaker Roots of Resistance, Friends of the Earth and Transition Towns).

  • Obtaining permission from the US activist, writer and trainer Daniel Hunter (Training for Change, Casino Free Philadelphia) to become the sole UK print publisher of his new book: the Climate Resistance Handbook: Or, I was part of a climate action. Now what? (foreword by Greta Thunberg) – printing 1,000 hard copies which we have been selling *at cost price* to local XR groups, climate strikers etc… Short, accessible and drawing on a rich array of real-life stories it’s a near-ideal resource for the current moment here in the UK.

  • Printing extracts from the Handbook in PN as well as an important piece on nonviolent strategy by veteran US activist and Quaker George Lakey (Why protests are usually a waste of time).

  • Distributing copies of George Lakey’s latest book, How We Win, and copies of Mark and Paul Engler’s book, This is an uprising: how nonviolent revolt is shaping the twenty-first century.

Of course, a lot of PN this year, as every year, has been about nonviolent direct action and civil disobedience, as this is at the core of who we are.

Among other things, we’ve covered: the nine-week trial of the Stansted 15 (prosecuted for blockading a deportation flight taking 60 undocumented immigrants to West Africa); the mass blockades at the DSEI arms fair; and the case of the Kings Bay Plowshares 7 (who finally went on trial in October for breaking into a US Trident base and carrying out symbolic disarmament). And we’ve also celebrated the success of French and Italian activists and trade unionists in stopping the loading of arms for Saudi Arabia – weapons intended for use in Yemen – and covered the surge in large-scale climate direct action: from the inspiring school strikes around the world, to the youth-led Sunrise Movement in the US, to the Ende Gelände anti-coal blockades in Germany, to the dramatic occupations by Extinction Rebellion in London and elsewhere.

As part of our coverage, we’ve carried several important reflections on Extinction Rebellion by our very own Gabriel Carlyle. Gabriel has praised XR for 'its boldness of vision, its commitment to nonviolence … its chutzpah and creativity, and for the sheer hard work that many of its activists have put into the cause'. But he's also warned of the dangers of making unfounded apocalyptic predictions and relying on *unfocused* disruption to win the policy changes we need – and there are signs that at least some within XR may be beginning to take these constructive criticims on board.

And alongside the above, we've also continued covering the human side of making social change, including our two-part interview with Pat Gaffney, the much-loved outgoing general secretary of Pax Christi. And we’ve celebrated the lives of several beloved campaigners who we’ve lost this year: the amazing Genny Bove, a dear friend of PN; the wonderful Peter le Mare, a stalwart of Peace News Summer Camp from the beginning; and the incomparable Donald Rooum, a PN cartoonist for over 50 years.

Your help for 2020

Looking forward to 2020, we’re planning to host an important event with George Lakey, when he comes to the UK next July. This day-long workshop will train folk from a diverse bunch of campaigns to run his new ‘How we win’ workshop, aimed at helping to shift activists into a strategic mindset that sees the power of nonviolent direct action campaigns (ie. focused mobilizations of energy, with a clear objective, taking place over a time period that can realistically sustained).

At PN we rely heavily on our annual appeal – and on the generosity of our subscribers – to help meet what would otherwise be a significant shortfall in our annual budget. So, if you value our work, then please consider making a donation to enable us to fund our nonviolence work for 2020.

Warm wishes,

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


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