Recent articles

Prosecution Doesn’t Show Up for Hearing to Charge Yurii Sheliazhenko with Justifying Russian War

20 Sep 2023

Blog by World Beyond War

The prosecution did not show up for the hearing today (Wednesday 20 September) in Kyiv to pursue the filing of charges against [Ukrainian pacifist] Yurii Sheliazhenko, who is being charged by the Ukrainian government with the crime of justifying Russian aggression. The evidence is this statement which explicitly condemns Russian aggression.

Even Churchill thought Hiroshima was unnecessary

01 Aug 2023

Feature by Milan Rai

Churchill believed there were two non-atomic ways of bringing about a Japanese surrender

The Hollywood blockbuster, Oppenheimer, is having a massive opening weekend as I write these words.

The central event of the film is the ‘Trinity’ test on 16 July 1945, when scientists set off the world’s first nuclear bomb.

One of the less well-known effects of the test was its shattering impact on the wartime British prime minister. Winston Churchill was told about Trinity while he was attending the Potsdam conference in Germany with US president Harry Truman and Soviet leader Joseph Stalin.

Ocean Rebellion

01 Aug 2023

Feature by PN

Protesting the International Maritime Organisation's climate conference

On 26 June, Ocean Rebellion brought a puppet oil tanker, belching a vile fog of heavy fuel oil (HFO) smoke, to the headquarters of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) on Lambeth Road in London. Inside, where the photo above was taken, delegates were sipping drinks on the first day of a conference to revise the IMO’s climate strategy.

Barbara Deming

01 Aug 2023

Comment by Barbara Deming

Extracts from two of her most famous essays

The most effective action both resorts to power and engages conscience. Nonviolence does not have to beg others to ‘be nice’. It can in effect force them to consult their consciences - or to pretend to have them.

Nor does it petition those in power to do something about a situation. It can face the authorities with a new fact and say: Accept this new situation which we have created.

Glyn Carter, Gog-Magog

01 Aug 2023

Review by Virginia Moffatt

Gog-Magog is a modern fantasy steeped in ancient myths of England and Wales.

Gwern is the last born of the Gog clan of the Mharos, the old giants of Albion (England) exiled to the Himalayas. A hunter and bard, he knows nothing of the modern world.

When he and his cousin Barl discover men have breached the Veil that protects their tribe, they are puzzled that tribe elders seem indifferent to the danger.

To save their dying community, they defy orders, travelling to Albion in search of the lost head of Bran the Blessed, who they hope will save them.

Reem Kelani, For the People By the Sea

01 Aug 2023

Review by Penny Stone

Reem Kelani's online concert For the People By the Sea was hosted by the Palestinian Museum, in Birzeit, just a few miles north of Jerusalem. And while the physical museum is important, they are equally dedicated to curating online resources that shine a light on Palestinian experience and cultural life. 

Gaia Vince, Nomad Century: How To Survive The Climate Upheaval

01 Aug 2023

Review by Ian Sinclair

Due to the impacts of global warming, ‘human movement on a scale never before seen will dominate this century and remake our world.’

This is the central proposition of this important popular science book. Gaia Vince, an honorary senior research fellow at University College London, believes we are on course for a 3 – 4 °C of temperature rise by 2100, with tens of millions of people forced to leave their homes by mid-century.

Darius Holtom, Gerald Holtom: Designer of the Peace Symbol

01 Aug 2023

Review by Emily Johns

This is a beautifully-written biography of an artist whose life began months before the Great War and ended in the depths of the Cold War.

Gerald Holtom’s professional work began in 1935, creating joyful and life-affirming textile designs which he sold in his furniture shop in Tottenham Court Road in Central London. In 1939, the shop was requestioned as an air raid shelter.

Jane Holgate, Arise: Power, Strategy and Union Resurgence

01 Aug 2023

Review by Gabriel Carlyle

Last year, the UK economy lost an estimated 2.52 million working days, as postal workers, nurses, railworkers and others went on strike to resist real-term pay cuts and defend the essential services we all depend on.

Long absent from both the media and public awareness, trade unions were suddenly news again.

Yet this was very far from being an historic high.

Indeed, as Holgate points out, 23.9mn working days were lost in 1972 (mainly due to a strike by coalminers) and 29.5mn in 1979 (during the so-called ‘winter of discontent’).

Radical Music: 'Oh bonny Potmore'

01 Aug 2023

Comment by Penny Stone

'Remember Chipko and embrace the trees.'

‘Oh, bonny Portmore, I am sorry to see such a woeful destruction of your ornament tree.…’

These words begin an Irish lament from Country Antrim, sung for an aged oak that fell in a great storm in 1760.

It is the oldest ‘environmental justice’ song (as we might call it today) sung in the English language that I’ve been able to source. (Please do let me know if you know of other early songs with this theme!)

As with all issues of environmental justice, the critique in this song goes hand in hand with naming colonialism and capitalism.

Ukraine sunflower

01 Aug 2023

Feature by Peter Phillips

A poem by Peter Phillips

Dogs were howling. I don’t know what breed
but something like wolves; so maybe Alsatians.
They wouldn’t stop, their noise was contagious.
Soon we were all weeping. When they came,

we quietened, but not the dogs. Soldiers picked
through our debris-scorched field. Most wore
balaclavas. Only yesterday, children had skipped
through us, laughing at how tall we were.

'Mother Country Radicals'

01 Aug 2023

Comment by Chris Cole

Chris Cole considers a podcast looking at violent resistance to US imperialism in the 1970s

Mother Country Radicals is a fascinating ‘family history’ of the 1970s US radical left focusing on the Weather Underground and the Black Panthers. The 10-part podcast is thoughtfully narrated by Zayd Dohrn, the son of Weather Underground leaders Bernardine Dohrn and Bill Ayers. The series reflects on the consequences for him and his brothers of his parents’ involvement, and what it means to be willing to fight back, whether violently or nonviolently, against a racist and unjust system.

Claire is leaving!

01 Aug 2023

News by PN

PN wishes a fond farewell to its current admin worker

What a shock! It is hard for us to believe – and hard to forgive! – but our very own Claire Poyner is stepping down from her position as admin worker staffing the PN office, from the end of August. We will miss her very much. (For the next few months, from 1 September, Claire’s work will be covered by other staff members.)

Here is Claire’s statement on her departure:

Diary: 'It's an exercise in imagining the worst'

01 Aug 2023

Comment by Cath

Our South Yorkshire-based anarcho-communard turns the risk register on its head

It’s taken us a while, but today, at last, the members of Doncaster Skate Co-operative finally played Co-opoly, the game of setting up a worker co-op. Several ‘chance’ cards mirrored real life – being featured in the paper, getting co-op governance training and the unexpected costs of asbestos removal all elicited squeaks of recognition.

What else

01 Aug 2023

Comment by Rebecca Elson-Watkins

The Tories are making it harder for anyone who isn't part of the Ruling Class to get an education, argues Rebecca Elson-Watkins

The latest Tory nonsense is yet another attack on university education. The phrase ‘low-value degree’ is being thrown around. I’m not entirely sure such a thing exists. Well, except maybe ‘PPE’ (politics, philosophy and economics); the Tory career politician degree of choice does not appear to equip folx to lead.

University was not easy for me. An undiagnosed, dyslexic, autistic: burnout and sensory overload followed me around university like my handy wheeled book bag. But it was a formative, brilliant time nonetheless.