Recent articles

The Big One: An invitation from Extinction Rebellion

04 Jan 2023

Blog by Angie Zelter

This is a moment of huge potential

On one hand, there are many reasons to feel the future is bleak: recent failure of COP27,  vicious attacks on migrants, unravelling living standards, widening inequality, crashing biodiversiy, and extreme weather events brought about by worsening climate conditions to name a few. On the other hand, there is a unique opportunity to unite across divides for effective action, and there is an amazing potential for change. 

Obituary: Godric Bader December 1923 – 7 July 2022

08 Dec 2022

Comment by Milan Rai

Conscientious objector, chair of Scott Bader and winner of International Peace Award

In October 2014, Second World War conscientious objector Godric Bader was awarded the Gandhi Foundation’s International Peace Award, in recognition of the alternative business model he and his family created for their industrial manufacturing company, the Scott Bader Commonwealth.

Scott Bader has been and continues to be a successful industrial manufacturing company. Being owned by its workers did not stop it reaching sales of £270mn in 2021 (with gross profits of £76mn).

David Graeber and David Wengrow, The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity

01 Dec 2022

Review by Henrietta Cullinan

Often playful and accessible in style, The Dawn of Everything guides readers on an ambitious intellectual adventure through thousands of years and across continents. Open the book at any page and you will instantly get drawn into fascinating accounts of states that are not states, vanishing cities, kings with no authority, clown policemen and other lively confusions.

Adam Hochschild, American Midnight: The Great War, a Violent Peace and Democracy’s Forgotten Crisis

01 Dec 2022

Review by Gabriel Carlyle

Adam Hochschild’s latest book tells the story of the extraordinary wave of repression that took place in the US during the years 1917 – 1921.

Brilliantly told, it’s ‘a story of mass imprisonments, torture, vigilante violence, censorship [and] killings of Black Americans’, kickstarted by the USA’s formal entry into the First World War in April 1917.

But it’s also the story of incredible bravery and resilience on the part of those who resisted this madness.

Olúfémi Táíwò, Against Decolonisation: Taking African Agency Seriously

01 Dec 2022

Review by Milan Rai

Why would a Nigerian philosopher be against decolonisation? Olúfémi Táíwò explains that, in Africa, ‘decolonisation’ means two very different things.

Decolonisation1 is simple: a colony gains its independence and becomes self-governing.

Decolonisation2, on the other hand, means the ex-colony throwing out ‘any and every cultural, political, intellectual, social and linguistic artefact, idea, process, institution and practice that retains even the slightest whiff of the colonial past’.

Mohamed Abdou, Islam and Anarchism: Relationships and Resonances

01 Dec 2022

Review by Muzammal Hussain

This book shakes things up!

It also opens a space for dialogue, welcoming Muslims, anarchists and anyone engaged with creating a just, peaceful world.

It attempts to offer a vision for building a community of mutual partnership, as an alternative to nation-state structures, capitalist or otherwise. Such a community is inclusive of diverse faiths and spiritualities and grounded in shared, lived, ethico-political values. It also engages with justice in relation to indigenous land.

Craig Whitlock, The Afghanistan Papers: A Secret History of the War

01 Dec 2022

Review by Ian Sinclair

In 2019, the Washington Post published a treasure trove of documents proving that ‘US officials had repeatedly lied to the public about what was happening in Afghanistan, just as they had in Vietnam.’ This industrial-scale deception was spread across the three presidencies of Bush, Obama and Trump.

Radical music: 'Baraye'

01 Dec 2022

Comment by Penny Stone

'They always think they can silence the singer, but they can never silence the song.'

In Iran since the 1979 revolution, women have been banned from singing solo in front of men who are unrelated to them. This is just one of many restrictions forced upon Iranian women during this time.

In September, Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian woman, died in custody after being arrested by the ‘morality police’ because her clothes were judged to be ‘revealing’. Just a few threads of her hair were visible outside the edge of her hijab.

Beyond the barricades

01 Dec 2022

Comment by Ambrose Musiyiwa

Ambrose Musiyiwa talks to social psychologist Jo Biglin about visualising the UK's invisible borders

‘In everyday life it’s very easy to see the borders at the edge of a nation. It literally says: “UK Border Force”. But when somebody is not going into Piccadilly Gardens [in central Manchester] because they’ve been told: “You shouldn’t go in there because you have an Afro [Afro-textured hair] and people will assume you are a drug dealer,” that’s something difficult to visualise. Photography allows us to see that. It allows us to visualise often invisible borders.’

Diary: ‘If I don’t take myself seriously, why should anyone else?’

01 Dec 2022

Comment by Cath

Our Bentley-based cooperator tries to strike a balance between idealism and dogma

I was just at my last annual Cornerstone party as a tenant member of the co-op. After my dark comic (and very middle-aged) contribution of Victoria Wood and ‘Poisoning Pigeons in the Park’ by Tom Lehrer, other younger people came on who spoke very seriously indeed.

One Colombian talked about the pain and damage of the cocaine industry on their people and how they felt about people around them disregarding that for their own pleasure.

What else

01 Dec 2022

Comment by Rebecca Elson-Watkins

PTSD sucks. So, what can we do about it?

There are a lot of things I could say, write, and otherwise communicate, about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

But let me start with the most obvious, or at least the most obvious to me, an almost life-long sufferer.

Having PTSD fucking sucks.

There. I said it. I think a lot of my fellow sufferers would agree. It sucks all day long and twice on Sundays. It sucks long, hard, wide and sideways. It sucks upside down and inside out. It even sucks at night.

It.

Just.

Sucks.

Why?

Poynted remarks

01 Dec 2022

Comment by Claire Poyner

Our columnist takes aim at unnecessary noise

One of the ‘pleasures’ of the Peace News office location is Caledonian Road. Right at the junction with Pentonville Road at Kings Cross. So, busy. We’re right by the lights. Among the regularly-heard sounds is ‘this vehicle is turning left’ (to warn cyclists who might think it a good idea to undertake – overttake on the left at the lights).

Stories teach us how to win

01 Dec 2022

Feature by George Lakey

As George Lakey publishes his brilliant memoir, Dancing with History: A Life for Peace and Justice, here are some wonderful stories from his life of committed nonviolence.

Quaker activist and master storyteller George Lakey chose these two pieces of writing for PN to show how stories from the past can stimulate today’s strategies. The first piece is an extract from his new memoir, Dancing with History: A Life for Peace and Justice (Seven Stories, December 2022). The second account adds to a campaign history included in Dancing with History.

Come together?

01 Dec 2022

Feature by Gabriel Carlyle

Three possible joint campaigns for the peace and climate movements

 

Should the peace and climate movements be trying to work more together and, if so, how?

These were two of the key questions posed at the recent ‘War and the climate emergency’ dayschool in Oxford that brought climate and peace campaigners together to learn and reflect in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

It’s not hard to find common ground shared by the two movements.

Melissa Aronczyk and Maria I. Espinoza, A Strategic Nature: Public Relations And The Politics of American Environmentalism

01 Dec 2022

Review by Ian Sinclair

‘We seem trapped in a world where fossil fuel producers and financiers have humanity by the throat,’ UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stated in June. ‘For decades, many in the fossil fuel industry have invested heavily in pseudo-science and public relations — with a false narrative to minimise their responsibility for climate change and undermine ambitious climate policies.’