Recent articles

Tribute to Eric Levy

08 Aug 2022

Blog by Gaynor Lloyd

I think the first time I met Eric was in the hall where we arms fair blockers met to do final preparations in September 2017. But it might have been when, as a rookie NVDA activist, I joined a meeting of the Mad Hatters affinity group of Trident Ploughshares.

Wherever it was matters not. No-one could meet Eric and ever forget him - nor want to.

Alverhurst at Marchwood

03 Aug 2022

Feature by Lizzie Jones

Disobedient art by Lizzie Jones

Text in the image reads: ‘Marchwood Military Port ships equipment & munitions to wars. March he won’t now. Alverhurst the penguin refuses to march to war.’

The tragedy of Boris Johnson’s fall

02 Aug 2022

Comment by Milan Rai

Johnson was an international criminal, not just a liar, argues Milan Rai

All year, it has been infuriating to watch the debate about Boris Johnson as pressure built up against the British prime minister until he was finally forced from office on 7 July by his own party – which believed he would damage its chances of winning the next election.

Editorial: Bruce

02 Aug 2022

Comment by Milan Rai

Milan Rai remembers a campaigner who was 'human decency turned into a human being'

There are activists who are respected or admired, and there are activists who are loved. Bruce was loved, he was beloved.

Bruce Kent was human decency turned into a human being.

For people of my generation, who came of age in the 1980s, Bruce was a beacon of sanity in a terrifying world. He was the voice of the peace movement: direct, honest and completely fearless.

He has continued to be that beacon of sanity and common sense.

Jerwood Space, Soojun Change, BXBY and Michael., cleave to the BLACK

01 Aug 2022

Review by Eve Wedderburn

The Jerwood Space is the kind of space you invent in one of those Why-Don't-They conversations that regularly happen amongst frustrated utopians with artistic leanings. Beautifully housed in a refurbished Victorian school, it is mixed space of rehearsal rooms, gallery space, studio space, rehearsal rooms and hipster café. Every inch of it is thoughtful and reflective; even the café seems to have caught the self-reflective practice vibe, announcing: NO INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES. JUST GOOD COFFEE. It is its own Platonic essence of East London arts space.

Assange faces extradition

01 Aug 2022

News by David Polden

Human chain action in London planned for 8 October

On 17 June, the home secretary, Priti Patel, signed the order for WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange to be extradited to the US to face 17 counts under the US Espionage Act. His ‘crime’ was receiving and publishing secret US military documents containing evidence of US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. If found guilty of all the charges, Assange could be imprisoned for up to 175 years.

Assange, who has appealed, remains in solitary confinement in Belmarsh high-security prison where he has been since 2019, when he was forcibly removed from the Ecuadorian embassy.

JSO guerrilla campaign

01 Aug 2022

News by David Polden

Gallery protests demand end to new oil extraction 

On 23 July, the ‘We All Want to Just Stop Oil’ coalition held a ‘mass swarming march’ in Central London. Groups set off from 11 separate locations, causing much traffic disruption, and all converging in Parliament Square for an authorised symbolic mass sit-down. Real Media, who filmed the event, reported that 1,000 people took part.

The coalition is headed by the climate action group Just Stop Oil (JSO). Other members include CND, Disabled People Against Cuts, Fuel Poverty Action, Insulate Britain, and (Jeremy Corbyn’s) Peace and Justice Project.

Liz Truss helped derail chances of peace in Ukraine – now she must back negotiations

01 Aug 2022

News by Milan Rai

How Johnson and Truss have helped to undermine diplomacy and prolong the war in Ukraine

As Noam Chomsky has repeatedly pointed out since February: ‘our prime concern should be to think through carefully what we can do to bring the criminal Russian invasion to a quick end and to save the Ukrainian victims from more horrors’ (PN 2660).

This must mean an immediate ceasefire and a quick peace agreement along the lines nearly agreed at the end of March.

Yemen: no starvation for oil

01 Aug 2022

Feature by Kathy Kelly

Kathy Kelly puts the case for a new way forward

US president Joe Biden’s foreign policy advisors applauded themselves for devising a ‘sensitive’ itinerary for his mid-July trip to the Middle East.

In a Washington Post op-ed before he left, Biden defended his controversial planned meeting with Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammed bin Salman al Saud (known as ‘MBS’), saying it is meant not only to bolster US interests but also to bring peace to the region.

‘Don’t let the nuclear weapon states hold us hostage!’

01 Aug 2022

Feature by Christina Kelly

Christina Kelly reports on the first meeting of states that have ratified the Nuclear Ban Treaty

‘Just like the people of Kazakhstan reclaimed their agency [their ability to make their own decisions and to affect things], non-nuclear weapons states can reclaim their agency through the TPNW’, said Togzhan Kassenova, a Kazakh activist, speaking at ICAN's Nuclear Ban Forum in Vienna in June.

The birth of Seachangewatch

01 Aug 2022

Comment by Andrea Needham

No 4 in our series about tackling SeaChange, a destructive quango in East Sussex  

Despite the huge sums of money that had been thrown at SeaChange Sussex, most people in Hastings were unaware of its existence.

SeaChange, the private company which had received millions of pounds of public money to ‘regenerate’ Hastings in East Sussex, including building the much-hated Bexhill-Hastings Link Road (see PN 2658), preferred to keep it that way.

Alison, Belinda, Helen Steel, Lisa & Naomi, Deep Deception: The story of the spycop network, by the women who uncovered the shocking truth

01 Aug 2022

Review by Erica Smith

Five women give first-hand accounts of four undercover police spies who targeted them between 1987 and 2010. It is gripping and sickening to learn the extent of abuse that these women – and others – experienced. The format of the book involves short, dated sections from each of the five women, so that their stories are woven together. This can be confusing at times but it keeps the reader’s focus on the progress of their grooming, gaslighting and ghosting – and on their partial victory against the long-term abuse and misogyny of the Metropolitan police force.

Marcus Rediker, The Fearless Benjamin Lay: The Quaker Dwarf Who Became the First Revolutionary Abolitionist

01 Aug 2022

Review by Gabriel Carlyle

Sometimes you discover a book which you just can’t believe slipped past you when it was published.

Marcus Rediker’s 2002 book The Many-Headed Hydra: The Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic (co-authored with Peter Linebaugh) has become a modern classic. So how could anyone with an interest in radical history fail to spot the publication of a new book by him – let alone one with this book’s subtitle?

Fortunately, it’s not too late to correct this oversight.

Ted Parker, A Loose Cannon: tales of a lapsed activist

01 Aug 2022

Review by Erica Smith

Ted Parker was a working-class boy born in bomb-blasted Folkestone in 1942. His father was an army dispatch rider in the Second World War who died of Hodgkinson’s disease when Ted was eight. His mother was left to bring up two children alone and scraped a living as a cleaner in an army base.

When Ted was 13, she remarried and her new husband bought Ted his first guitar. Folk music and rock’n’roll remained important throughout Ted’s personal and political life. He did not do well at school and at 16 signed up, with his parents’ consent, to a 14-year contract with the RAF.

Nils Melzer, The Trial of Julian Assange: A Story of Persecution

01 Aug 2022

Review by Ian Sinclair

Opening with a quote from the lawyer Otto Gritschneder – ‘Those who sleep in a democracy will wake up in a dictatorship’ – Nils Melzer notes that his new book is intended as ‘an urgent appeal… a wake up call to the general public.’