Recent articles

Gaza direct action in UK, Canada and US

01 Feb 2024

News by PN staff

Over 2,400 arrests in US and Canada since 11 October

At the end of December, four radical Christians were arrested protesting against the Gaza War, around Holy Innocents Day (28 December), which marks the massacre of male infants by Herod, according to biblical tradition.

On 28 December itself, two US Catholic Workers were arrested at the Pentagon in Washington DC, the Nuclear Resister reports.

The arrestees were Bill Frankel-Streit (67, from Little Flower Catholic Worker Farm in Virginia) and Kim Williams (from Norfolk Catholic Worker, also in Virginia).

Twickenham arms fair protest

01 Feb 2024

News by PN staff

Spray paint action at International Armoured Vehicles fair

On 22 January, Richmond and Kingston Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Kingston Peace Council and other campaigners protested outside the International Armoured Vehicles arms fair at the Twickenham rugby stadium in West London. Arms companies present included BAE Systems and Leonardo and two Israeli firms: Elbit Systems and Rafael. Palestine Action had sprayed part of the stadium front in blood red paint earlier in the day.
 

£109.8bn budget for procuring nuclear weapons

01 Feb 2024

News by PN staff

Ten-year cost of UK nukes leaps 62%

Last year, there was a 62 percent jump in planned spending by the defence nuclear organisation (DNO) over the next 10 years on equipment related to British nuclear weapons. That’s according a government national audit office (NAO) report published in December, comparing 10-year spending plans published in 2022 and 2023.

The DNO is responsible for most British nuclear weapons equipment acquisition, including the development of new ‘Dreadnought’ submarines to replace Trident.

Stop hostile policing of Gaza marches

01 Feb 2024

News by PN staff

Organisers accuse police of 'politicised' approach to ceasefire protests

The policing of the major Gaza ceasefire marches in London has been aggressive, hostile and ‘politicised’.

That was the charge put to the Metropolitan police in a letter on 22 January from the organisers of the national marches for Palestine in London.

The organisers are: Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Friends of Al-Aqsa, Stop the War Coalition, Muslim Association of Britain, Palestinian Forum in Britain and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND).

The TPNW moves on with arrests and celebration

01 Feb 2024

News by PN staff

US mission to the UN blockaded for two hours over nuke-ban treaty

As the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) moved towards its second anniversary of ‘coming into force’, 18 US peace activists were arrested for blockading all three entrances to the US mission to the United Nations in New York City – for two hours.

The 30 November action took place as 90 countries who had signed the TPNW were gathering in New York for the second ‘meeting of states parties’ to the treaty. This conference of countries that have signed the treaty is known as ‘2MSP’.

Editorial: How to beat Trump

01 Feb 2024

Comment by Milan Rai

In the run-up to this year's general election, the UK peace movement must challenge the deep-seated militarism of the entire British political class

Noam Chomsky once wrote that activists had two options in relation to changing government policies (in the US): ‘One way is to try to influence the choice that will be offered by the two major political parties and to exercise this choice on Election Day. Another, very different approach is to try to modify the objective conditions that any elected official must consider when he [or she] selects a course of action.’

UK surveillance over Gaza

01 Feb 2024

Feature by Chris Cole

Is the UK providing the Israels military with drone-gathered intelligence?

Late on 2 December, the UK ministry of defence (MoD) issued a short online statement saying that the UK ‘will conduct surveillance flights over the eastern Mediterranean, including operating in air space over Israel and Gaza.’

The following day, health secretary Victoria Atkins, appearing as a government spokesperson on Sky News, was asked about the flights and said: ‘The ministry of defence has announced that it has sent some unmanned, and unarmed, surveillance drones into the region to help look for hostages.’

Gaza: the UK role

01 Feb 2024

Feature by PN staff

How one British business could stop Israeli jets bombing Gaza

Rishi Sunak’s government has supported Israel’s criminal war on Gaza, both diplomatically and in practical terms: weapons including spare parts, surveillance missions and intelligence gathering through US spy bases hosted by the UK on Cyprus.

A War on Want report in December called for a ‘two-way arms embargo on Israel without delay to end [the government’s] complicity in Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian people.’

Violence is never the answer ... Except

01 Feb 2024

Feature by Darren Cullen

Art by Darren Cullen

‘This was inspired by the double-standard around violence, not just in Israel’s occupation and destruction of Palestine, but also in the “monopoly of violence” that is held by states, police, militaries, and intelligence agencies, which allows politicians and commentators to claim that “violence is never the answer” when referring to a regular person defending themselves against a police attack, punching a Nazi in the street, or pushing a cream pie into a politician or CEO’s face; but which also allows them to not flinch at the application of unimaginable levels of cruel, and even sadistic,

Activism &

01 Feb 2024

Comment by PN staff

Alcoholism and Messiahs

Here are two examples from what was a long-running column on this page. Oldies but goodies.

Dan Glass, Queer Footprints: A Guide to Uncovering London’s Fierce History

01 Feb 2024

Review by Erica Smith

Back in 2008, the 24-year old Plane Stupid campaigner Dan Glass was invited to Downing Street to receive an award and took the opportunity to superglue himself to the then-prime minister, Gordon Brown.

But Dan’s life as a campaigner neither began or ended with eco-activism.

Dan was a queer school kid who came out after Section 28 – which prohibited the ‘promotion of homosexuality’ by local authorities – became law in 1988.

Daniel Knowles, Carmageddon: How Cars Make Life Worse and What to Do About It

01 Feb 2024

Review by Andrea Needham

This morning I got up very early, went outside in my pyjamas, and asked the man who had been idling his car right outside my bedroom window for 10 minutes if he could please turn his engine off.

He did, but, when he left a few minutes later, he slammed the car door hard several times before revving away. Just to show me.

Of course, most drivers aren’t like this but it illustrates the key problem with the car: private benefits, public disbenefits. And those of us who don’t own a car get the double whammy: all of the bad stuff without any of the benefits of owning a car.

Rosa Schling, Peace! Books! Freedom! The Secret History of a Radical London Building

01 Feb 2024

Review by Virginia Moffatt

Every now and then, I get sent a book to review which is a sheer joy from start to finish. Peace! Books! Freedom! is such a book.

A short gallop through the history of 5 Caledonian Road, the Kings Cross home of Housmans Bookshop, Peace News and many other radical organisations, it’s a great story of activism, resistance and community.

It begins with the generous donation by pacifist curate, Tom Willis that enabled Peace News to buy a building in Central London to create the movement centre they’d always wanted.

Marral Shamshiri and Sorcha Thomson (eds), She Who Struggles: Revolutionary Women Who Shaped the World

01 Feb 2024

Review by Ian Sinclair

From Che Guevara to Gandhi and Lenin, revolutionaries and historians of revolutions have tended to focus on so-called ‘Great Men’.

She Who Struggles is an admirable attempt to correct this imbalance, an edited collection highlighting women who played key roles in revolutionary, anti-colonial and socialist struggles during the twentieth century, including in Cuba, Egypt, Iran, Kurdistan, Mali and Palestine.