Recent articles

Sheila Rowbotham, Daring to Hope: My Life in the 1970s

01 Aug 2022

Review by Erica Smith

‘1977 was the Queen’s 25th Jubilee, so we were subjected to doses of gush and drool in the media accompanied by her celebratory pink hat.… Labour was in power, but the new leader, James Callaghan, was more royal than the royals, and I was aware that a new right lurked among the Conservatives, deploying a rhetoric of freedom while backing the suppression of trade unions as well as gays.’

This quote is so topical I had to include it in the review, although it is one of the most subjective paragraphs in this beautifully-measured account of a radical decade.

Radical music: 'If we go down, we go down together'

01 Aug 2022

Comment by Penny Stone

'The clocks are turning back now, and everyone must add their voice to the chorus'

Just as the election of Trump caused ripples of increased racism and misogyny the whole world over, so the overturning of Roe v Wade by the US supreme court on 24 June has empowered those who seek to restrict women’s access to reproductive healthcare far beyond the borders of the USA.

In Scotland, there has been a sharp and necessary increase in campaigning to introduce buffer zones around reproductive health centres so that women do not have to face harassment when accessing these services.

Beyond the barricades

01 Aug 2022

Comment by Ambrose Musiyiwa

Ambrose Musiyiwa speaks to Korrine Sky about the plight of African students who were studying in Ukraine

‘There was a hierarchy of “Ukrainians first, Indians next and Africans last” in who was allowed to leave the war zone’, says Korrine Sky, a Zimbabwean British citizen who was a second-year medical student in Dnipro, in eastern Ukraine, when the war broke out.

Getting out of Ukraine was extremely difficult for African students, but, according to Sky, it was the easy part compared to the challenge that followed: ensuring they can continue with and finish their studies.

Obituary: Roger Moody: 1940s – June 2022

01 Aug 2022

Comment by Mines and Communities

Researcher and activist who spent 40 years holding international mining companies accountable

Vegan before it became fashionable, Roger Moody was a Peace News co-editor in the late 1960s and early 1970s. He went on to become a mining researcher and activist. For over 40 years, he was crucial to the process of building global alliances in the struggle to hold multinational mining companies accountable for the social and ecological consequences of their activities.

One of Roger’s endearing, if frustrating, characteristics, was his unwillingness to reveal his age: he was born in Bristol at some time in the mid–1940s.

Obituary: Charlie Kiss: 21 July 1965 – 2 June 2022

01 Aug 2022

Comment by Claire Poyner

Greenham veteran who became the first out trans man to stand for Parliament

My friend Charlie died aged 56 of an incurable hereditary lung condition, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Charlie was kind, thoughtful, loved a laugh and could always be relied upon to go out for a curry and a beer or two, health permitting.

Charlie was born in London in 1965 to a Colombian mother and a father with Hungarian heritage. He later embraced the Colombian heritage of his mother, Marta Lombard, an artist. He visited relatives in Bogotá, learned Spanish and became the proud owner of a Colombian passport.

Diary: 'As if we’re fighting for our lives'

01 Aug 2022

Comment by Cath

Our Leeds co-operator senses a window of opportunity closing

So I tried to leave my co-op bubble.

I’ve been living and working in my lovely co-op community for nearly 30 years – a very comfy setup where my cost of living is super-low, so I don’t have to worry about working very much for money, I’ve never had a credit card and never taken out a loan, I’ve never been personally liable for utility bills or worried about whether there’s enough money for food or whether we can afford to heat or fix the house.

What else

01 Aug 2022

Comment by Rebecca Elson-Watkins

We need to listen to autistic people, says Rebecca Elson-Watkins

In mid-May, after a three-year wait (made a year longer by COVID-19) I was diagnosed with autism.

What a relief! After 36 years of feeling like ‘an odd duck’, answers!

A friend of mine once wrote in his blog: ‘self-reflection doesn’t have to be the bastard child of tragedy’. It’s a good way to explain why I started the journey of an ‘official’ autism diagnosis; it is part of my own self-reflection. It is for me.

Poynted remarks

01 Aug 2022

Comment by Claire Poyner

Our columnist reflects on US gun culture

‘Guns don’t kill people – people do.’ ‘The only thing that will stop a Bad Guy with a gun is a Good Guy with a gun.’ ‘If only all those teachers had been armed, no children would have died.’

No doubt you’ve recently heard these and similar statements. Oh, and not forgetting ‘Thoughts and Prayers’.

I think some people, well, let’s be honest, we’re talking about Americans here, have unrealistic expectations of what their guns can do.

General strike?

01 Aug 2022

News by Milan Rai

RMT leader calls for general strike if new PM pursues anti-union plans

There should be a general strike if Tory MP Liz Truss becomes prime minister on 5 September and pursues the harsh anti-union policies she has announced recently.

That’s the view of Mick Lynch, secretary general of the RMT rail union, who says: ‘Truss is proposing to make effective trade unionism illegal in Britain and to rob working people of a key democratic right. If these proposals become law, there will be the biggest resistance mounted by the entire trade union movement, rivalling the general strike of 1926, the Suffragettes and Chartism.’

Bruce Kent: On mobilisation

01 Aug 2022

Feature by Bruce Kent

Campaigning wisdom from the heyday of CND, one of Bruce Kent's first pieces in PN

1982: Since I have been asked to do so, and not because I have any exclusive wisdom, experience or success in this field, I would like to share a few thoughts on the work of trying to mobilise public opinion for disarmament.

In recent years, public opinion for disarmament has been mobilised on a massive scale. That process has now to continue to the point when public opinion actually forces changes in national policies. To gather in a park is a most impressive act of witness. To change public policy is however the actual purpose of disarmament mobilisation.

Bruce Kent: As I Please

01 Aug 2022

Feature by Bruce Kent

PN reprints one of Bruce Kent's classic columns

What a pleasure it was to read about what one bold cardinal has been up to in Rome.

Apparently, in May [2019], the electricity was cut off for a building occupied by 450 squatters – about 100 of them children. Many were refugees.

Cardinal Krajewski (Polish – you guessed) decided on a bit of very direct action. He lifted a lid set in the ground, climbed down to remove a seal, and switched on the electricity.

Obituary: Bruce Kent: 22 June 1929 – 8 June 2022

01 Aug 2022

Feature by Pat Gaffney

Catholic priest who became chair of CND

At the funeral mass in thanksgiving for Bruce’s life, Valerie Flessati, his widow, concluded her tribute with these words: ‘What a man! What a voice! What a friend! What a lot of love! We give profound thanks.’

Messages, memories and photographs spanning 70 years have poured in from around the world as people share their stories: ‘Bruce baptised my child.’ ‘Bruce shared a sandwich with me in Euston Station.’ ‘Bruce was only the second person to visit me in prison.’ ‘Bruce spoke at my school and I became an activist.’ And many more.

Yemen: no starvation for oil

01 Aug 2022

Feature by Kathy Kelly

It's time for a radical change of course, argues Kathy Kelly

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.

Yemen: hope and hunger

01 Aug 2022

Feature by PN staff

Humanitarian crisis set to worsen despite truce, as British arms sales to Saudi Arabia continue

After seven years of war which have plunged the country into the worst humanitarian crisis on the planet, Yemen has just enjoyed a four-month truce, likely to be extended for several more months. In another hopeful sign, there is a chance that Yemen’s ‘floating time bomb’, a huge, crumbling oil storage ship just off the coast (see pic), may be drained of oil soon.

However, the British state continues to arm Saudi Arabia, despite overwhelming evidence of Saudi war crimes since the kingdom began its military intervention in March 2015.

NATO expansion is the problem that it claims to be solving

01 Aug 2022

Feature by Nick Megoran

We need to build a Europe which is a theatre of peace not war, argues Nick Megoran

In 1876, Russian general Mikhail Skobolev defeated and subdued the khanate of Kokand based in present-day Uzbekistan, an important moment in cementing tsarist imperial control of Central Asia. Appalled at the nationalistic celebrations that greeted this in Russia, Leo Tolstoy penned his remarkable text The Kingdom of God is Within You.