News in brief

US bombs

In August, there were over 20 arrests at Volkel airbase in the southern Netherlands, home to 15 US nuclear bombs.

On 8 August, 10 climate activists and peace activists were arrested after climbing over the fence and protesting on the runway.

On 9 August, 15 protestors were arrested after picking up pink spades with the intention of digging under the fence, to create a more accessible route to protest inside the base.

The arrested, all released the same day, came from Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and the US.

Israeli law

Hundreds of prominent Israeli and US public figures have signed an open letter criticising US Jewish leaders for failing to speak out on ‘the ultimate purpose’ of the Israeli government’s recent judicial changes, which stop the Israeli supreme court being able to overrule government decisions.

The real purpose of the changes is to ‘annex more land, and ethnically cleanse all territories under Israeli rule of their Palestinian population,’ according to the statement – which also says that Palestinians live under ‘a regime of apartheid’.

  • The British government lobbied the World Court not to issue an advisory opinion on the legal consequences of the ‘occupation, settlement and annexation’ of Palestinian land, says the Guardian.

Western Sahara

The government of independent Western Sahara was represented at both the BRICS international summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, in August, and at the African Climate Summit in Nairobi, Kenya, in early September.

Morocco has illegally occupied most of Western Sahara since 1975, which means that the territory’s real government, the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), is not recognised as a member of the United Nations.

It is, however, a member of the African Union, which is why the SADR president, Brahim Ghali, was invited to the African Climate Summit.

Ghali told the gathering: ‘It’s absolutely necessary that the SADR be represented in the UNFCCC [United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change] and at the COPs and be a signatory to the Paris Agreement to participate in climate negotiations, and formally submit our nationally determined contribution (NDC) to the UNFCCC secretariat.’

The SADR has developed its own climate action plan or NDC, launched at COP26 in 2021.

  • US scholar Stephen Zunes commented on X/Twitter on 9 September: ‘If the Moroccan regime didn’t have tens of thousands of troops busy oppressing the people of occupied Western Sahara they would be better able to rescue people buried under the rubble inside Morocco.’

PN on YouTube

The online PN talk, ‘Even Churchill Believed Hiroshima Was Unnecessary’, was attended by folk from across the world including Germany, Uruguay, and the US! The half-hour talk from 1 August can be seen on YouTube:

‘Negotiate Now for Peace in Ukraine’, PN editor Milan Rai’s in-person talk at the Green Gathering (GG) near Chepstow, on 3 August, was uploaded by the GG organisers to YouTube:

The PN channel on YouTube has several other recordings on the Ukraine War, including Medea Benjamin, Paul Rogers (twice) and Symon Hill (‘British pacifism put to the test’).

Divest success

Two-thirds of the UK higher education sector now holds some form of fossil-free commitment in terms of their investments.

In August, it was discovered that the Royal Agricultural University had incorporated a coal exclusion into their investment policy.

Then, in September, Plymouth Marjon University announced that it had added a fossil fuel exclusion to their investment policy.

With Plymouth Marjon, 12 of the 15 members of the Cathedrals Group of UK universities are now committed to Fossil Free.

Pledge to protest

On 23 September, the anti-monarchist group, Republic, held the first-ever republican protest inside Buckingham Palace, after a group of ‘tourists’ revealed T-shirts that spelled out ‘N-O-T M-Y K-I-N-G’.

If you are willing to protest against the monarchy on the streets of London, Republic wants you to sign their pledge to ‘make our objection loud, visible and impossible to ignore’ when the new king attends the state opening of parliament in Central London on 7 November:


Thank you (in Korean) to everyone who contributed to the fundraiser for the eight South Korean peace activists from World Without War who were told they will be fined $15,000 for protesting inside the DX arms fair near Seoul in September 2022. (PN 2667)

We have heard from Jungmin that the DX Eight did raise the $15,000. PN transferred over £1,000 from the UK (finance worker Gabriel Carlyle spent 44 minutes on the phone to authorise a transfer in Korean won).

After a hearing on 18 August, the trial of the DX Eight is scheduled for one hour (!) on 13 October.

The Eight plan not to pay the fine right away, and go to jail for a few days, to ‘mock the authorities and show the courage and determination of the activists taking part in the action’.

More info (in Korean):

Roll away the stone

The London Catholic Worker (LCW) has restored its Instagram account, which was ‘suspended almost as soon as we created it’ on 16 July. (PN 2667)

On 31 July, the group unveiled its second Instagram post (apart from its initial ‘we are here’ announcement on 9 July).

They posted a picture of Jesus rising from the tomb, greeted by angels, along with this text: ‘An image of the London Catholic Worker emerging from its suspension (we still don’t know why it happened!)’

There hasn’t been a third LCW Insta post yet....

Prison firsts

Climate activists have been in prison for the first time in New Zealand/Aotearoa. Restore Passenger Rail (RPR) are demanding a renewed passenger-focused rail network and free urban public transport.

Rosemary Penwarden, 64, was denied bail after fixing her hand to State Highway 1 on 29 August. She was held on remand until 12 September. Alex Cockle, 49, was arrested later and will be held in prison until 28 September. Jen Olsen, 63, was arrested on 3 September for trying to blockade State Highway 1 – she was held on remand until 19 September.

Trials for dozens of RPR activists will follow. More info:

AI warriors

‘Pentagon’s Budget Is So Bloated That It Needs an AI Program to Navigate It’. That was a recent headline on the US-based investigative website, The Intercept.

Ken Klippenstein reported: ‘Codenamed GAMECHANGER, an AI program helps the military make sense of its own “byzantine” and “tedious” bureaucracy.’

The programme helps the US military navigate its $816.7bn annual budget and the hundreds of revisions and limitations in the budget ‘telling the Pentagon what it can and cannot do’.

Police apologies

In September, London’s Metropolitan police apologised and paid out ‘substantial’ damages to Dania Al-Obeid and Patsy Stevenson, who were arrested at the 13 March 2021 vigil on Clapham Common in memory of Sarah Everard.

Also in September, the Met finally apologised and agreed to pay a six-figure sum to Alfie Meadows, who was left with severe brain damage after being hit by an officer’s baton during a student protest in 2010, when he was 20. Police had charged him with violent disorder; he was acquitted in 2013.

Also in September, Graham Smith, the head of Republic, the anti-monarchist group, sued the Met for wrongful arrest and illegal detention on the day of the king’s coronation.