News in brief


PN worker Emily Johns is interviewed in a new 30-minute documentary about a First World War war resister who sheltered men avoiding conscription.

War on Lies: The Alice Wheeldon Campaign was made by young filmmaker Elizabeth McGlynn as part of her master’s degree at Birmingham university.

Alice Wheeldon, her daughter Winnie Mason and her son-in-law Alf Mason were jailed in 1917 on trumped-up charges of conspiring to shoot the prime minister, David Lloyd George with a poison dart.

Emily made a poster, ‘Alice Wheeldon was a prophet’, as part of the PN exhibition and book, The World is My Country: a visual celebration of the people and movements that opposed the First World War.

Director needled

On 5 December, Culture Unstained put a formal 34-page complaint to the board of trustees of London’s Science Museum. The climate action group called for director Ian Blatchford to be investigated for his role in pushing through a sponsorship deal in 2021 with a major coal-producing conglomerate Adani.

‘Adani Green Energy’ is sponsoring a climate gallery.

Culture Unstained also called for the museum to cut ties with Adani, because the process that led to the sponsorship deal ‘lacked legitimacy’.

More info (plus short satirical film on the museum’s failings):

Need a legal observer?

Having legal support in place before an action or a demo can help people stay safer. Legal observers are trained volunteers who support the legal rights of activists.

In Scotland, the Scottish Community & Activist Legal Project may be able to provide legal observers for your action (please give at least two weeks’ notice):

In England and Wales, the Independent Legal Observers Network may be able to help:

At Ease needs...

Are you reliable and conscientious, and able to volunteer your time answering enquiries from members of the armed forces and their families?

At Ease, a free advisory, counselling and information service for members of the armed forces and their families, is looking for volunteers anywhere in the UK able to answer questions by email or by phone as part of a small team.

At Ease is also looking for Local Volunteers who can (after some training) give occasional help and support to people in the armed forces who live in their area.


In January, activist training group Seeds for Change published the latest edition of their newsletter... five years after the previous one.

They launched three new direct action guides – ‘What is Direct Action’, ‘Action Planning’, and ‘The Impact of Convictions’ – and a new podcast mini-series.

Seeds have new funding to provide free workshops to activists. They urge groups to get in touch.

They also trailed a short film: ‘Prepare to be captivated by our upcoming animated video, which beautifully illustrates the art of facilitation.’

More info: 01524 509002;


On 12 January, the anti-monarchy group Republic delivered court documents to king Charles at his home in Sandringham, Norfolk. They show that prince Andrew ‘spent weeks’ at the home of wealthy sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, receiving daily massages.

A poll shows that 48 percent of Britons want the king to end his silence on the allegations against his brother, against 32 percent who don’t want him to speak.

Another Republic poll in mid-January showed that 31 percent of people now want an elected head of state, with only 45 percent preferring the monarchy.

Arms alarm II

Meanwhile, in the UK, on 24 January, the head of the British army called for a massive expansion of Britain’s fighting forces, from 74,000 soldiers to 120,000. What he called the current ‘pre-war generation’ should prepare itself for war.

Why? Because of the Russian threat. General sir Patrick Sanders said the war in Ukraine wasn’t just about Donbas or the Russian empire, it was also ‘about defeating our system and way of life politically, psychologically, and symbolically’.

Sanders left the question open whether Britain should reintroduce conscription, but pointedly mentioned Sweden, which has just reintroduced national service. The ministry of defence denied having any plans in that direction.

Arms alarm I

‘Rearmament’ was the key theme of French president Emmanuel Macron’s traditional New Year ‘Wishes to the Nation’ speech on 31 December, writes Marc Morgan.

The economy? Our ‘economic rearmament’ leaves us better prepared. Our answer to social issues? ‘Re-establishing authority’ and ‘civic rearmament’. Our public services? We will ‘re-arm the state’. Our answer to a troubled world? ‘The rearmament of the nation’.

In 10 years, the military budget has been doubled. The national service project of a ‘civilian service for the young’ is promoted in the face of widespread opposition….