News in brief

No notes, no worry?

‘Close Capenhurst’ used to just collect cash from supporters. Now, more people are cashless. Martyn Lowe would like advice, particularly for groups which don’t have bank accounts (they have a credit union account).

PN does have a bank account, and we use a SumUp card reader (£39, but it needs a smartphone) to take card payments/donations face-to-face. We’ve also used the free SumUp app to take payments on a smartphone without needing a card reader at all. 

Experiences gratefully received:

Homes for Afghans

An international fundraising call is being made by US peace activist Kathy Kelly and colleagues in ‘Afghan Generations’.

Over the past two years, 25 former Afghan Peace Volunteers, who had fled Afghanistan following the Taliban takeover, have been resettled in Portugal (PN 2666).

This call is to raise £119,000 to welcome another 17 young Afghans to Portugal later this year, once their visas have been granted, and also to sustain the current safe house in Pakistan until they are able to travel. £135,000 has already been raised.

The funds will help a Portuguese NGO, InPulsar, set up housing, language instruction, volunteer options, assistance with legal documents and general oversight for the new group of Afghans seeking refuge: two children, five adult women and 10 adult men.

You can also volunteer to be an online ‘buddy’:

To make a donation, please visit the special AJ Muste Memorial Institute page:


On 5 February, Nuclear Information Service published a 16-page briefing on Devonport nuclear dockyard in Plymouth, England.

Devonport is responsible for maintaining the UK’s nuclear-powered and nuclear-armed submarines. It also manages out-of-service submarines and their radioactive fuel waste.

Western Sahara

The European Union should cancel its fishing agreement with Morocco. That was the legal advice given by an advocate general (almost a judge) at the European court of justice on 21 March.

Tamara Ćapeta said that the problem was that the agreement would allow EU boats to catch fish in the rich waters off Western Sahara, a huge territory illegally occupied by Morocco since 1975.

Surprisingly, Ćapeta advised the same day that it was alright for the EU to import melons and tomatoes from Western Sahara – as long as they are labelled ‘from Western Sahara’, and not ‘from Morocco’, as they are currently.

Israeli jets in the UK

After Declassified revealed on 1 February that at least six Israeli air force planes had taken off and landed in the UK since 7 October, the UK government was forced to admit the true number was nine.

Labour breakaways

On 2 March, a ‘No Ceasefire No Vote’ conference in London brought together former Labour party members and other solidarity campaigners, ‘determined to create mass pressure for every candidate to call for a ceasefire and an end to the occupation of Gaza’.

The gathering was supported by independent socialist councillors from Blackburn, Bolton, Bristol, Burnley, Gedling, Hastings, Kirklees, Liverpool, London (Haringey, Kensington & Chelsea, Merton, and Newham), Newcastle, Norwich, Nottingham, Oxford, Pendle, Sheffield, Stroud and Worthing. 

The next conference is in Blackburn on 13 April. More info:

The world court

On 13 February, South Africa asked the international court of justice (ICJ) to order Israel to stop attacking the southern Gazan city of Rafah, where 1.5 million Palestinians have fled.

The world court refused to impose any new measures, saying that it had already made provisional orders on 26 January for Israel to stop killing civilians and to ‘enable the provision’ of desperately needed aid (PN 2670).

These orders are a holding action while the ICJ considers South Africa’s case that Israel is committing genocide in Gaza. 

On 26 February, Amnesty International said: ‘Israeli authorities have failed to ensure sufficient life-saving goods and services are reaching a population at risk of genocide and on the brink of famine due to Israel’s relentless bombardment and the tightening of its 16-year-long illegal blockade.’


Two US anti-Gaza War protesters have set themselves on fire.

On 25 February, a serving member of the US air force, a 25-year-old white Christian anarchist, Aaron Bushnell, set himself on fire outside the Israeli embassy in Washington DC. He died seven hours later.

Using his smartphone, Bushnell livestreamed his protest on Twitch. He said: ‘I will no longer be complicit in genocide.’ 

After he set himself on fire, he screamed: ‘Free Palestine.’

On 1 December, an unnamed woman with a Palestinian flag set herself on fire outside the Israeli consulate in Atlanta, Georgia. 

She is still in hospital in critical condition, the Atlanta fire rescue department told the US Sun on 26 February.

A security guard was seriously injured attempting to put out the fire and rescue her.


Long-time legal observer Lesley Wertheimer, 71, has complained to the Metropolitan police after officers pushed her to the ground from behind, leaving her unconscious, with cuts to her cheek and a sprained knee, the Observer reported on 3 March.

Amateur video shows the police knocking Lesley, who was wearing a hi-vis ‘legal observer’ vest, onto the road, face-first, during a Gaza march on 6 January.


On 3 April, dED_UCATION and CAAT are releasing Don’t Buy a Bomb, a 28-minute documentary following CAAT’s six-year legal battle with the UK government over the legality of arms sales to Saudi Arabia – for the Saudi war in Yemen. The film will be on YouTube:


On 21 February, Liverpool Hope University publicly committed itself to excluding fossil fuel companies from its investment holdings. It became the 109th UK university to go fossil-free:

On 14 March, Newcastle University students’ union voted 89 percent in favour of 100 percent plant-based (vegan) catering. It was the 11th win for Plant-Based Universities:

On 27 February, Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) and Demilitarise Education (dED_UCATION) launched a new report, Weaponising Universities: Research Collaborations between UK Universities and the Military Industrial Complex:


A German court has sentenced US Catholic Worker Susan Crane, 78, to over seven months in prison. Susan refused to pay €2,500 in fines imposed for a series of actions at Büchel air force base, south-east of Cologne, where US nuclear bombs are stored.

The Nuclear Resister reports that the sentence was imposed on 18 January after Susan had appealed all the way to the European court of human rights (they refused her case on a technicality).

Susan has been ordered to report to prison on 4 June. More info and Susan’s prison address (in June):


Would you be interested in a four-month online ‘Sacred Collaborative Leadership’ training course run by activist training group Wisdom in Nature? The course draws on social permaculture, consent-based decision-making (sociocracy), nonviolent communication, Processwork and Islamic spirituality. 

Register your interest by filling in this form: