Two days before this year’s National Alternative Remembrance ceremony on 13 November, my affinity group, the Mad Hatters, hung placards on the fence by each of the entrances to Tavistock Square in Central London (where the ceremony is held) giving details of the event and inviting people to join it. We also hung wreaths with white poppies by each entrance.
On the day, we gave out leaflets at the entrances inviting people to join the ceremony.
(The Mad Hatters did the same before London CND’s Hiroshima Day event in August, also held in Tavistock Square, decorating the wreaths with paper cranes.)
With the winding up of Veterans for Peace UK, there was no VfP march to the Cenotaph to lay white and red poppy wreaths at the Cenotaph, as in previous years. This meant the Tavistock Square event was the only Remembrance Day peace event in Central London.
For the first time, Bristol’s official Remembrance Sunday ceremony included a mixed wreath of red and white poppies, laid by the lord mayor of the city, Green party councillor Paula O’Rourke. White poppies, which stand for ‘remembrance for all victims of war, a commitment to peace and a rejection of militarism’, featured in many alternative remembrance ceremonies around the country, according to the Peace Pledge Union, including in Birmingham, Bradford and Brighton.