A summer of peace

IssueAugust 2014
Feature by PN staff

ImageThis year, the main theme of Peace News Summer Camp (31 July – 4 August) is countering the militarism and jingoism around the centenary of the First World War, which is why the camp is called ‘The World is My Country’.

We’re bringing peace and justice activists from Belgium, France, Spain and other countries across Europe to help us mark the centenary – and to ‘Declare Peace’ on the 100th anniversary of the day that Britain declared war on Germany. We will also have workshops and discussions, practical skills sessions, delicious vegan food cooked by Veggies, films, fun and DIY entertainment, a bar, a campfire, and activities and facilities for children and families.

We are delighted to be welcoming well-known and well-loved peace activists such as Bruce Kent and Susan Clarkson; returning favourites including Kofi Klu of PANAFRIINDABA; and some of Britain’s top peace researchers, including professor Paul Rogers of Bradford School of Peace Studies (which is marking its 40th anniversary this year), Rachel Julian of Leeds Metropolitan, and Andrew Rigby of Coventry University. We have campaigners from a range of movements including the amazing Peter Tatchell, and one of Britain’s finest songwriters, Robb Johnson, who will sing from his brilliant First World War song cycle, Gentle Men.

Peace News Summer Camp, now in its sixth year, helps build a radical movement for the future by creating an inclusive, participatory community today. A family-friendly and renewably-powered camp, we’re running from 31 July – 4 August, in the beautiful grounds of Peakhill Farm in sunny Suffolk.

What they say

Comments from last year’s camp: ‘What a wonderful motley crew! One of the most warm & welcoming activist gatherings I’ve attended.’ ‘I liked meeting energetic, youthful, inspirational activists (antidote to jaded everyday life).’ ‘I liked it being a small, participatory camp. Workshops were good. My son was very happy. A friendly, open camp.’

  •  Where: Leiston is in Suffolk near the lovely seaside towns of Aldeburgh and Southwold, and Minsmere bird reserve. It is also right by the lovely Sizewell B nuclear power station and is home to AS Neill’s Summerhill School.
  • Tickets for five days are now available on a sliding scale from £20–£100 depending on income. Under-14s get in free. Booking tickets now helps us work out logistics and catering. Book from the PN office (0207 278 3344) or www.peacenewscamp.info
  • Food: costs £6–£12 (sliding scale) a day from the wonderful Veggies Catering Campaign of Nottingham.
  • Transport: Book your train tickets now for cheapest options. We encourage the use of public transport to come to camp, which probably means coming to Saxmundham train station. If you register your train arrival time on the Summer Camp website, we will try to arrange a bus to collect you. If not that many people are arriving at that time, you can share a taxi and we will chip in to help with the cost.More details are on the Summer Camp website (the taxi top-up is only if you share a taxi with at least one other camper, and you need to register in advance). We may be able to run a pick-up service on some days as well, but only one of the organisers can drive and we have not been able to find drivers for the pick-up! The first 20 bookings from mainland europe will get a £50 bursary to help with travel. Invite your Continental friends. See website for more details.

How you can help

  • With publicity: If you can distribute Summer Camp flyers contact Emily on 01424 719 570.
  • If you can promote by email or Facebook we have e-flyers in English, German, Spanish and French at www.tinyurl.com/mkryyha.
  • Set-up: If you can help with preparing the site, erecting marquees, creating compost toilets, and so on on 29 or 30 July, email: peacenewscamp@googlemail.com