Obituary

1 August 2022Comment

Researcher and activist who spent 40 years holding international mining companies accountable

Vegan before it became fashionable, Roger Moody was a Peace News co-editor in the late 1960s and early 1970s. He went on to become a mining researcher and activist. For over 40 years, he was crucial to the process of building global alliances in the struggle to hold multinational mining companies accountable for the social and ecological consequences of their activities.

One of Roger’s endearing, if frustrating, characteristics, was his unwillingness to reveal his age: he was…

1 August 2022Comment

Greenham veteran who became the first out trans man to stand for Parliament

My friend Charlie died aged 56 of an incurable hereditary lung condition, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Charlie was kind, thoughtful, loved a laugh and could always be relied upon to go out for a curry and a beer or two, health permitting.

Charlie was born in London in 1965 to a Colombian mother and a father with Hungarian heritage. He later embraced the Colombian heritage of his mother, Marta Lombard, an artist. He visited relatives in Bogotá, learned Spanish and became the proud…

1 August 2022Feature

Catholic priest who became chair of CND

At the funeral mass in thanksgiving for Bruce’s life, Valerie Flessati, his widow, concluded her tribute with these words: ‘What a man! What a voice! What a friend! What a lot of love! We give profound thanks.’

Messages, memories and photographs spanning 70 years have poured in from around the world as people share their stories: ‘Bruce baptised my child.’ ‘Bruce shared a sandwich with me in Euston Station.’ ‘Bruce was only the second person to visit me in prison.’ ‘Bruce spoke at my…

1 August 2022Comment

Hard-line communist who vigiled against apartheid and travelled to Iraq as a 'human shield'

Eric was a passionate campaigner for peace, justice and human rights who was active until the last weeks of his life.

Born in Syria and partly educated in Canada, Eric was a teacher by profession. He often got into trouble for his encouragement of political thinking in the classroom and was fired on more than one occasion.

PN news editor David Polden first met Eric in the 1970s when they were both supply teachers in a primary school in Hackney. Eric was always a hard-…

1 June 2022Comment

Life-long socialist and campaigner

I got to know Bunny during Kick Nuclear’s ‘Remember Fukushima: No to Nuclear Power in the UK’ weekly Friday vigils outside the Japanese embassy which began in August 2012. (They are now twice-monthly.)

Bunny was a regular participant in this vigil from 2013 to 2021. He sat on a chair by the embassy entrance in all weathers giving leaflets to embassy visitors and passers-by. Towards the end of 2021, he decided the winter weather was getting too much for him, but said he would return in…

1 February 2022Comment

Writer and thinker on nonviolence who influenced Solidarity

It is not an exaggeration to say that there is a ‘before Jean-Marie Muller’ and an ‘after Jean-Marie Muller’ in the study and practice of nonviolence in France. Jean-Marie was also a committed internationalist who worked with thinkers on and practitioners of nonviolence in a wide range of countries, from Lebanon to the United States.

Jean-Marie Muller was working as a philosophy teacher when he staged his first major (and much-publicised) protest in 1967. Defying the authorities, he…

1 February 2022Comment

Christian and socialist whose passion was nuclear disarmament

Joy Mitchell, veteran peace activist, was a Christian and a socialist, a teacher and the wife of a Presbyterian/United Reform Church (URC) minister. In retirement, she moved with her husband, George, to Berwick-upon-Tweed. Sadly, he died soon after, but Joy continued to set up St Aidan’s Peace Church in Berwick, providing a venue for discussion and social action.

Joy was active in Trident Ploughshares and other campaigns for many years and was arrested several times at Faslane nuclear…

1 December 2021Comment

Gentle activist with a passion for Dr Who

Maker, dancer and lifelong activist Jon Lockwood has died aged 54.

Unfailingly kind in his personal life, Jon took part in a wide range of struggles to change the world for the better: from anti-nuclear activism and Reclaim the Streets, to squatting and the Occupy movement (of which he was an early, and vigorous, promoter on social media).

‘Evil Jon’ (though he was anything but evil) was a familiar figure to anyone who attended the various PN Summer Camps of the early 2010s.…

1 August 2021Comment

Climate campaigner who left a legacy of over half a million trees

For climate campaigners, Penny was best known for supergluing – she glued herself to the revolving doors of lastminute.com’s HQ as part of a Plane Stupid action, she glued herself to a shelf in Boots because of their accounting practices, and she famously glued herself to the gates of the Heathrow Climate Camp to stop the police entering the site, earning enormous gratitude and respect.

But this was really the tiny cherry on the enormous cake of her life’s work to mitigate climate…

1 August 2021Comment

Dedicated activist and co-founder of the Coventry Peace House.

Although she balked at any form of public recognition, Penny Walker had influence, power and the kind of respect that preceded her into meetings. The public grief and sadness there has been at her death is unsurprising, though Penny would’ve been embarrassed by all the fuss.

I met Penny at Coventry Peace House in 2004, a housing co-operative she set up with Becqke and John, fellow Alvis Peace Campers from the ’90s.

A founder member of the Coventry Refugee Centre, she and Alan…

11 December 2020Comment

Peace campaigner and youngest known participant in Normandy landings who got arrested with Bertrand Russell

COVID-19 has robbed the world of a rare person. Still very much in his prime at a youthful 92 years old, Jim Radford passed away in Lewisham hospital before old age could catch up with him.

As a 15-year-old galley boy on the rescue tug, Empire Larch, Jim was the youngest known participant in the Allied invasion of Normandy in June 1944.

His song, ‘The Shores of Normandy’, recounting his experiences of that day, was brought to the attention of a wider public during two televised…

11 December 2020Comment

Politician who played leadership role in Northern Ireland's civil rights movement and went on to help create, sustain and promote the Irish peace process

John Hume was one of four people associated with the recent conflict in Ireland to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Definitely he was the most deserving.

He secured the Peace Prize for his efforts in bringing the armed conflict to an end and the subsequent signing of the Good Friday Agreement, endorsed in an all-Ireland referendum.

Ten years ago, he was voted ‘Ireland’s Greatest’ in a poll conducted by RTÉ, the Irish public broadcaster.

And in death he has been…

11 December 2020Comment

Pacifist, engineer and BWNIC defendant

Albert Beale writes:

I got to know my friend and comrade Chris Roper 45 years ago when we were amongst a group of 14 pacifists and anti-militarists who spent nearly 3 months in the Old Bailey facing notorious conspiracy charges relating to the distribution of leaflets to servicepeople encouraging - and helping - them to 'down tools' [sometimes referred to as the BWNIC (British Withdrawal from Northern Ireland Campaign) trial, see …

28 September 2020Comment

WW2 conscientious objector who played important role in the campaign to remove US cruise missles from Greenham Common

Leslie Selwyn Pope was an extraordinary ordinary man whose work was instrumental in the campaign to remove US cruise missiles from Greenham Common, stop the further military development of the base, and return the common to the people of Newbury.

Leslie and his wife Wendy both registered as conscientious objectors during the Second World War and continued working, him as a civil servant and she as a teacher. They married in 1945.

After the war, they went on the Aldermaston…

1 December 2019Comment

Cartoonist and life-long anarchist who exposed a corrupt London police officer

Life-long anarchist cartoonist Donald Rooum will perhaps be remembered best for his Wildcat cartoons about anarchism and the anarchist movement – and for the quick-witted actions that led to the exposure of the corrupt London police officer, Harold Challenor, in 1963 (see our last issue for details).

Born and raised in a working-class family in Bradford, Donald came across anarchism during a day trip to London, at Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park, in the summer of 1944.

He bought…