Wales

1 August 2021News

Coastal communities send climate message to G7

‘People shout “have a wash”, “get a job” but I have a full-time job’. Curly, one of the Cardiff Red Rebel Brigade who performed in Porthcawl on 5 June, explains that the Rebels are ‘everyday, regular people’, taking action for change.

‘We’re urging world leaders to act now. Out politicians and our governments are failing us all at the minute and we need them to act now on the real causes of the crisis. We need them to act on global inequality, unchecked corporate profiteering and…

11 December 2020News

Welsh peace institute launched

On International Peace Day, 21 September, Wales joined the world in having its own research and information body dedicated to peace. Academi Heddwch Cymru was officially established after 10 years of campaigning.

The idea was first proposed following UK government plans to privatise and merge all military training at a massive military academy in Sain Tathan in the Vale of Glamorgan.

This would have been the focus of all UK war preparations, but also available to other…

11 December 2020News

Wreaths removed at Knighton war memorial

With no marches or formal gatherings, this year’s Remembrance Day had less emphasis on pomp and perhaps more on reflection in the quiet laying of wreaths of red, white and purple poppies.

In Knighton, wreaths were removed from the war memorial, leaving white poppies scattered on the ground, while all the red poppy wreaths were left intact.

Local activist Angie Zelter said: ‘Knighton Action for Peace and Justice are in shock that such disrespect should be shown to all the…

11 December 2020News

Campaigners shift to online campaigning

I know! I can learn to play the concertina. I’ve never been able to commit to learn to play anything, but the COVID-19 lockdown would offer the opportunity. The pandemic has necessitated rapid change for us all. From the start of the first lockdown in March, and with each frequent rule change, like many other activists I have wondered what it means and where do we go from here?

In our peace and justice choir, we have found a way with online meetings to practice together though apart…

10 December 2020News

Cardiff campaigners converge to protest systemic injustices

A few weeks ago, Extinction Rebellion Wales contacted me with the idea of a ‘super-march’. What if diverse campaigns all marched together under one all-encompassing slogan, ‘Justice Now’?

On 5 September, over 1,000 people took to the streets of Cardiff, ringing out chants like: ‘This is what democracy looks like!’, ‘Black Lives Matter!’ and ‘Sea levels are rising so are we!’

Sponsored by 25 Welsh campaign groups including Extinction Rebellion, Black Lives Matter, Youth Climate…

10 December 2020News

Use of automatic facial recognition tech by South Wales police ruled unlawful

In the world’s first successful challenge against the use of automatic facial recognition technology (AFR) by police, the court of appeal ruled on 11 August that the South Wales police (SWP) force’s use of AFR had been unlawful. This overturned a high court ruling the other way.

The appeal was brought by Liberty, on behalf of anti-arms trade activist Ed Bridges. The court upheld three of the five grounds Liberty raised.

It found that the legal framework for the use of AFR was…

9 December 2020News

Robat Idris remembers a community lost to a training area for the British army

I wonder if you have seen the words ‘Cofiwch Epynt’ (‘Remember Epynt’) whilst travelling in Powys, mid Wales?

It is an echo of the ‘Cofiwch Dryweryn’ murals that have appeared in all parts of Wales over the last year – but what is behind the words?

It is a story of the heartbreak of losing land, language and a way of life to a training area for the British army.

Sixty square miles of Welsh land fell under the rule of the ministry of ‘defence’; the Welsh language border…

9 December 2020News

Phil Steele takes a look at what's been happening in Wales

The pandemic restrictions in Wales meant that from March onwards most peace campaigning took place screen-to-screen via Zoom or Skype.

This, of course, had its limitations, but it did mean that it was no longer necessary – or indeed permitted – to bring people together by making convoluted journeys through the mountains via B-roads or by circuitous train routes.

The Welsh government took a more cautious approach to lockdown than Westminster, but local socially-distanced…

8 December 2020News

Vigil for Gaza held in run up to Christmas

Borth and Aberystwyth Women in Black held a vigil on 30 November.

We were responding to a request from a local Palestinian woman whose family still lives in a refugee camp in Lebanon. She felt that Gaza and the plight of its people were forgotten in the midst of Brexit, general election campaigning and the run up to Christmas.

So we gathered on a cold morning and stood in silence with our Palestinian flags and simple placards: ‘Cofiwch Gaza’ (‘Remember Gaza’) and ‘Imagine Peace…

8 December 2020News

Welsh witnesses to Israel's occupation

In November, Kate Sherringer and Hwyel and Christine Davies of West Wales Friends of Palestine walked 100 miles through the West Bank of Palestine from Rummanah, near Jenin, to Jordan.

The walk was organised through the human rights organisation, the Amos Trust.

Kate explained: ‘I’ve never done a lot of walking, but it seemed like a good challenge to set myself in my 70s. I’ve been interested in issues around Israel and Palestine for a while, and this is my fourth visit there…

8 December 2020News

From Wales to the West Bank

Tell us about your trip.’ ‘Tell us about your holiday.’ Just some of the responses to my visit to Palestine in October 2019.

For a start, I never imagined that I was going on a holiday when I signed up to go with a Peaceful Presence group to help with the olive harvest.

I knew that it would be hard work and that I might witness things that would distress me. Since I came home, I’ve found it difficult to talk about the visit. Knowing intellectually about the situation didn’t…

1 December 2019News

Solidarity with jailed independence campaigners

Aberystwyth stands with Catalonia. Photo: Marian Delyth

On 17 October, Aberystwyth locals gathered in solidarity with the Catalan people after the Spanish supreme court sentenced nine political prisoners to nine to 13 years in prison for their involvement in the 2017 Catalan independence referendum.

The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention had called on Spain to release the prisoners, conduct an independent investigation to identify public officials responsible…

1 December 2019News

Rise in complaints over Welsh-speaking bans

Cymdeithas yr Iaith – the organisation that campaigns for the Welsh language – has seen a rise this year in the number of complaints by individuals who have been banned from speaking Welsh.

One workplace told employees not to speak Welsh to each other if there were non-Welsh speakers also working.

In a well-known fast food chain, a staff member was banned from speaking Welsh and told she had to take all orders in English, including from customers who spoke Welsh!

1 December 2019News

Aberystwyth strikers hold People's Assembly

This is why we are not at school! Aberystwyth School Strike, 20 September. Photo: Marian Delyth

20 September saw school children strike for climate again across Wales, supported by many adults. At the Centre for Alternative Technology, students, visitors, staff and volunteers showed their support for the Climate Strike, sounding alarms to signal that ‘time’s up’ for action on climate change, and reading out words from young climate strikers from around the world.

In…

1 October 2019News

Gwynedd Council has £100m invested in arms, Freedom of Information Act request reveals

Gwynedd council in North Wales invests over £100 million in war, I discovered through a Freedom of Information request (FoIR). Gwynedd holds shares in Chemring, producer of gas canisters used against protesters in both Hong Kong and Tahrir Square; Lockheed Martin, whose bombs killed 40 children in a bus in Yemen; Safran who make navigation and rocket systems for nuclear missiles; and 83 other ‘defence’ companies.

Through its local government pension scheme (LGPS), Gwynedd also…