3 September 2003 Yeshua Moser-Puangsuwan

From Amritsar to Depayin, Yeshua Moser-Puangsuwan offers a comparison between the experiences and methods of the Indian liberation struggle by the Congress Party and Mahatma Gandhi and the nonviolent campaign waged by the National League for Democracy (NLD) and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in Burma.

Although not forseen by the political pundits of the time, the salt campaign launched by Mahatma Gandhi and the Congress Party in India became the key nonviolent direct action campaign to achieve freedom from British rule.

At the outset of the campaign, a New York Times correspondent asked Gandhi what he hoped to achieve by the campaign, and what would happen if he were arrested at the beginning of the campaign. Gandhi answered that it wasn't a matter of winning or losing that…

3 June 2003 Ippy D

War is not an inevitable fact of life - though it may seem so when we look at the entirety of human history - it is something that we create.

The long build-up to the war on Iraq, the disastrous mess the occupiers have created (and no doubt, eventually, will leave behind) may appear to be just another sorry chapter - a predictable consequence of the global power structures and aspirations of our, predominantly, militarist, capitalist, mode of operating.

Take the big step

3 June 2003 Beena Sarwar

Writing from Pakistan, Beena Sarwar believes that violence has become a part of our daily discourse, internalised and accepted as a norm - dictating terms in the region, justifying increased military spending and reducing the pressure to seek other options.

The most dangerous form of violence in South Asia is arguably the threat of nuclear war between India and Pakistan. It colours the statements made by the leaders of both countries and strengthens the extreme right wing in both countries, which feeds off and thrives on the fanaticism of its counterparts next door.

The rhetoric of war, whether it is made by George Bush, Ariel Sharon, Atal Bihari Vajpayee or Pervez Musharraf, gives the cue to these elements to indulge in more violence,…

3 June 2003 Igo Rugova

In 1999, following ten years of repression by Serb authorities and ten weeks of NATO-led war, the United Nations began operating a civilian administration in Kosov@. Igo Rugova sends a message to the women of Iraq about the post-war challenges faced by local groups when the "internationals" arrive.

This article is being written as another war comes to an end, the war in Iraq. It is clear by now that the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein vanished under the heavy bombing of the American and British forces. Many rejoiced at the day when a government that persecuted and discriminated against its own people disappeared. The big question is what comes next.

To us as women's rights activists, the big concern is what will happen to women in a post-war Iraq. And, as women's groups that…

3 June 2003 Keith Goddard

Writing from Harare, Keith Goddard, from Gays and Lesbians Zimbabwe, reflects on the long list of political and practical problems facing ordinary Zimbabweans, why "they" aren't out on the streets in outrage and how the international community may, or may not, help

Over the past three years, one of the most frequently asked questions in Zimbabwe (and often asked of me by my 79-year old mother) has been “why are they not taking to the streets and doing something about the situation?” My reply has generally been “who do you mean by they and why are you not on the streets yourself?” But then I am not either!

Many people explain away their inaction by claiming they are not part of the critical mass (in other…

3 June 2003 Rob Fairmichael

With yet another pause in the Northern Irish peace process, Rob Fairmichael puts forward the case for nonviolent responses and "democratic insurrection".

The recent impasse on re-establishing the institutions of local government in Northern Ireland raises many questions, among them the goodwill of both the republican and unionist communities.

The postponement of elections to the Northern Ireland Assembly, until at least the autumn, is a disappointment, particularly as the normally volatile summer period is nearly upon us. It is usual to seek to blame one side for such an impasse, and, while there can be some point in this at times, it…

3 March 2003 Ippy D

What are you? Some kind of apologist for Saddam? In our binary world it is not an unexpected question; apparently you are either “for” us or “against” us, things are always “right” or “wrong”. It is a way of thinking - indeed a lens through which to view the whole world - that has been vastly encouraged over the past 18 months, during the course of the “war on terror”. It is a very convenient way of approaching problems because it completely avoids dealing with any kind of context or…

3 December 2002 Ippy D

On 26 September 2002, British freelance TV journalist Roddy Scott was killed after being shot in the head while filming in Ingueshetia. He was murdered while covering the ongoing war between Chechen separatist fighters and Russian state forces.

In a statement released by his family shortly after his untimely death they said: “Whether it was Kurds, Chechens, Afghans or Palestinians, he was committed to ensuring that issues were not sidelined and received the international attention…

3 December 2002 Milan Rai

While urging our steadfast commitment to actively opposing and resisting the proposed new war on Iraq, Milan Rai also offers some hope for anti-war activists around the world.

The woman passed by, then came back and took a leaflet. She read it, and as a result came on her first political demonstration, in London, on 28 September 2002, with 400,000 others protesting against war on Iraq. She also brought her husband and her five-year-old son. She'd never been politically active before, but within weeks she'd set up a local anti-war group in her town.

This story was told to me by an anti-war activist in Northampton, who concluded by saying, “I used to wonder…

3 December 2002 Rob Fairmichael

The War Resister's International Triennial conference was held in Dublin in August. Rob Fairmichael offers somereflections.

To assess something which you're intimately involved with is difficult. While I was out of the main Dublin-London axis for the War Resisters' International Triennial Conference, “Stories and strategies - nonviolent resistance and social change”', I was nevertheless centrally involved.

This meant that while aware of much of what was happening, beforehand I was not so much in the whirlwind and during it I was too busy to engage in some of the conference. But in any case a…

3 September 2002 Ippy D

Just in case anyone needed a reminder as to the motivation for any of us involved in taking action against militarism and all its symptoms, the British government published its own report into arms exports from Britain during 2001.

At once the Peace News office started getting odd emails from around the world containing some of the details in the report. The contents are of great concern to activists in many parts of the world. And so they should be, because the report -…

3 September 2002 JC

There may be more than one way to stage a nonviolent protest. We had our chance on the Monday, getting to Eurosatory at the crack of dawn, ready to greet visitors to the Expo as they got off the métro. The other team, the CRS, the French “heavy squad”, got there first and watched our antics with grim amusement - they would get their chance the next day.

The Expo visitors ran the gauntlet of our heckling, tomato sauce-letting and dying in front of them, for the most part…

3 September 2002 Kevin Buley

16 years after the world's worst nuclear accident, have we gone back to sleep? Was Chernobyl a turning point or simply the first such catastrophe in a dangerous industry just a few decades old? Kevin Buley visits the radioactive exclusion zone

Pripyat is a large modern town in the lush green region of Pollisia in northern Ukraine. Purpose built for the new generation of atomic workers and their families. An object of envy for those unfortunates not working in this sparkling new technology. Spacious heated apartments with bathrooms and balconies were constructed in a woodland setting with wide tree-lined streets and boulevards, hotels and houses of culture, all banged up next to this prime example of Soviet technical wizardry, the…

3 September 2002 Lindsay Barnes

In a special report for Peace News, Lindsay Barnes talked with Indian, Pakistani and international peace groups about nuclear tensions in the ongoing Kashmir conflict.

International and grassroots peace groups are continuing to urge strong action to defuse the escalating tension between Pakistan and India over Kashmir - mostly out of fear for an “accidental” launch of a nuclear weapon.

The Kashmir flashpoint is the most dangerous nuclear threat in the world today, according to the Movement in India for Nuclear Disarmament (MIND), a New Delhi-based peace group. This is because the temptation to use nuclear weapons is the greatest during war or near-…

3 September 2002 Tikiri

Tikiri reports on some of the events and actions which took place at the Eurosatory arms "exhibition" in France in June.

One of the special guests at Eurosatory this year was Mr Kalashnikov. His world famous invention - the Kalashnikov sub-machine gun - is now used in most conflicts across the globe. These same conflicts are what companies such as the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS), GIAT Industries, British Aerospace Systems (BAeS), and so on, need in order to keep global defence expenditures on the increase - and thus their profits. This is probably why Mr Kalashnikov, a venerable 83-…

3 June 2002 Ippy D

It seems the Tamil Tigers have begun to take small steps towards at least the possibility of a change, away from the violent tactics of their lengthy "liberation" struggle against the Sri Lankan government. Was it - as reported in some of the mainstream press the pressure being brought to bear by the "war on terror" that prompted them?

Unlikely perhaps, but not completely implausible, and that's certainly what the “war on terror's” promulgators…

3 June 2002 A participant

A participant in the March and April International Solidarity Movement actions in Palestine shares some thoughts about the strengths and weaknesses of the grassroots activist response to recent Israeli aggression in the Occupied Territories.

The “International Solidarity Movement” (ISM) is a series of nonviolent solidarity events in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, undertaken by foreign peace activists, coordinated by the Palestinian Centre for Rapprochement.

The campaign planned for this April was going to include helping farmers cultivate land under threat of Israeli seizure, removal of roadblocks, protests against checkpoints - attempts to halt the Israeli occupation of the West Bank. Instead we found ourselves having to…

3 June 2002 Joanne Baker

Just as springtime Baghdad shows - with the crumbling of sanctions - a faint glimpse of promise, however superficial, it is hard to believe that the threat of war is gathering again.

Here in the streets of Baghdad, the shop windows are displaying ever more goods, although one seldom sees a customer; there is the occasional flash of a new yellow Nissan taxi - sold to the drivers at half price by the government; new red and white striped double-decker buses made in China with German…

3 June 2002 Marnie Smith

In April Marnie Smith travelled to Pakistan where she discovered Afghanistan's refugee communities finding hope for peace through education.

Though they echo with the longings of the educated and wistful NGO worker, and are reminiscent of Edward Bulwer-Lytton's 19th century “The Pen is mightier than the sword” speech, the title of this article represents the heartfelt wish of the Afghan refugee Jamila Abassy.

Jamila has just opened her second primary school in the Pakistan refugee camp where Hamid Karzais [leader of Afghanistans provisional council] - father was captured and killed by the Taliban in 1999.


3 June 2002 Roberta Bacic

Being Chilean, I was prevented from visiting Cuba between 1973 and 1990: had I travelled there I would not have been allowed to re-enter Chile, as I would have been labelled a Marxist. At the very least it would have caused me more troubles than the ones I was already experiencing with the dictatorship for being part of the human rights movement: in 1982, I was sacked from my academic work at a Chilean university for political reasons.

Getting a visa to enter Cuba was not possible…