Features

1 April 2022 Democracy Now!

A Democracy Now! interview with Stephen Zunes on 21 March

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman.

As we continue to look at the Russian invasion of Ukraine, we’re joined by professor Stephen Zunes of the University of San Francisco. He recently published an article in The Progressive headlined ‘The US Hypocrisy on Ukraine.’ Zunes condemns the Russian invasion but criticises what he sees as President Biden’s hypocrisy.

He writes: ‘If Biden really believed that…

1 April 2022 Gabriel Carlyle

There are big question marks over Roger Hallam’s latest strategy – and over his climate science claims

Extinction Rebellion (XR) and Insulate Britain co-founder Roger Hallam has been touring the UK recently, recruiting for his latest nonviolent direct action project: Just Stop Oil. Among other things, he’s been telling audiences that we’re looking at experiencing a 7 ºC temperature rise by 2042 (possibly sooner) – and that solving the climate crisis ‘is not complicated’. 

These claims deserve examination. Hallam expressed them, for example, in a talk in Hastings on 10 January. (I’m…

1 April 2022 A. Savin

Celebrating Russian culture as we oppose the criminality of the Russian state.

Let’s celebrate Russian culture as we oppose the criminality of the Russian state. This is the stairwell of the Water Tower in Vladimir, Russia, 21 January 2019. The Water Tower, completely rebuilt in 1912, became a museum (‘Old Vladimir’) in 1975. It is dedicated to the history of the city and has a viewing platform on its top floor. PHOTO: A SAVIN / WIKICOMMONS

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1 April 2022 Milan Rai

Western commentators who rush to condemn Putin’s nuclear madness would do well to remember Western nuclear madness of the past, argues Milan Rai

On top of the fear and horror caused by the month-long Russian onslaught in Ukraine, many people around the world have been shocked and frightened by Russian president Vladimir Putin’s recent words and actions in relation to his nuclear weapons.

Jens Stoltenberg, secretary-general of the nuclear-armed NATO alliance, called Russia’s latest nuclear moves over Ukraine ‘irresponsible’ and ‘dangerous rhetoric’. Also on 27 February, British Tory MP Tobias Ellwood, who chairs the commons…

1 April 2022 Yurii Sheliazhenko

Statements from Ukrainian pacifist Yurii Sheliazhenko  

The most visible face of Ukrainian nonviolence during this crisis has been Yurii Sheliazhenko, the executive secretary of the Ukrainian Pacifist Movement and a board member of the European Bureau for Conscientious Objection. We’ve collected together some of the statements Yurii has made over the past six weeks.

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From a video, ‘Don’t lie like Boris Johnson’, that Yurii uploaded to YouTube on 19 March: www.tinyurl.…

1 April 2022 PN staff

Over 15,000 arrested for anti-war protests

Russian citizens continue to protest against the invasion of Ukraine despite harsh repression by the Russian authorities. As of 27 March, 15,106 arrests and detentions at anti-war actions had been recorded by the human rights monitoring group OVD-Info, who provided the following information. These arrests took place in 151 Russian cities, starting from the day of the invasion, 24 February.

That protests continue is astonishing, given the level of harassment, physical brutality and…

1 April 2022 PN staff

Unarmed demonstrators drive Russian troops from city

On 26 March, the people of Slavutych caught the imagination of the world with their nonviolent defiance, apparently driving Russian soldiers out of their city.

Slavutych, in the very north of Ukraine, was built in 1986 to house workers evacuated from the nearby Chernobyl nuclear power plant after the disaster.

Russian forces captured the power plant on the first day of the war, as it is right on the border with Belarus, a launching pad for the invasion. The Russian military had…

1 April 2022 PN staff

Russians speak out against the war

Human rights activist Lev Ponomaryov’s Russian-language petition against the war with Ukraine has gathered 1.2 million signatures as of 27 March. Tens of thousands of Russians have signed petitions or open letters against the invasion of Ukraine – groups of Russian doctors and nurses, Russian teachers, academics and students, Russian architects, Russian lawyers, Russian culture workers (artists, curators, architects, art critics, art managers) and many more.

Below are a few of the…

1 April 2022 PN staff

A comparison of the wars in Ukraine and Yemen - and the west's response

Boris Johnson told the Conservative spring conference in Blackpool that the Ukraine war was ‘a moment of choice... a choice between freedom and oppression’, where victory for Russia would be ‘a green light for autocrats everywhere.’ (19 March)

He had already given that green light to the autocrats by backing the Saudi war in Yemen wholeheartedly, ever since he became foreign secretary in 2016.

Saudi Arabia’s record on democracy, freedom and human rights is even worse than that…

1 April 2022 Symon Hill

People on the streets are pointing the way out of war, says Symon Hill

Yurii Sheliazhenko has not left Kiev since the war began. The last time I heard from him, he apologised in case the background noise of explosions made it harder to hear him. His home often shakes following Russian missile attacks.

Yurii, secretary of the Ukrainian Pacifist Movement, is frustrated by the way the war is covered in international media. ‘Reporting on conflict focuses on warfare and almost ignores nonviolent resistance to war,’ he says. ‘Brave Ukrainian civilians are…

1 February 2022 Andrew Rigby

A new book explores the potential of constructive nonviolent action 

Peace News carries some of the responsibility for me spending much of the last two years writing a book about constructive nonviolent action.

I was quite young when I became convinced that killing people was wrong, and I began to take on the identity of a pacifist. Peace News was one of my main sources of insight into what pacifism entailed, leading me to an interest in anarchism as part of a search for nonviolent and non-coercive modes of action for change.

1 February 2022 Gabriel Carlyle

Can community organising force the government to insulate the UK’s leaky homes?

All of the UK’s housing stock ‘zero carbon’ by 2050. Everyone living in well-insulated homes heated by clean, green energy – whether they rent a flat or own a castle. A ‘Great Homes Upgrade’.

That’s the goal of an ambitious community-organising initiative recently launched by the New Economics Foundation (NEF).

In the near term, this means getting seven million homes – including all social housing – brought up to a good standard by 2025, and a further 12 million homes brought…

1 February 2022 Milan Rai

What happens if we apply a single standard to international behaviour?  

What if... North Korea had somehow managed to buy the Cape Verde group of islands (about 400 miles off the coast of Senegal) from Portugal in 1965 for, say, £3m?

What if... the North Korean government had then expelled the population of the biggest island in Cape Verde – in order to lease the island to China for military purposes?

What if... China had then built communications, naval and air bases in Cape Verde from 1975 onwards, constructing two 12,000-foot-long runways,…

1 February 2022 Milan Rai

Looking at China-Taiwan from a different angle

What if... after finding out that he’d lost the July 1945 election, Winston Churchill had scooped up the royal family and a handful of aristocrats, quite a bit of the British armed forces (including a fair chunk of its military equipment), some financiers from the City of London, and much of Whitehall’s civil service – and then retreated to the Isle of Mull on the west coast of Scotland?

What if... Churchill had loaded all the gold reserves of the Bank of England into a military…

1 February 2022 Chris Cole and Andrea Needham and Angie Zelter and Chris Bluemel and Henrietta Cullinan and Daniel Woodhouse

Some other acquitted activists respond to the historic Colston Four verdict

To mark the Colston Four acquittal, we asked some other campaigners who’d been found ‘not guilty’ in protest cases for their reactions. We’ve put them in chronological order of their earliest not-on-technical-grounds acquittal (some of them have multiple court victories).

Chris Cole:

I was delighted to see the acquittal of the Colston Four for a number of reasons.

Firstly, it kept an evidently lovely bunch of people out of jail.

Secondly, it led to a whole raft of MPs…

1 February 2022 PN staff

PN surveys the legal defences employed by the Colston Four

A host of right-wing voices have spoken out against the acquittal of the Colston Four, describing it as ‘perverse’ and claiming – or assuming – that the jury had ignored the law.

Former justice secretary and Conservative MP Robert Jenrick attacked the acquittal by tweeting: ‘We undermine the rule of law, which underpins our democracy, if we accept vandalism and criminal damage are acceptable forms of political protest. They aren’t. Regardless of the intentions.’

The Secret…

1 February 2022 Jonathan Baxter

Jonathan Baxter shares his reflections from a long walk to COP26

For Peace News, I should say something constructive, something that encourages ongoing political engagement. But there was something about the Pilgrimage for COP26 that encouraged a different sort of engagement; less constructive in a clear-cut way.

After all, the pilgrimage arrived in Glasgow just before COP26 began and, while some of us stayed on to engage with COP26, most of us went home.

First the facts. We walked from Dunbar to Glasgow as a lead-in to the…

1 February 2022 PN staff

A revealing map of the world

Image File PEA012-13-FEB-MAR2022_ISSUE2658_SPREAD.pdf1.99 MB Click on the link above for a large PDF file version of the above map

1 December 2021 PN staff and Huw Powell

Photo by Huw Powell

Drive2Survive activists marked the 10th anniversary of the eviction of Dale Farm in Essex by revisiting the wasteland left behind after the biggest eviction in British peacetime. In October 2011, around 200 bailiffs evicted 80 families from Dale Farm, Europe’s largest Traveller site, over three days. Caravans and buildings were removed or demolished. Drive2Survive is a coalition of Romany Gypsy, Irish Traveller, nomadic activists and community organisations opposed to the Police, Crime,…

1 December 2021 Milan Rai

An interview with Claire Poyner to mark her 15 years working for PN

In the world of entertainment, you hear talk of ‘multi-hyphenates’, people like actor-director-writer Angelina Jolie. In a world just as glamorous as Hollywood itself, the world of the Peace News family of companies, the leading multi-hyphenate must be our very own Claire Poyner. Claire is: admin worker and company secretary at Peace News; board member at Housmans Bookshop; trustee on Peace News Trustees (the third company in the family); tenant at Caledonian Road (in her…