1 December 2023 Jewish Voice for Labour

'Killing from 20,000 feet is no less immoral than killing at close quarters'

When United Nations general secretary António Guterres said the Hamas murders of Israelis in October 2023 did not happen in a vacuum, he was immediately accused by Israel’s ambassador to the UN of a ‘blood libel’ against Jews for which he must apologise or resign.

He, like us, deplores the killings but he also challenged the Israeli assertion that history started on 7 October. According to the Israeli narrative nothing, apart from bestial hate, explains 7 October and 7 October…

1 December 2023 Felicity Laurence and The Villages Group

Report from an Israeli-Palestinian peace group

The Villages Group is a small but totally dedicated Israeli-Palestinian peace group who have worked year in and year out to show friendship and support to people under occupation in Palestine. I visited many times, to sing and do music with children in the villages, including in the very places right now being destroyed.

Things are desperate as never before. I am receiving their letters every day. Here are some things they are telling me. They want the world to know.

From their…

1 December 2023 PN staff

Activists sit-in in Sanders' office over Ukraine stance

Eleven CODEPINK anti-war activists were arrested on 4 October after a 50-strong sit-in in Bernie Sanders’ senate office in Washington DC, USA.

Sanders, a left-winger, has voted for more weapons to Ukraine and has criticised Democrats who’ve called for peace talks. ‘I am appalled that no Democrats are saying what the majority of American people are saying: We need peace talks, not more war,’ said Medea Benjamin, co-founder of CODEPINK, and author of…

1 December 2023 Yurii Sheliazhenko

Open letter from a Ukrainian facing prison for speaking for peace

Greetings from Kyiv. Yesterday [14 November] my city was disturbed again by air raid sirens, so I ran from Vernadsky scientific library to hide in the closest shelter, a subway station.

Ruthless Russian aggression against Ukraine continues, as well as the Ukrainian defensive war effort. Civilians are dying, cities are being bombarded on both sides of the frontline, and that is the essence of any war – aggressive or defensive – the pure evil of war, which is barbaric mass killing by…

1 December 2023 PN staff

The names of 261 children from Gaza and Israel killed since 7 October

This list of children 16 and younger killed in the latest Israel-Palestine conflict, has been created to be read out slowly during hour-long ‘Ceasefire Now’ vigils – to remember those who have died and to call for an immediate end to the violence.

This list of 261 names has been compiled from two sources: a spreadsheet of 2,523 names of children killed in Gaza (7 – 26 October 2023), circulated by Iraq Body Count, based on Gaza health ministry information and a 14 November report on…

1 October 2023 Alan Lodge

Nottingham exhibition remembers 2003 anti-war actions

This photo is from the exhibition, Regime Change Begins at Home – Nottingham Opposition to the 2003 Invasion of Iraq, which ran from 21 – 24 September at Broadway Cinema in Nottingham, to mark the 20th anniversary of the disastrous invasion of Iraq and the movement which opposed it. Along with images of protests in Nottingham taken by local photographer Alan Lodge, the exhibition also featured leaflets, newsletters and other materials from the period, mostly from the Sparrows’ Nest…

1 October 2023 Emily Johns and Tom Willis

Emily Johns interviews the curate who made the purchase of the Peace House possible.

Tom Willis was a curate in Hull in 1958 when he inherited £10,000 (worth over £180,000 today), the money that would buy 5 Caledonian Road for Peace News and Housmans Bookshop. PN production worker Emily Johns interviewed reverend Willis at a 50th birthday event for Number 5 in 2009, five years before he passed away.

I was 28 when I inherited the money and I thought: ‘What am I going to do with this money because Jesus…

1 October 2023 Rosa Schling

An extract from an exciting new book

A new book, Peace! Books! Freedom!, brings together generations of campaigners and activists to share memories of 5 Caledonian Road in Central London, the base for Peace News and its sister project, Housmans Bookshop. It is a little-known history of sedition, resistance, solidarity, and the ongoing struggle for justice and liberation.

When 5 Cally Road opened in 1959 as a home for Peace News and Housmans Bookshop, Peace News was already two decades…

1 October 2023 Alexandre Christoyannopoulos

Hypocrisy, boosting the military-industrial complex and narrowing solidarity

Exactly what Britons commemorate when they wear a red poppy has evolved ever since the emergence of that symbol in the aftermath of the First World War.

One of the reasons the poppy has been such an enduring symbol is that it has always had a capacity to mean slightly different things to different people. For some, it has conveyed the memory of personal and collective suffering (best illustrated perhaps with the saying: ‘lest we forget’).

For others, it is a sign of respect and…

1 October 2023 Anon

How to carry out a strategy review in a peace organisation  

Every so often, any organisation or group will look at what it’s doing and see if it can be done better. Peace News is about to do this! Here are some thoughts on the subject from someone the PN staff respect very much (who wanted to remain anonymous) who has been involved in strategy reviews in different British peace organisations with paid staff. (The word ‘strategy’ can sound complicated but it just means ‘the plan we are following to try to achieve our goals’!)

Why now?

1 October 2023 PN staff

A brief look at the life of the legendary US activist

‘Before reading this book, I knew and greatly admired Dave Dellinger. Or so I thought. After reading his remarkable story, my admiration changed to something more like awe. There can be few people in the world who have crafted their lives into something truly inspiring. This autobiography introduces us to one of them, with the simplicity and integrity that characterizes everything Dave has done.’ –Noam Chomsky, praising Dellinger’s autobiography, From Yale to Jail: The Life Story of a…

1 October 2023 Dave Dellinger and PN staff

More thoughts from legendary US activist Dave Dellinger

Introducing ‘Declaration of War’ in his 1970 book Revolutionary Nonviolence, Dave Dellinger commented that two years in a maximum security prison during the Second World War had changed his mind about violence against property (while leaving him still firmly opposed to violence against people).

Dellinger wrote: ‘In a society which exalts property rights above human rights, it is sometimes necessary to damage or destroy property, both because property has no intrinsic value…

1 October 2023 PN staff

Week of action called for 4 – 10 December

More than 30 organisations across Europe have called for a week of action leading up to 10 December, International Human Rights Day, pressing for protection for all those who refuse military service in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine.

The #ObjectWarCampaign coalition, which includes Connection eV (International Support of Conscientious Objectors and Deserters), the European Bureau for Conscientious Objection (EBCO) and War Resisters International, is urging the European Union to open its…

1 October 2023 Milan Rai

Ukrainian pacifist Yurii Sheliazhenko on Zelenskyy's 'peace formula'

Yurii Sheliazhenko was interviewed on 10 August about the raid on his home and the charges against him, on Democracy Now!.

During the interview, Yurii said: ‘I was searched, and now I am brought to this repressive system for my alleged justification of Russian aggression, in time when our government organized the summit in Saudi Arabia to promote so-called peace formula of Zelenskyy. [see p3 for more on ‘the Ukrainian Peace Formula’]

‘And this peace formula, in fact,…

1 October 2023 PN staff

Ukrainian pacifist in court for 'absurd' charge

On 20 September, the prosecution failed to appear in court in Kyiv to begin its case against Ukrainian pacifist Yurii Sheliazhenko.

Yurii, executive secretary of the Ukrainian Pacifist Movement, has been told he will be charged with ‘justifying Russian aggression’. His flat was raided on 3 August and he has been given a night-time curfew (10pm – 6am) until 11 October (though he is allowed to leave for an air raid shelter if there is an attack, or for medical assistance).


1 October 2023 Kathy Kelly

US policy towards Saudi Arabia ensures continued bloodshed, hunger, division and destabilisation

As the effective ruler of Saudi Arabia, crown prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), is poised to visit London, a leading US peace activist helps us to take a look at one aspect of Saudi foreign policy. The war in Yemen is also a British responsibility, as Britain continues to supply weapons and both diplomatic and technical support to the Saudi war effort there.

There’s a refugee trail from the Sahel drought region in Africa, into war-ravaged Yemen, and up through Saudi Arabia towards…

1 October 2023 #protection4olga

Campaign launched to demand asylum for Belarusian peace builder

Following the denial of political asylum by the Lithuanian authorities for the Belarusian peace-builder and human rights defender Olga Karatch (Volha Karach), the international campaign #protection4olga was launched in late August to demand protection and asylum for the director of the organisation ‘Our House.’

Olga has been fighting for human rights in Belarus for years, including the right to conscientious objection to military service, and is therefore persecuted and faces capital…

1 October 2023 Dave Dellinger

Dave Dellinger’s militant 1945 manifesto of radical nonviolence

The following anti-capitalist statement of revolutionary nonviolence was published as an editorial in the first issue of Direct Action, which US pacifist Dave Dellinger helped to launch in September 1945, just weeks after Hiroshima and Nagasaki. When it was reprinted in his collection of essays, Revolutionary Nonviolence (Bobbs-Merrill, 1970), Dellinger described it as ‘one of the clearest and most concise expressions’ in the book of his beliefs and commitments.

The atom…

1 August 2023 Milan Rai

Churchill believed there were two non-atomic ways of bringing about a Japanese surrender

The Hollywood blockbuster, Oppenheimer, is having a massive opening weekend as I write these words.

The central event of the film is the ‘Trinity’ test on 16 July 1945, when scientists set off the world’s first nuclear bomb.

One of the less well-known effects of the test was its shattering impact on the wartime British prime minister. Winston Churchill was told about Trinity while he was attending the Potsdam conference in Germany with US president Harry Truman and…

1 August 2023 PN

Protesting the International Maritime Organisation's climate conference

On 26 June, Ocean Rebellion brought a puppet oil tanker, belching a vile fog of heavy fuel oil (HFO) smoke, to the headquarters of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) on Lambeth Road in London. Inside, where the photo above was taken, delegates were sipping drinks on the first day of a conference to revise the IMO’s climate strategy.

Ocean Rebellion were protesting against the fact that the IMO is not aiming to halve shipping greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, but only by…