Features

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…

1 December 2021 Felicity Laurence

Felicity Laurence reports from the 'frontline' of the UK's latest battle over migration

Rachel managed to grab some food, drinks and dry clothes and she raced back to the beach. Things moved very swiftly once everyone was finally brought ashore, drenched and shaking with cold and hunger. It was a question of trying to give them a little food and dry clothing as quickly as possible – in some cases, resuscitating people – and rushing around negotiating with police, the lifeboat crew and the local beach crew.

The buses had arrived, there was no time to chat or even to ask…

1 December 2021 Emily Johns

Emily Johns reflects on her experiences as part of the Hastings group Women's Voice

Just as I was crossing the road to the gathering place for the demonstration, two women passing by asked what was happening. I said: ‘It’s a march against violence against women.’

One said: ‘We’ll come, we’ll come, we’ve just to got to take these bags home. My friend was seriously beaten up by her partner last night and she’s just left him.’

It looked like the bin bags they were carrying contained her possessions.

I found myself at the front, marching down George Street…

1 December 2021 PN and Civil Society Review

What would a globally just transition mean in practice?

Rather than setting somewhat unreal targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in several decades’ time, shouldn’t we be looking at the practicalities and ethics of shutting down the extraction and use of fossil fuels as soon as possible?

That’s the subject of a major report released during COP26 by Civil Society Review, an international coalition of social movements, environmental and development NGOs, trade unions, faith and other civil society groups.

The report is called…

1 December 2021 Various

Eight activists assess the events in Glasgow

Saleemul Huq, Bangladesh:

As far as I’m concerned, it is a failure. Absolute failure.... It’s a death sentence for the poorest people on the planet.

And not only that, the polluters are saying: ‘To hell with you, we don’t care, we’re not going to give you a penny.’

… We’re not giving up, but we are describing this COP as an abject failure because it hasn’t been able to rise to the occasion of dealing with loss and damage.

It doesn’t matter what else they do. That…

1 December 2021 PN and others

Four COP26 speeches by figures from the Most Affected People's Areas

‘Climate change is the crisis of our time. Its intensifying impacts are affecting millions of people around the world, the health of our planet, and it is driving species extinction. It is disproportionately affecting the people and communities globally who have contributed the least to creating this planetary emergency.’

Those are the opening words of ‘the People’s Demands for Climate Justice’, a statement issued in 2018 by the Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice. (The Global…

1 December 2021 PN staff

Unfreeze $9bn of Afghan reserves held abroad, says CODEPINK

The people of Afghanistan are facing ‘hell on earth’ in the next six months.

That’s what the executive director of the UN World Food Programme said in early November.

David Beasley told the BBC the situation in Afghanistan had become ‘as bad as you can possibly imagine’: ‘In fact, we’re now looking at the worst humanitarian crisis on Earth. Ninety-five percent of the people don’t have enough food, and now we’re looking at 23 million people marching toward starvation. Out of…

1 December 2021 Milan Rai

Western propaganda scored a victory at the end of the COP26 climate talks

India was not the climate villain of COP26.

Far from claiming the right to use coal endlessly, India apparently proposed in Glasgow that there should be a global plan for phasing its use down – as long as that was part of a bigger plan for all fossil fuels be phased out, in a just way.

There are two important aspects there: there has to be a plan for dealing with all fossil fuels and they have to be phased out in a just way.

The Glasgow summit in…

1 October 2021 Thalia Campbell and Ian Campbell and Erica Smith

Erica Smith reviews a new book from Four Corners

The eighth of Four Corners’ picture-rich ‘Irregulars’ publications celebrates the powerful heritage of banners produced for and at Greenham Common Peace Camp between late summer 1981 and when the camps were finally disbanded in 2000.

Banners made by one of the Peace Camp founders, Thalia Campbell, often with the help of her husband, Ian, her children, friends and others, are well-represented in this book. Thalia was one of the women on the inaugural march from Cardiff to Greenham…

1 October 2021 Robin Percival

The British government is trying to shield British soldiers and intelligence officials who killed civilians in Northern Ireland

Since the war began in 1970, only four British soldiers have been convicted of the offence of murder. All four were subsequently re-admitted to the army.

In Derry alone, the British army was responsible for the deaths of 35 civilians. Not one soldier was made answerable before a court of law. Not one was subject to any proper criminal investigation until after the Good Friday Agreement was signed and pressure began to mount for truth and justice

Joe McCann, a leading member of…

1 October 2021 Vanessa Ludwig

An extract from a speech at the recent event 'Greenham 40th: Feminist Peace - opposing violence, militarism and war'

‘Greenham 40th: Feminist Peace – opposing violence, militarism and war’ was one of the many events organised by Greenham Women Everywhere this autumn to mark the 40th anniversary of the beginning of the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp in 1981. These events included an online series of ‘Weaving the Web/inar’ meetings organised by Greenham campaigners.

The ‘feminist peace’ webinar included local and international speakers involved in Women in Black (WiB) in conversation about the…

1 October 2021 Noam Chomsky and Sarvy Geranpayah

Sarvy Geranpayeh interviewed Noam Chomsky for Gulf News on 8 September

Gulf News: It was only several months ago that you predicted that the US withdrawal from Afghanistan would cause the collapse of the Afghan army and the government and that’s exactly what’s happened.

That’s what’s [been] unfolding in the last few weeks, as we’ve seen, and yet we see the Biden administration and others express surprise at what’s happened or at least at the speed at which it’s all happened. Where are your thoughts on that?

Chomsky: The basic problem is one that…

1 October 2021 FoE Scotland and Platform and Greenpeace

Unfair training costs make a Just Transition harder for oil and gas workers

Workers across the oil, gas, wind and decommissioning industries strongly support the idea of an ‘offshore passport’ that would allow them to easily transfer their skills and experience between sectors, a survey shows.

Respondents to a poll reported they are currently forced to pay out thousands of pounds of their own money for training courses before being hired, with no guarantee of work, and are routinely having to repeat training they have already done.

These barriers…