1 October 2021 Milan Rai

Milan Rai reviews a flawed, fascinating, worm’s eye view of history

Why exactly was there a Cuban Missile Crisis 60 years ago?

When the US signed an agreement in 1959 to put Jupiter nuclear missiles into a non-nuclear weapon state neighbouring the Soviet Union, there wasn’t a ‘Turkish Missile Crisis’.

From their Turkish base, the Jupiters could easily reach Moscow – and deliver warheads 100 times more powerful than the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima.

Despite this provocation, the USSR didn’t start a military confrontation with US forces…

1 October 2021 Ian Sinclair

What the media and political establishment are not telling you

‘There is a general policy by the MoD [ministry of defence] to keep the horror of what’s going on in Afghanistan out of the public domain,’ a senior officer told the Telegraph in September 2008. ‘If the real truth were known it would have a huge impact on Army recruiting and the Government would come under severe pressure to withdraw the troops.’

Unsurprisingly then, while there has been a huge amount of media coverage of the US-UK-NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan, lots of…

1 August 2021 Emily Johns

A free window poster

Click on the link below to download a printable version of the poster.

File peoples_vaccine_poster copy.pdf685.56 KB Downloadable poster

1 August 2021 Peter Tatchell and Rebecca Elson-Watkins

To mark the premiere of a new Netflix documentary, Hating Peter Tatchell, we interviewed the legendary human rights activist

Peace News: How did your early life shape your worldview, and your activism?

Peter Tatchell: I grew up in a conservative, working-class family in Melbourne, Australia, in the 1950s, ’60s. My parents were devout evangelical Christians, with no interest in social issues.

My mother remarried when I was six. I suffered a lot of violence at the hands of my stepfather; even forcing me to work long hours in his backyard farm. My mother could not leave him; there were no refuges or…

1 August 2021 Leah Levane

Jewish opinions are changing...

Opinion is changing within and beyond the Jewish community. Defence of the Israeli state’s actions is becoming more and more difficult even while there continues to be understanding for the desire for a safe haven for Jews.

For more and more Jewish people, the risk of rejection by friends and families is nothing compared to the risk of not speaking out, of not saying loudly and clearly: ‘Not in my name!’

There is a mistaken impression – spread by the mainstream media and Jewish…

1 August 2021 Ken Worpole

When pacifism and ‘the new life’ headed to the countryside

Following the horrors of the First World War, many people – especially those with strong religious beliefs – turned to pacifism. This included those who had fought and suffered in the trenches and resolved: ‘Never again’.

Vera Brittain’s memoir of the loss of her fiancé, her brother and her two best male friends in the carnage, first published in 1933, went on to sell 120,000 copies. Testament of Youth made her a formidable public figure.

As a leading campaigner…

1 August 2021 Reece Evans

Young volunteer interviewers have compiled an oral history of 5 Caledonian Road

When I joined the project as a volunteer in June 2020, I had just finished university for the summer and was stuck in my student accommodation, furloughed, isolated from social contact, a rebel without a cause.

The 5 Cally Road project gave those days in lockdown a sense of purpose. We learnt about the significance of oral history, stretched our legs in the realm of archival research, and were introduced to theatre production.

From the get-go, it was exciting and mind-opening…

1 August 2021 David Gee

Cracks are being torn in the elite narrarive that has long framed its violence as a public service, writes David Gee

Some two decades after the atrocities in New York and Washington on 11 September 2001, it is hard, emotionally and intellectually, for me to contemplate hope.

Intellectually, because, over the last 20 years, things have grown so destructively worse at a global level that the possibility of hope is not at all obvious – it has to be dug for.

Emotionally, because those atrocities more or less marked the beginning of my journey with the peace movement and its hopes, and it has been…

1 August 2021 Milan Rai

How Britain’s wartime prime minister urged alternatives to using the atom bomb

In a month-long phone-and-email BBC poll of the UK in 2002, Winston Churchill was named the greatest Briton of all time.

In 2018, in a YouGov poll, Churchill was …

1 August 2021 Thomas Kearney

Mental health and the military

On 12 June, the body of a young man was found on the railway tracks near Lympstone in Devon.

Connor Clark was a recruit in the royal marines, just three weeks into his 32-week commando training course.

Tracy Clark, thought to be his mother, wrote on Facebook: ‘Yesterday this beautiful son, brother and…

1 August 2021 Paul Rogers

Looking back on 20 years since the al-Qa’eda attacks

After George W Bush won the closely fought race for the White House in November 2000, his new administration was loaded with neoconservatives and assertive realists determined to make America great again and usher in the New American Century.

It took only a few months to change foreign and security postures and set the country on the right path as leader of the free world, a neoliberal free market and a civilised world order based on its own values. This included the US withdrawing…

1 August 2021 Gabriel Carlyle

A more just, zero-carbon world is now within reach

Renewable energy is ‘already more than capable of scaling up at the speed necessary to protect the climate, meet energy demands, ensure energy access for the poor, and support sustainable development’, according to Fossil Fuel Exit Strategy, a June 2021 report from the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS).

The problem is that, even if we stop fossil fuel expansion immediately, ‘with just the fossil fuels…

20 July 2021

Join us to celebrate PN's 85th anniversary

Peace News was first published on 6 June 1936. To celebrate our 85th anniversary, PN is holding an online Readers’ Tea Party! 

Expect: a quiz, a song, some snippets of PN history and more! 4pm – 5pm. If you’d like to join us – and we’d love to see you – then please register now: tinyurl.com/pnreadersteaparty

20 July 2021 Charlie Hamilton James and PN

PN reviews the 56th Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition

A fire burns out of control in Maranhão state, northeastern Brazil, in this striking image from the 2020 Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition – one with a salutary message for all of us in this crucial year for the earth’s climate, writes Gabriel Carlyle.

The fire would have been started deliberately to clear a logged area of secondary forest for agriculture or cattle farming, leading Charlie Hamilton James – who has been covering deforestation in the Amazon for the past…

20 July 2021 Milan Rai

Being ‘colourblind’ on race is a problem

Last autumn, PN ran a survey asking peace activists how they had responded to the Black Lives Matter (BLM) uprising of the summer. I was deeply impressed by the wealth of constructive actions that people had taken in the previous few months. (PN 2646 – 2647)

It was clear that, for many people, the death of George Floyd and the massive protests that followed, had been huge events.

I remember the white person who wrote: ‘I thought there were virtually no black…

20 July 2021 PN staff

New, more powerful warheads – and more of them

The maximum number of nuclear bombs held by Britain is to rise from 180 to 260 warheads, the British government announced on 16 March.

According to analysis by Nukewatch, Britain’s nuclear arsenal had already risen to around 250 warheads by the end of last year (see 'Warhead movements' below).

The chair of the Scottish Campaign for Nuclear…

20 July 2021 Milan Rai

What’s the worst that can happen on a street stall?

Maddie is on a street stall in her town centre on Hiroshima Day, 6 August, wearing a placard and handing out leaflets about the atomic bombings. Every so often, someone stops to argue. Sometimes Maddie can’t get a word in edgeways ...

Passerby: You should be ashamed of yourself.

Maddie: Excuse me?

Passerby: My granddad would have died if we’d listened to people like you.

Maddie: Was he a …

20 July 2021 CORE

Excerpts from a recent anti-racism briefing

PN: Below are some passages from an important paper on racism in the UK, drawn up last November by the Runnymede Trust on behalf of the Coalition of Race Equality organisations. CORE brings together many of the UK’s leading Black and minority ethnic voluntary and community organisations, including the Runnymede Trust, the Migrants’ Rights Network, Operation Black Vote and the Traveller Movement.

The CORE paper was a submission to the British government’s newly-formed…

20 July 2021 PN

Five women involved in PN share their reactions to the murder of Sarah Everard

The disappearance of Sarah Everard from Clapham Common in South London on 3 March. The arrest of a Metropolitan police officer, Wayne Couzens, on suspicion of involvement on 9 March. The discovery of Sarah’s body in Kent the next day. These events led to a national upheaval over the issue of male violence against women. We asked women involved in PN to share their reactions.


Claire Poyner

Sara Everard’s murder was indeed shocking. Not surprising,…

20 July 2021 Robin Percival

What fate for loyalism in Northern Ireland?

Recently, a friend from England asked me to explain ‘what the hell is going on in Belfast?”

This was a few weeks ago, just as prince Philip was drawing his last breath, and the answer was simple: rioting.

The actual level of violence was, by Northern Ireland standards, quite low. And indeed the rioting came to an end as a ‘mark of respect’ to the dead prince.

What was significant was the degree to which the English and international media decided to report it. Their…