Features

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…

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…