Features

1 February 2019 Virginia Moffatt

Responses from peace activists to the BBC's 2018 Reith Lectures on war

Noted historian Margaret MacMillan took war as her theme in five Reith Lectures she delivered for the BBC in mid-2018.

The overall title of the lecture series was ‘The Mark of Cain’, referring to the story in the Hebrew Bible of the first murderer. Cain, the oldest child of Adam and Eve, murdered his brother Abel, then denied his crime. According to scripture, God cursed Cain and put a mark on him – the Hebrew is not clear whether this was a physical mark on his body or some kind…

1 February 2019 Raphael Mimoun and Sarah Freeman-Woolpert

Participatory movement is forcing France to reckon with the impact of austerity on the working class

Mouvement des gilets jaunes demonstration in Belfort, 19 January.Photo: Thomas Bresson via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 4.0)

At the beginning of January, 50,000 people flooded the streets of France for the first protest of 2019 organised by the yellow vests, or gilets jaunes.

This protest was a continuation of a national movement for economic justice that has shaken the country since November. While mainstream French and international media have largely characterised…

1 February 2019 Stephen Metcalfe

Responses from peace activists to the BBC’s 2018 Reith Lectures on war

Noted historian Margaret MacMillan took war as her theme in five Reith Lectures she delivered for the BBC in mid-2018.

The overall title of the lecture series was ‘The Mark of Cain’, referring to the story in the Hebrew Bible of the first murderer. Cain, the oldest child of Adam and Eve, murdered his brother Abel, then denied his crime. According to scripture, God cursed Cain and put a mark on him – the Hebrew is not clear whether this was a physical mark on his body or some kind…

1 February 2019 Dennis Gould

Peace News celebrates Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s 100th birthday on 24 March

Poster by Dennis Gould

1 February 2019 Joe Guinan and Christine Berry

In a new book, two Labour left-wingers draw on post-1945 European history to prepare radical movements to make a Corbyn government a radical success

The biggest danger facing the left today is no longer a shortage of ideas or a lack of positive vision.

The biggest danger is lack of preparedness – that we are not yet ready for the hard work of turning that vision into reality. If the left has been unused to being propositional, it has been even less used to holding and wielding power.

If we are serious about fundamentally transforming our economy, we must rapidly build our understanding of the scale of the challenge…

1 February 2019 Bruce Kent

Responses from peace activists to the BBC’s 2018 Reith Lectures on war

Noted historian Margaret MacMillan took war as her theme in five Reith Lectures she delivered for the BBC in mid-2018.

The overall title of the lecture series was ‘The Mark of Cain’, referring to the story in the Hebrew Bible of the first murderer. Cain, the oldest child of Adam and Eve, murdered his brother Abel, then denied his crime. According to scripture, God cursed Cain and put a mark on him – the Hebrew is not clear whether this was a physical mark on his body or some kind…

1 February 2019 Kathy Kelly

Connecting war in West Asia with war preparation in East Asia

Kathy Kelly and 10 other Voices for Creative Nonviolence (VCNV) activists were arrested on 2 January for blocking the entrance to the US mission to the United Nations in New York city. This was part of a two-week ‘Fast for Yemen’ in New York and Washington DC organised by VCNV. A British participant in the liquids-only fast in New York was VCNV UK co-ordinator Maya Evans, a Labour councillor from Hastings, England.Photo: Felton Davis

4 December: Several days ago, I joined an unusual…

1 December 2018 Extinction Rebellion

XR responds to criticisms around goals

Mass sit-down by Extinction Rebellion on Blackfriars Bridge, central London, 17 November 2018. Photo: Lucy Cartwright via Extinction Rebellion

These are questions and answers taken from the XR FAQs (frequently asked questions) section. Some of them are responses to Gabriel’s
1 November criticisms.

Q: ‘Some…

1 December 2018 George Lakey

Activists need to go on the offensive argues veteran campaigner George Lakey

Women’s March, 21 January 2017, San Diego, USA. Photo: Bonzo McGrue (CC BY 2.0)

Protests are well known, and popular. The trouble is, when I look back on the one-off protests I’ve joined over the years, I don’t remember a single one that changed the policy we were protesting against.

In February 2003, I joined millions of others around the world on the eve of US/British war on Iraq. The BBC estimated that a million protested on 15 February in London alone. In the US,…

1 December 2018 Robin Percival

Robin Percial reflects on the strengths of Northern Ireland's civil rights movement

Part of a Sinn Féin march along the planned route of the 1968 civil rights demonstration, at the bottom of Shipquay Street, Derry, on 6 October. The banner refers to a UVF bombing of a pub in Belfast on 4 December 1971 which killed 15 Catholics including two children. The McGurk’s Bar Campaign for Truth is a family campaign to expose British state collusion with the loyalist attack. Photo: Robin Percival

1968 saw the beginning of what so many people euphemistically call the…

1 December 2018 Emily Johns

New artwork by Emily Johns

Lino etching: Emily Johns Displayed during Peace News’ The World is My Country exhibition in November at Hastings Arts Forum, St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex. It is one of the occasional pictures that I have made of my family history and how my personal stories intersect with the century…

1 December 2018 Gabriel Carlyle

Extinction Rebellion's 'strategy' can't work but there are alternatives, argues Gabriel Carlyle

Brylie Oxley [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

Several people responded to my original piece, in which I raised doubts about Extinction Rebellion (XR), suggesting that I was proposing ‘inaction’ as the alternative to joining XR.…

1 December 2018 Gabriel Carlyle

Eric Stoner, co-founder of the US radical nonviolence website Waging Nonviolence, spoke recently to PN staffer Gabriel Carlyle

Eric Stoner

Waging Nonviolence (WNV) has been publishing must-read reporting and analysis on nonviolent action around the world since 2009.

It started out as a blog, the brainchild of three young people: Eric Stoner, Bryan Farrell and Nathan Schneider, who all shared an interest in nonviolence and civil resistance, though each approached the topic from a slightly…

1 December 2018 Rebecca Elson-Watkins

Responses to PN's peace group Brexit questionnaire.

Marchers at an anti-Brexit demonstration in London, October 2018. © User:Colin / Wikimedia Commons

In November, PN reporter Rebecca Elson-Watkins wrote to 53 British peace groups with a Brexit questionnaire. She received four responses. Peace groups may be unsure or divided on Brexit or perhaps unaffected by it. Here are the responses we received, in the order they came.

Welsh Anti-Nuclear Alliance

1) Your name and group: Richard Bramhall, Welsh Anti-…

1 December 2018 PN staff

11-day exhibition marks end of PN touring show

The World is My Country exhibition at Hastings Arts Forum. On the left is Wild Man, Wild Woman, Iron Water. Wild Men or Green Men slipped into the woods after the Norman Conquest and resisted.

After four years of touring, PN’s The World is My Country exhibition had its final show in Hastings from 30 October to 11 November.

Emily Johns displayed her powerful posters celebrating anti-war resistance during the First World War – and some other political and war-…

1 December 2018 Gabriel Carlyle

A PN staffer comments on the new climate direct action campaign

Photo: Lucy Cartwright

This essay was written on 1 November, before the bridges actions on 17 November that we report on p5.

If Extinction Rebellion plans to gradually build capacity for its big demands by winning smaller-scale victories then why has it launched itself with (apparently) no indication as to what these smaller-scale wins are going to be?

Lots of people seem to be very excited about Extinction Rebellion (XR)’s ‘declaration of rebellion’…

1 December 2018 Antje Mattheus

Seeing the humanity in her enemies enabled one German activist to derail an attack by a motorcycle gang. In this piece, originally published on the Waging Nonviolence website, Antje Mattheus teases out some of the lessons for activists.

Connecticut Ave Biker Gang, 23 May 2008. Photo: Peachy Weasel (CC BY 2.0)

I grew up in a small West German village, Hamm an der Sieg. Without television or computers, my friends and I played outside and acted out adventure and survival stories. This daily practice taught me not to be afraid of physical encounters, and I developed a capacity for quick thinking and action. I didn’t know how useful that would turn out to be.

At 16, my mother and I moved to the large city of…

1 October 2018 Pat Gaffney

Faith-based campaigners from around the world share stories of effective action

Orlando Ospino, member of the community of Las Pavas, sings in front of the remains of a ranch burned by orders of the palm company Aportes San Isidro, 10 April 2014. Photo: Return to Las Pavas www.retornoalaspavas.wordpress.com

Building on the 2016 gathering in Rome (see previous page), Pax Christi International created the Catholic Nonviolence Initiative, invited by the pope to ‘revitalise the tools of nonviolence, and active…

1 October 2018 Pat Gaffney

In 2016, 80 Catholics from 35 countries gathered in Rome to discuss peace & nonviolence. Pat Gaffney explains what happened next.

Peace News readers will be familiar with the names of Gene Sharp, Jean Paul Ledarch, George Lakey, Martin Luther King and Gandhi, as among those who have lived, taught and supported nonviolent peacemaking through the decades. For some of those named, the Christian Gospels and the life and witness of Jesus will have been a source of motivation and inspired their thinking and practice of nonviolence.

In 2016, Catholic peace practitioners, academics, theologians and members…

1 October 2018 HRWWPF

A walk exploring the history of Haringey’s First World War conscientious objectors

First World War postcard ridiculing conscientious objectors. Courtesy of Cyril Pearce.

The text below is from Conscientious Objection Remembered, a booklet produced by Haringey First World War Peace Forum. The booklet tells the story of the 350 men in Haringey, a borough in North London, who refused to fight in the First World War. The booklet also contains background information about Haringey 100 years ago and a two-mile walk through Haringey (which goes past houses where…