1 October 2023 PN staff

PN admin worker retires after 16 years

On 30 August, the remaining PN staff gave our wonderful outgoing admin worker, Claire Poyner, a surprise leaving do, presenting her with a bouquet of flowers (16 stems for 16 years) and buying her one of her favourite meals (Thai green curry) at a restaurant around the corner. Claire will still be in the office occasionally as part of her Network for Peace work (she’s also resigned from Christian CND recently). 

1 October 2023 PN staff

Latest on project to provide unarmed civilian protection for Ukrainian nuclear power plant 

As regular readers will know, over 40 international peace activists have volunteered to act as an unarmed civilian protection team at the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant in Ukraine, supporting inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (PN 2663, 2664,…

1 October 2023 PN staff

Over 60,000 take part in days of action 

According to organisers Pace e Bene, the US Campaign Nonviolence Action Days 2023 involve 4,915 activities between 21 September – 2 October, ‘our BIGGEST year yet.... and a reflection of 10 years of relentless outreach, collaboration, and persistence’.

This year’s Campaign Nonviolence events include: a nonviolent vigil at an arms fair in Washington, DC; the 11 Days of Global Unity Summit; a nationwide Fast For Peace; a DIY solar installation action; a primary school peace walk; a Sing…

1 October 2023 PN staff

Four-day gathering in Bristol

In August, Bristol CND and XR Peace Bristol organised their fourth four-day Peace Gathering in the Peace Glade in Castle Park, Bristol, with over 20 talks, workshops and discussions – and die-ins to mark the atomic bombings of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August 1945.

Included in the Gathering was part of an International Fast to Commemorate Hiroshima-Nagasaki.

Fasters in Bristol included Matthias Engelke from Germany (a Lutheran pastor who has vowed…

1 October 2023 Milan Rai

The ‘Ukrainian peace formula’ is a formula for more war

On 19 September, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced to the UN general assembly in New York: ‘we are preparing a Global Peace Summit’ on the Ukraine War. Zelenskyy added that ‘the Ukrainian Peace Formula’, a 10-point plan which he had presented in full in Indonesia last November, could not only bring about peace in Ukraine, it could now ‘bring back to life the UN Charter’.

The following day, at the UN security council, Zelenskyy explained how this might be done, through…

1 October 2023 PN staff

Sign-up now for high court protest

Don’t Extradite Assange (DEA) is recruiting people for a mass protest at 9am at the high court in Central London on ‘Day X’, when Julian Assange faces his last chance in a British court to stop his extradition to the US for exposing US war crimes. He could face up to 175 years in prison.

The mobilisation for Day X has included a virtual rally in the metaverse on 26 August, addressed by avatars of Assange and Jeremy Corbyn among others, and a ‘Big Bike Ride for Assange’ on 23 September…

1 October 2023 Padraig McCarrick

Nationwide day of action as evidence grows that US priming Lakenheath for new guided nukes

A Citizens Weapons Inspection (CWI) team from the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) gathered outside USAF Lakenheath on 23 September, with the aim of searching the base for nuclear weapons.

This followed growing evidence that the US air force is priming Lakenheath for the deployment of the new B61-12 guided nuclear bomb as part of a mass upgrade of US nuclear infrastructure in Europe.

The inspection was part of a nationwide day of action against US nuclear weapons in…

1 October 2023 David Polden

Campaigners risk arrest with 'right to acquit' signs 

On 25 September, over 200 campaigners took arrestable action by holding up signs aimed at jurors outside criminal courts in Bristol, London, Manchester and elsewhere in the UK, as part of the growing public campaign, ‘Defend Our Juries’.

They were showing solidarity with Insulate Britain activist Trudi Warner, 68, who is being prosecuted for holding up a placard outside Inner London crown court on 27 March. It said: ‘Jurors you have an absolute right to acquit a defendant according to…

1 October 2023 David Polden

Direct action dips in face of legal action

Nonviolent direct action by climate activists has almost ground to a halt recently, in the face of large numbers of such activists being put on trial and being given heavy sentences.

Insulate Britain ended its campaign of road obstructions in 2022.

Just Stop Oil’s only actions since June have involved slow marches in Exeter and Leeds, holding up traffic in its campaign to get the UK to stop giving licences for new oil and gas fields.

Extinction Rebellion (XR) suspended…

1 October 2023 David Polden

Freedom of Information requests reveal Israeli embassy has been lobbying the UK attorney general’s office over prosecutions in the UK

The direct action group Palestine Action (PA) has won its first acquittals. On 30 August, a judge at Walsall magistrates court found Iola Davies, 73, and Jasmine Murphy, 23, not guilty of highway obstruction despite the fact that they had locked-on to vehicles blocking entrances to the UAV Engines factory in Shenstone.

PA has a long-running campaign of disruption against British weapons factories owned by the Israeli arms company, Elbit Systems. UAV Engines, which is owned by Elbit…

1 October 2023 PN staff

Bahamas signs anti-nuke treaty

On 19 September, the Bahamas officially signed the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), sending a signal of support, and Sri Lanka officially acceded to the treaty, meaning that it agreed to be bound by the TPNW, a much more serious step. (Usually countries ‘sign’ first and then ‘ratify’, but some countries skip the signing and go straight to the commitment level in one step: ‘accession’.)

This means that 97 states have now signed, ratified or acceded to the 2017…

1 October 2023 David Polden

Nine arrested on "No Faith in War" day

Nine peace activists were arrested on ‘No Faith in War Day’, on 7 September, in front of the the ExCeL Centre in East London, where preparations were being made for the Defence & Security Equipment International (DSEI) arms exhibition and conference, Europe’s biggest arms fair.

Earlier, several hundred people had attended a Quaker meeting for worship, followed by an Anglican service and, later, a Pax Christi liturgy of resistance, at one of the gates to the ExCeL Centre. People…

1 August 2023 PN

PN wishes a fond farewell to its current admin worker

What a shock! It is hard for us to believe – and hard to forgive! – but our very own Claire Poyner is stepping down from her position as admin worker staffing the PN office, from the end of August. We will miss her very much. (For the next few months, from 1 September, Claire’s work will be covered by other staff members.)

Here is Claire’s statement on her departure:

‘It’s been 16 years since I started as PN admin worker. I think even if I wasn’t eligible for…

1 August 2023 PN

Call for Global Week of Action for peace in Ukraine

An international peace conference held in Austria on 10 – 11 June issued a call for a Global Week of Action for peace in Ukraine – protests, street vigils and political lobbying – from 30 September to 8 October.

The union-owned venue for the International Summit for Peace in Ukraine was cancelled 48 hours before the gathering was due to begin; Vienna’s press club also cancelled a press conference scheduled for the end of the event.

The Austrian trade union federation ÖGB…

1 August 2023 PN

Legal challenges, trials and 2,350 arrests

Three successes for climate activists occurred in June. On 16 June, the group Feedback was granted the right to a judicial review.

They had challenged the UK national food strategy for not have a plan to cut meat and dairy consumption, arguing that the strategy failed to take into account ministers’ duties to cut carbon emissions as set out in the Climate Change Act 2008.

The high court had refused Feedback a judicial review; the court of appeal has now decided they can…

1 August 2023 PN

High court judge rejects whistleblower's appeal

Julian Assange’s legal battle in the UK hit a roadblock on 6 June after high court judge Jonathan Swift rejected an appeal against his extradition to the US.

That left just one option in the UK legal system: Assange put in another request to the high court, appealing to a panel of two judges .

The International Federation of Journalists said: ‘The US government must drop all charges against him and close the case. If Assange goes to jail, no journalist on earth will be safe.’…

1 August 2023 David Swanson

US military prevented from destroying mountains

The US military had threatened to use the mountains of Sinjajevina as a training ground between 22 May and 2 June, together with other troops under the banner of NATO. Instead, the troops went to other locations in Montenegro but never to the mountains of Sinjajevina.

Milan Sekulovic of Save Sinjajevina credited local and international pressure – including from International Land Coalition – for this latest success in the ongoing campaign to protect Sinjajavina from being turned into…

1 August 2023 David Polden

Campaigners block sewage pipes at arms factory

The direct action group Palestine Action (PA) has seven prisoners to support (there was a day of action for them on 22 July) and at least eight trials going on, but PA is still keeping up its campaign of disruption against British weapons factories owned by the Israeli arms company, Elbit Systems.

PA’s ‘siege’ of the UAV Tactical Systems factory in Leicester which began on 1 May was still continuing at the time of writing. UAV is owned by Elbit.

On 9 July, in a new tactic, PA…

1 August 2023 PN

Tories making 'law by the back door’

Damaging public order measures, which had earlier been rejected by the House of Lords, have been turned into law anyway (in England and Wales), using ‘statutory instruments’ which get less parliamentary time and which cannot be amended by the lords.

The human rights group Liberty is raising funds to mount a legal challenge against home secretary Suella Braverman’s ‘undemocratic decision to ignore Parliament and make law by the back door’.

The new regulations define ‘serious…

1 August 2023 David Polden

Labour abstains on bill targeting campaign against Israeli apartheid

On 3 July, the government’s anti-boycott bill began its journey through parliament with a vote (286 to 70). The Labour party abstained, despite damning legal advice it had commissioned from barrister Richard Hermer KC.

Promised in the 2019 Tory manifesto, the bill says that public authorities, including local councils, universities and cultural institutions, cannot allow their financial or purchasing decisions to be influenced by their disapproval of the actions of a foreign state –…