1 June 2023 PN staff

Imprisoned whistleblower writes to Charles III

The day before the coronation, Julian Assange invited Charles III to visit him: ‘I implore you, King Charles, to visit His Majesty’s Prison Belmarsh, for it is an honour befitting a king.'

Why not write Julian a postcard? Maybe something you’ve done to support his campaign? His address: Mr Julian Assange,

Prisoner #A9379AY, HMP Belmarsh, Western Way, London SE28 0EB.

1 June 2023 PN staff

UK and Australia sign pact, plan to violate Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

On 22 May, the three-country AUKUS military alliance strengthened its anti-China presence in the Pacific when the US signed a new security pact with Papua New Guinea (PNG) which may open the door to AUKUS submarines using PNG facilities.

Under the terms of the AUKUS deal, royal navy submarines are due to make their first deployment to Australia in 2027.

In a recent briefing, USA, Australia Militarizing PNG, former Papua New Guinea foreign affairs officer Dominic Navue…

1 June 2023 Emily Apple

Call to end arm sales following election crackdown

Widespread repression and fraud in the recent Turkish elections shows arms sales to Turkey must be immediately suspended. There is no democracy when president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan controls the media, where opposition parties are not only not given equal air time or coverage, but journalists covering alternate perspectives are persecuted and jailed.

There is no democracy when there is intimidation at polling stations, and there is no democracy when women cannot campaign freely for…

1 June 2023 Kathy Kelly and Sarah Ball

Appeal for £274,000

The remarkable generosity of activists around the world has enabled 40 young Afghans, some with families, to find safe refuge in countries including Portugal, Germany, Brazil, Canada, and the Netherlands.

We’re especially impressed by projects in Portugal where communities in two cities (Mértola and Leiria) have welcomed 25 young Afghans.

Our team of internationals now works closely with Asociación Yaran, a group of social workers, educators, and youth leaders in…

1 June 2023 PN staff

Hundreds join Lakenheath protest

Hundreds of peace activists protested outside USAF Lakenheath in Suffolk on 20 May, demanding that the US keep its nuclear weapons out of Britain. Speakers included Reiner Braun from Germany, CND general secretary Kate Hudson, Guido van Leemput from the Netherlands, actor Michael Mears and CND chair Tom Unterrainer.

1 June 2023 David Polden

'Morally unacceptable' bill looks set to become law

A so-called ‘Illegal Migration Bill’ was being pushed through its last stages in the House of Lords as PN went to press.

This law would prevent people who had travelled in small boats across the Channel to arrive in the UK from being considered for asylum. They would be detained and removed ‘as soon as reasonably practical’ to Rwanda or to another ‘safe third country’. There are also plans to ban those removed from returning to the UK.

The United Nations high…

1 June 2023 David Polden

40+ arrested in 'mass siege' of drone factory

There have been dozens of arrests of Palestine Action (PA) activists since our last report.

At least 41 people have been arrested as part of the group’s main action in May, a mass ‘siege’ of UAV Tactical Systems in Leicester. The company is owned by the Israeli arms company, Elbit Systems. The siege started on 1 May and was continuing as PN went to press.

In another case, four PA activists are waiting to be sentenced after a seven-week trial at Wolverhampton crown court which…

1 June 2023 David Polden

Labour leader refuses to condemn police crackdown 

Three days ahead of the coronation of Charles III, the new Public Order Bill, with many restrictions on the right to protest, became law. The anti-monarchist campaign, Republic, and other groups, including Extinction Rebellion, were sent a letter by the home office warning that these new powers had been brought forward to prevent ‘disruption at major sporting and cultural events’.

Describing the letter as intimidatory, Republic announced that it would not be deterred from protesting…

1 June 2023 PN staff

10,000+ march in London

Over 10,000 people took to the streets of Central London on 13 May to stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people and their struggle for freedom and justice.

At the Palestine Solidarity Campaign rally, Jeremy Corbyn MP said: ‘For those that think we are going to go away, dream on and think on. We will never give up on the rights of the Palestinian people.’

This came on the last day of an Israeli bombing campaign against Gaza (9 – 13 May) which killed 33 people, including…

1 June 2023 PN staff

Japanese bank withdraws from pipeline

A major Japanese bank, the Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC), has been forced to withdraw from financing the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP). This has been claimed as a win by the #StopEACOP coalition of over 260 civil society organisations.

The 900-mile-long heated pipeline, a project of French oil company Total and Chinese oil company CNOOC, threatens to displace thousands of families and farmers from their land and rip through numerous sensitive biodiversity…

2 April 2023 INNATE

Jury accepts that campaigners had 'lawful excuse'  for graffiti

On 25 January, after a 10-day trial at the central criminal court in Dublin, Edward Horgan and Dan Dowling were found not guilty of criminal damage for a nonviolent action at Shannon Airport almost six years previously.

On 25 April 2017, the two peace activists were arrested at Shannon Airport, on the west coast of Ireland, and charged with causing criminal damage by writing graffiti on a US navy aircraft.

They were also charged with trespassing at Shannon Airport. The words ‘…

2 April 2023 PN staff

Over £560,000 given to Black-led organisations, so far

On 6 March, Black Lives Matter UK (BLMUK) announced more of what it’s done with the £1.2mn that it raised in 2020, in the wake of the killing of George Floyd by a white police officer in the US.

BLMUK made an initial distribution of £170,000 in February 2021 to 13 grassroots groups such as the United Families and Friends Campaign. UFFC is a coalition of those affected by deaths in police, prison and psychiatric custody.

A basic commitment was to distribute at least half of the…

2 April 2023 PN staff

‘Staggering escalation of the government’s clampdown on protest’ looks set to become law

As PN went to press, the Public Order bill was on its way to becoming law.

While the House of Lords did make some changes to this repressive legislation, the bill as a whole remains a ‘staggering escalation of the government’s clampdown on protest’.

That was the description given at the end of January in a joint parliamentary briefing from Amnesty International UK, Liberty, Big Brother Watch, Greenpeace, the Black Equity Organisation, Netpol (the Network for Police…

2 April 2023 Milan Rai

Country experiencing fragile semi-peace as Oxfam warns of danger of economic collapse

Yemen, ‘the worst humanitarian crisis in the world’, is experiencing a fragile semi-peace, where the UN-brokered truce that officially came to an end last October has held in practice, with some big exceptions.

There are hopes of progress towards a true peace deal, especially because Saudi Arabia and Iran, which back different sides in Yemen, have agreed to resume diplomatic relations and seem to be agreeing a non-aggression pact with each other.

Another positive sign was a UN-…

2 April 2023 Kathy Kelly

Internationals assist over 40 activists

Following the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in August 2021, an ad hoc team of internationals began regular Zoom meetings, co-ordinating efforts to assist Afghan activists who, for security reasons, have asked that we not name them or their group.

The inspiring efforts of young Afghans to share resources, seek equality, protect the planet and abolish all war, along with their willingness to host Western visitors, has sadly jeopardised their lives.

Mutually beneficial…

2 April 2023 PN staff

Call-out for photos and conversations

Does ‘national security’ have to be discussed in such a boring way, with long words that hardly anyone understands? What if everyone could take part in defining ‘security’ just by taking a photo to represent what safety means to them, and talking about it? Can creativity contribute to analysis?

Rethinking Security is running a ‘Visualising Security’ project as part of its Alternative Security Review (due out later this year). The aim is ‘to build a collection of images and stories…

2 April 2023 David Polden

Sculptor and actor launch campaign

To mark the 20th anniversary of the huge 15 February march against the Iraq war, sculptor Amanda Ward and actors Mark Rylance and Michael Culver (Amanda’s husband), have launched a campaign to raise £50,000 to install a 5½-foot statue of Christian peace activist Brian Haw opposite the Imperial War Museum in South London.

The statue is a ‘maquette’ or small-scale model. It was made in 2012 when Amanda was campaigning for a nine-foot bronze statue of Brian to be put up in Parliament…

2 April 2023 PN staff

Corbyn and CND plant memorial to much-loved campaigner

On 4 March, CND chair Kate Hudson (centre) and Islington MP Jeremy Corbyn (right) planted a tree in memory of the late, great Bruce Kent, just north of the running track in his beloved Finsbury Park, North London, near his home.

2 April 2023 David Polden

From Just Stop Oil to Palestine Action ...

While Extinction Rebellion is temporarily quitting disruptive action to concentrate on mobilising mass demonstrations, Just Stop Oil (JSO) and Insulate Britain (IB) have said they will continue their disruptive action campaigns.

However, they also seem to have largely suspended their actions while engaged in fighting the many court cases arising from previous actions. However JSO has still been organising ‘slow marches’ to hold up traffic in many towns and cities.


2 April 2023 Roy St Pierre

Graffiti from Spain

Roy St Pierre, a long-time friend of Peace News Summer Camp has sent us this photo as he cycles from Portugal to the UK via Spain, France and Ireland. At the top of the 340 metre/1,115ft-high El Cabrito pass between Tarifa and Algeciras in Spain, Roy was thrilled to see this slogan, ‘Free Julian Assange’ (in Spanish).