1 August 2023 David Polden

Spying on campaigners 'unjustified' says official inquiry

Undercover police operations to infiltrate British protest groups in the ’70s and ’80s were ‘unjustified’ and the operations should have been rapidly closed down. That was one conclusion of the first report of the Undercover Policing inquiry, covering the years 1968 – 1982, published on 29 June.

The inquiry also found that, between 1968 – 1982, six undercover officers had sexual relationships with at least 14 women.

The women who were spied on are now demanding that the…

1 August 2023 PN

British-backed war continues as aid programmes forced to close for lack of funding

The British-backed Saudi war in Yemen continues, with a humanitarian crisis threatening tens of millions of people with hunger and disease, and aid programmes being shut down due to underfunding by international donors. Backroom negotiations on ending the war are reported to be taking place between Saudi Arabia and Houthi rebels, with Iraq now offering to be a mediator, while the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen faces internal tensions and protests against poor living conditions. At least the…

1 August 2023 David Polden

Activists aquitted as "illegal migration" bill becomes law

Three activists who lay on the road outside Brook House immigration centre in November 2021, preventing people being put on a deportation flight, were found not guilty of causing a public nuisance by a jury at Lewes crown court on 13 June.

Griff Ferris, Callum Lynch and Rivka Micklethwaite had argued that they were concerned about the possible fates of the detainees if forced to fly back to Jamaica.

On 18 July, both anti-racist and anti-migrant protests met the Bibby…

1 August 2023 Milan Rai

Ex-Zelenskyy advisor suggests trading 20 percent of land for peace

Unlikely as it seems as the war rages on, some attention has been shone recently on negotiated solutions to the Ukraine War, including trading land for peace.

That suggestion was made in mid-July by Oleksiy Arestovych, who was until January an advisor to the Ukrainian president’s chief of staff, Andriy Yermak.

On YouTube, Arestovych set out four ways the war could end (Daily Telegraph, 17 July).

One was Ukraine making a ‘compromise’ with Russia – though without…

1 June 2023 Milan Rai

Real friends of Ukraine can help the president by demanding he enters peace talks

A senior advisor to Volodymyr Zelenskyy has indicated that the Ukrainian president wants to open the door to territorial compromise of some kind over Crimea – but Zelenskyy himself cannot even say these words because of the diehard political culture that he has done more than anyone else to create.

The government may not have a way off its self-imposed path of never-ending escalation, leading ultimately to national disaster – unless there is huge and unrelenting pressure for peace…

1 June 2023 David Polden

Just Stop Oil continue daily 'slow marches' as pair jailed for multiple years

The longest sentences yet imposed on climate activists were handed down on 21 April, at Southend crown court, when a jury found two Just Stop Oil activists guilty of causing a public nuisance. Judge Shane Collery KC sentenced Morgan Trowland, 40, to three years in prison and Marcus Decker, 36, to two years seven months, to ‘deter’ copycat actions.

The two were arrested last October after they had climbed 200 feet up onto the QEII Bridge over the Dartford Crossing in East London,…

1 June 2023 Netpol

How to resist the new Public Order Act that is stripping away our right to dissent

The Metropolitan police took ‘swift’ action on 6 May to shut down protests at the coronation of king Charles, in a series of arrests that showed how little the idea of ‘policing by consent’ now means in practice.

In a classic example of why negotiating with police is fraught with risk, weeks of ‘dialogue’ in advance of the coronation by the campaign group Republic failed to prevent the immediate arrests of several of its members who were accused of having equipment used to lock-on. [‘…

1 June 2023 PN staff

Call for mass bike rides on 18 June

Sadly, our dear friend Roy St Pierre, a cornerstone of Peace News Summer Camp, died on 5 April while cycling through Spain on his way to the UK. There will be a tribute to Roy in our next issue. Roy’s family are calling for mass bike rides in his memory on Sunday 18 June. Please carry peace flags! In Hastings, the ride starts at 2pm at the pier. Please send us your photos:

1 June 2023 PN staff

'I can't kill a person' says Christian jailed for year

In Ukraine, Mykhailo Yavorsky, a 40-year-old Christian from the southwestern city of Ivano- Frankivsk, is out on bail, preparing to appeal against a one-year jail term handed down on 6 April for refusing military service on grounds of conscience, reports Forum 18.

Ukraine has suspended the right to conscientious objection (including the right to alternative service) – something that has been denounced by the European Bureau for Conscientious Objection (EBCO).

‘I adhere to the…

1 June 2023 PN staff

Opponents met with fines, jail and beatings

Some recent news from the Russian human rights monitoring group OVD-Info.

19 May

The Miass city court in the Chelyabinsk region sentenced local resident Sergei Korneev to two years in a penal colony after he allegedly posted an anti- mobilisation message on a social media network. After allegedly suggesting that Russian soldiers break military equipment and weapons, Sergei was arrested back in February. He was found guilty of making a public call

to carry out…

1 June 2023 Peace Pledge Union

Call for UK to welcome COs

Rather than pouring fuel on the flames by sending more and more weapons, the government should be supporting those resisting war and welcoming conscientious objectors in the UK.

British prime minister Rishi Sunak and the home secretary Suella Braverman should offer asylum to Russians who refuse to be part of the war in Ukraine.

Since the invasion of Ukraine began, calls to offer asylum to Russian objectors have been backed by MPs including Labour’s Lloyd Russell Moyle and the…

1 June 2023 PN staff

Belarusian peace activist sends message to London ceremony

Raised Voices sing songs by Sue Gilmurray and Holly Near in front of the Conscientious Objectors commemorative stone at the National Conscientious Objectors Day event in Tavistock Square, Central London, on 15 May 2023. A message from Belarusian peace activist Olga Karach was played at the ceremony. 

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…