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).

2 April 2023

'Anti-militarist Roots' conference seeks help with accommodation

This summer, peace activists from the War Resisters International global network will travel from across the world to London to take part in WRI’s ‘Antimilitarist Roots’ conference in mid-June.

If you live in London and are able to offer an activist from abroad some sleeping space and access to bathroom facilities for a few nights, that would be very welcome!

The ‘Antimilitarist Roots’ public conference is 16 – 18 June and WRI will also have a internal gathering as well on 15,…

2 April 2023 Rebecca Elson-Watkins

Rebecca Elson-Watkins surveys recent actions

On 11 March, thousands of NHS supporters marched through London, culminating in an #SOSNHS rally outside Downing Street. Footage from the day can be viewed on the ‘Keep Our NHS Public’ website.

An estimated 700,000 British workers downed tools and went on strike on 15 March – the same day the chancellor delivered his budget. Teachers, doctors, transport personnel and civil servants were among those on strike. An estimated 40,000 of those workers gathered at the #PayUp rally in…

2 April 2023 Lyn Bliss

Europe's biggest arms fair is coming

On 18 March, about 30 people attended a Stop the Arms Fair (STAF) organising meeting in Friends House in Central London to build the campaign to resist DSEI, the heinous Defence and Security Equipment International arms fair that will take place in East London in September.

CAAT stepped back from organising around the DSEI protests after 2019, to concentrate on supporting protest at all other UK arms fairs.

Now STAF need more organisations and groups to get involved and think…

1 April 2023 PN staff

Proposal for new disarmament treaty

In mid-March, two US researchers put forward a proposal for a new nuclear disarmament treaty, ‘All START’, in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. This would include all five nuclear weapon states recognised in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty: Britain, China and France as well as Russia and the US.

Another new move would be to make the treaty ‘of unlimited duration’ instead of time-limited.

Russia announced in February that it would be suspending its participation in New…

1 February 2023 PN staff

No outrage over killing of 25 people in an illegal war

Afghanistan was a major topic of media debate in January, but not because of the humanitarian catastrophe there, or the way that the West has contributed to the economic crisis, including by ‘freezing’ (stealing) Afghanistan’s foreign reserves.

Right-wing newspapers were upset that the younger son of the new king of the UK had ‘boasted’ in his new book, Spare, of killing 25 suspected Afghan insurgents during his tour of duty in Afghanistan as an Apache helicopter pilot.

1 February 2023 PN staff

Ziegler precedent leads to not-guilty verdict in trial of Just Stop Oil campaigners

One of last year’s most talked-about British direct actions ended with Hannah Hunt (23) and Eben Lazarus (22) walking free from court, with £850 fines. The two Just Stop oil supporters had glued a nightmare version of Constable’s The Hay Wain over the painting itself in the National Gallery on 4 July – and glued their own hands to the frame of the painting (PN 2661).

They were found ‘guilty’ of aggravated trespass and criminal damage at Westminster magistrates court…

1 February 2023 PN staff

Swarm of AI-controlled drones tested on Salisbury Plain in December 

Drone Wars UK warned in January that two recent trials of AI-controlled military drones showed the urgent need for international controls over the development and use of ‘killer robots’.

In January, the British ministry of defence revealed that it had carried out trials on Salisbury Plain in December of a ‘swarm’ of Ghost drones controlled by artificial intelligence (AI) which was updated during the drone’s flight.

In the US, drone manufacturer General Atomics also carried out…

1 February 2023 PN staff

Release of assets frozen by US / UK crucial to averting further catastrophe

‘The unanimous view of the UN, the Red Cross, Red Crescent, the nongovernmental organisations, our own 1,500 aid workers, who are now being paralysed, is that the crisis is just catastrophic. It’s a population in freefall, really. Again, it’s minus-15 Celsius, but people are out in the open. People have now been hungry for months.

‘Famine is coming and will engulf six million, is the estimation. Water and sanitation is lacking for people. Epidemic disease is threatening. It couldn’t…