1 April 2005 Andreas Speck

In Russia, 23 February is traditionally the “Day of the Defenders of the Fatherland” — converted from the Soviet “Red Army Day”.

But for the Chechens and Ingush it is the anniversary of the deportation of their entire people from the Caucasus to Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzistan by Stalin back in 1944. They were only allowed to return in 1956, to a country which was then populated by Russians and neighbouring people — one of the sources of today's conflicts in the North…

1 April 2005 David MacKenzie

Early on 11 March officers from Lothian and Borders Police dismantled a large model Trident nuclear weapon submarine which had blocked the street outside the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh for 14 hours in a challenge to the Parliament to take a stand against Britain's weapons of mass destruction.

At 10am on 10 March the submarine had approached the Parliament building and, as it crossed the Canongate, peace activists on the inside, from Trident Ploughshares and the Theatre of War…

1 April 2005 Dr Sally Reynolds

Cessation of armed struggle has enormous significance for the IRA, who regard themselves as defenders of the 1919 Dail with a clear mission to secure Irish freedom from British colonialism through physical means. Indeed, this armed force tradition is reflected in the annual rituals taking place over Easter, which serve to remind republicans of the death of 1981 hunger striker Bobby Sands and of their ideological roots.

Political progress

The memorial of Bobby Sands also marks the…

1 April 2005 Ippy D

On Saturday 11 June, Aldermaston Women's Peace Camp will be celebrating the 20th anniversary of the camp with a women-only party to which all women who have ever been to the camp- and those who have never been before - are invited.

1 April 2005 Jess Orlik

On Monday 21 March, the second anniversary of the war on Iraq, activists all over the world took part in a day of direct action against the arms trade.

Companies that profit from war, death and destruction through the unscrupulous trading of weapons were targeted.

Reed International are the organisers of the world's largest arms fair, Defence Systems and Equipment International (DSEI). The activist collective Onkruit glued locks and threw paint at Reed's head office in the…

1 April 2005 Jess Orlik

On Monday 15 March a shipment of US weapons grade plutonium fuel (MOX) set out on the first leg of its journey from the Areva plutonium factory in France to the US port of Charleston, South Carolina.

The shipment travelled overland to Normandy where it was repackaged and taken to Cherbourg for onward transport by sea to Charleston. Greenpeace condemned the operation as an extreme safety and security risk, and a major setback to global non-proliferation efforts.

Just the start…

1 April 2005 Margaret Jones

“The summer time is coming and the leaves are sweetly blowing” - and in Iraq the slaughter goes on. And the plundering of Iraq's resources by the occupying powers.

What can a few idealists setting up a peace camp hope to do about it? Even if it is set up at RAF Brize Norton - largest UK air base and gateway to Iraq for thousands of British soldiers?

Clearly, the four-day presence of a peace camp, even though its events do include a march led by veterans opposed to the…

1 April 2005 Petter Joelsson

There will be an international action camp against the US surveillance base in Fauske in Norway between 17 and 21 June.

The base collects information from satellites for the benefit of the US military. The militarisation of space is dependent on an international network of radar and communication bases and Fauske plays an important role. By using nonviolent direct action we can stop the Fauske base and stand in the way of US military domination!

1 April 2005 Rose Anderson

A Sombre Journey

On 25 February, a group of around 200 community members, accompanied by members of Peace Brigades International and the Fellowship for Reconciliation, set out to collect and bring home the bodies of those murdered, hoping to bring a sense of closure to the pain caused by this tragedy. The group was to function as a sort of truth commission, documenting the facts surrounding the deaths in hopes that those responsible will eventually be brought to justice.

”The one…

1 April 2005 Sian Glaessner

“The two stacks of hay there had been burnt; the apricot and cherry trees he had planted and reared were broken and scorched; and, worse still, all the beehives and bees were burnt. The wailing of the women, and of the little children who cried with their mothers, mingled with the lowing of the hungry cattle, for whom there was no food. The bigger children did not play, but followed their elders with frightened eyes. The fountain was polluted, evidently on purpose, so that the water…

1 April 2005 Stephen Hancock

After a week of presiding over the trial of the Pit Stop Ploughshares in Dublin's Four Courts, Judge Frank O'Donnell dismissed the jury after admitting that that his actions could be perceived to be biased. He ordered a retrial for October.

On 3 February 2003, the Pit Stop Ploughshares Five disarmed a US Navy C40 plane in a hangar at Shannon Airport, County Clare, Ireland (see PN2458).

Two years later, on Monday 7 March, they finally went to trial. One hundred and fifty…

1 March 2005 PN staff

On Saturday 5 February more than 250 peace activists and supporters crammed into Ramparts squatted social centre in east London to attend the party of the year ... the Peace News relaunch party!

The event was organised to celebrate the new-look PN and featured peace movement favourites Leon Rosselson, Raised Voices and Penny Rimbaud as well as poets Paradox and Will Holloway, acoustic act The Rub and bands Nayfumble and Walking Wounded - who really got the crowd rocking…

1 March 2005 Albert Beale

A lengthy legal struggle by two campaigners has been vindicated with a final victory in the the European Court of Human Rights: on 15 February the ECHR ruled that the McLibel 2 - Helen Steel and Dave Morris - had been denied freedom of expression and a fair trial when they were sued for libel by the multinational junk food giant McDonald's.

In other words, officialdom has caught up with what the rest of the world knew more than 10 years ago.

What's wrong with McD?


1 March 2005 Anna-Linnea Rundberg

As Big Ben struck 4.30pm, on Tuesday 15 February, around 60 people lay down on the street in front of Parliament Square in silence, and in protest.

Three minutes of silence remembering all the victims of the Iraq war was followed by raised voices, demanding that the troops be withdrawn from Iraq, now.

Unfortunately, what could have been a very effective and long-lasting blockade instead became a short and very symbolic occupation of one lane of the street, with passengers on…

1 March 2005 Cath and PN staff

The European Constitution has a range of militarist provisions which could serve to strengthen the already powerful military forces within EU states, and the constitution includes a plan for a Europe-wide military force.

The militarisation of Europe is being widely opposed by grassroots activists throughout Europe. On Saturday 5 March 2005, a conference in Manchester will examine and oppose the growing militarism and nuclearism in Europe.

The conference, “A Europe for Peace”…

1 March 2005 Conner Jay

On 4 February more than 20,000 packed into London's Trafalgar Square to hear Nelson Mandela issue a rallying cry to “make poverty history” in 2005, and challenging world leaders to “recognise that the world is hungry for action, not words”.

His call came as finance ministers from the world's richest countries arrived in London for the G7 meeting where they will discuss cutting poor countries' $39 billion debt burden.

Mr Mandela was invited to London by the Make Poverty…

1 March 2005 Giulia Gigliotti

The four anti-war activists who last November staged a series of die-ins to highlight the slaughter in Iraq - one of which took place deep inside the Cabinet Office - have had their cases dropped (see PN2458)

The four had been bailed to return to West End Central police station on 2 February for “questioning”. When first arrested, they were never interviewed in spite of being held in police custody for 24 hours, during which time they were strip-searched, had all their clothes…

1 March 2005 Jesse Schust and Venus

O-I-L (One In Love) held its annual Valentine's Day action of collectively concentrating love and sending it out to the world.

A festive atmosphere with free T-shirts and a live samba band was kindled around the Eros statue in Piccadilly Circus, London.

People were invited to form a circle to send love and healing to all the beings in this world.

The response was phenomenal. The statue and steps of Eros were cleared as people walked out to take their position in the…

1 March 2005 Kat Barton

On Wednesday 2 February, a pirate ship set sail from the south coast of England, docking three days later at Carlingford Lough in Ireland. But this wasn't just any pirate ship, it was the Enterprise - an ex Royal Navy minesweeper - converted by volunteers into a force for good by the Southampton-based charity Pirates For Peace.

The aim of the Pirates For Peace project is to foster cooperation and opportunity for the young people of Ireland, north and south, through the…

1 March 2005 Panda Rainbow

On 15 February, Yeovil, Sherborne and Area Stop the War Coalition held a peaceful demonstration at RNAS (Royal Naval Air Station) Yeovilton in Somerset in protest at the continued occupation of Iraq.

The group handed leaflets to military and civilian workers about the Military Families Against the War campaign to bring the troops home. Although they were observed by MoD Police on the gate, a considerable number of incoming workers took leaflets. One worker said “I don't need one, I…