News

1 August 2019 Chris Bluemel

International fast marks anniversaries of nuclear attacks

Between 6–9 August, Trident Ploughshares is organising a series of anti-nuclear weapons actions in London. They will run in parallel with the international fast in commemoration of the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945.

With tensions mounting between key nuclear weapon states, we are aiming to highlight the links in the nuclear chain today, as well as drawing attention to the enormous public and social cost of Britain’s Trident nuclear weapon system.

1 August 2019 PN staff

'International rebellion' to take place in October

On 12 July, 29 campaigners from climate action group Extinction Rebellion (XR) had their first court hearings at City of London magistrates' court. They were facing public order charges arising from XR's 11 days of mass action in London in April.

Two courtrooms have been reserved at Westminster magistrates' court in Marylebone Road to process 50 activists every Friday for 19 weeks.

1,130 arrests were made in April; only 79 people were charged at the time, XR reports.

On…

1 August 2019 London CAAT

Walk throws spotlight on London arms dealers

Blue plaque at BAE Systems office, London.Photo: London Caat

With DSEI looming large on the horizon, London Campaign Against Arms Trade took an interested group of people around some of the weapons producers that are likely to exhibit at the East London arms fair in September.

On 6 July, visits were paid to the London offices of BAE Systems, Boeing, G4S, Lockheed Martin and Rolls Royce, as well as Buckingham Palace (due to the support the royals have provided in securing arms deals…

1 August 2019 Barbara Lindsay

Barbara Lindsay

AWCI members proudly dish out their delicious food. Photo: Kareem Abdelraheem

When the Morlan Centre of Faith and Culture in Aberystwyth asked the Arabic Women’s Communty Initiative (AWCI) to host an event, we felt ‘The Great Get Together’ would be perfect for the AWCI to invite the wider public to an Arabic-flavoured evening. The Great Get Together brings communities together once a year in events inspired by Labour MP Jo Cox, who was murdered on 16 June 2016.

The AWCI first…

1 August 2019 PN staff

Hundreds cut off coal supply to Germany’s largest coal-fired power station

More than 6,000 activists from the Ende Gelände anti-coal alliance blocked parts of a giant opencast coalmine in the Rhineland, Germany, over 21–23 June. Hundreds cut off Germany’s largest coal-fired power station from its coal supply by occupying train tracks for over 24 hours. Thousands also entered the Garzweiler mine and stopped huge coal excavators. Police detained some activists for more than 13 hours, denying them food and water for hours. Photo: Jens Volle (CC BY 2.0)

1 August 2019 Lotte Reimer

UK condemned as international outlier on child recruitment

In June, members of Denbighshire council’s committee on religious education discussed a Denbighshire Quaker charter calling for a stop to armed forces recruitment in schools.

Chair Dominic Oakes said: ‘If a child wants to go to a cadet event and enjoys it, then our responsibility through their schooling is that they at least come across ideas of the problems with the fact that we have cadets and arms and wars.’

It was agreed to present something to the council in the future.…

1 August 2019 David Polden

Campaign to get US nukes repatriated continues

On 28 June, more than 40 people from the Stop Ramstein Campaign blockaded all three gates to USAF Büchel in western Germany, where the US air force stores an estimated 20 US nuclear bombs, defying a parliamentary ban. (USAF Ramstein, also in western Germany, is implicated in US drone warfare.)

The campaigners totally blocked the base for about two hours, preventing personnel from leaving.

Police carried the blockaders off the road and conducted ID checks before releasing them…

1 August 2019 PN staff

Woman held on remand for anti-nuke protest

Brian Quail and Willemien Hoggendoorn, Faslane, 7 July. Photo: Trident Ploughshares

A Faslane peace camper was in prison as PN went to press, following a day of action at the Faslane nuclear submarine base in Scotland.

Faslane, 20 miles west of Glasgow, is the home of the UK's Trident nuclear missile submarine fleet.

On 7 July, a total of five peace activists were arrested after 'reclaiming' the base on the second anniversary of the UN adopting the Treaty on…

1 August 2019 Chris Bluemel

Campaigners fined £3,180 for bomb factory blockade

On 8-9 July, four Trident Ploughshares activists were acquitted and four were found guilty at High Wycombe magistrates' court. They were being prosecuted for an all-day blockade of the Burghfield nuclear bomb factory in Berkshire on 24 October last year. (PN 2624-2625)

Jan and Brian Jones, Jane Picksley and Marie Walsh were charged with highway obstruction for sitting in front of Pingewood Gate while locked to each other through arm tubes. District judge Sophie Toms acquitted them on…

1 June 2019 Lotte Reimer

Actions take place across Wales

Extinction Rebellion has highlighted the existential threat to humanity posed by climate change in Wales and around the world, and young people have inspired everyone to raise their voices.

Local actions recently took place right across Wales, from schoolchildren striking in response to Swedish schoolgirl Greta Thunberg’s weekly strike, to colourful marches and demonstrations.

On 23 April, a mass cycle ride brought traffic to a standstill in Cardiff city centre (as it had on 9…

1 June 2019 Kate Hudson

International peace movements must defend treaties restrain production, deployment and potential use of nuclear weapons

Soviet general secretary Mikhail Gorbachev and US president Ronald Reagan signing the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty in the East Room of the White House, Washington DC, US, on 8 December 1987.Photo: Ronald Reagan Presidential Library

It’s 10 years now since US president Barack Obama made his famous Prague speech, committing to a nuclear weapons-free world. I remember hearing his words broadcast, amid the tumultuous cheers of the crowd in Hradčany Square, as if it were yesterday…

1 June 2019 PN staff

War refusers receive messages of support

Events were held in locations all around the world to mark International Conscientious Objectors’ Day on 15 May, including Edinburgh’s Princes Street, Leicester’s Peace Walk, Liverpool’s News from Nowhere bookshop, London’s Tavistock Square, Manchester’s Friends Meeting House, and Sheffield’s Peace Gardens.

In South Korea, hundreds of COs received messages of support, there was a cycle ride for peace in Seoul and, on Jeju Island, and Jeju Green Party and Jeju Queer Culture Festival…

1 June 2019 Milan Rai

More than 1.4m young people took part in a school strike for the climate on 24 May  

Dozens of young people joined the climate school strike in Kiev, Ukraine on 24 May, in one of 1,664 cities taking part across the world.Photo: Andrii Kuzmenko / 350.org

The global climate school strike on 24 May was reportedly the biggest yet, even bigger than the 1.4m-strong actions on 15 March. (PN 2628–2629) Young people in 1,664 cities across 125 countries registered strike actions with the co-ordinating group set up by Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg.

The group…

1 June 2019 Chris Bluemel

No PN camp in 2019, but a winter gathering in 2020 ...

Sadly, there will be no actual Peace News Summer Camp in 2019. (But there may be a Peace News Summer Camp ‘neighbourhood’ within the Reclaim the Power camp in South East England, 26–31 July.)

This year, the organising team did not feel that we had the capacity to attract enough participants and to secure the funding the camp needed – in addition to creating a programme exciting and original enough to do both of these things.

Also, a number of other broadly-…

1 June 2019 PN staff

Memorial to Haringey conscientious objectors unveiled



On 15 May, Haringey First World War Peace Forum unveiled a hand-carved plaque to remember the North London borough’s 350 First World War conscientious objectors. The plaque was installed where outdoor anti-war meetings were held during the war, outside the Salisbury pub (back then, the Salisbury hotel) on Green Lanes. Actor Jim Broadbent, historian Cyril Pearce and local councillors Mark Blake and Emine Ibrahim joined 150 people for the ceremony. The plaque was funded by a…

1 June 2019 PN staff

'Farcical' prosecution of ant-nuke campaigners


Eight Trident Ploughshares campaigners were on trial at Reading magistrates court on 23 April for blocking access to Burghfield Atomic Weapons Establishment in Berkshire on 24 October 2018. Welsh activists Awel Irene (second from left), Jan Jones (second from right, front) and Brian Jones (second from right, back) labelled the prosecution ‘farcical’ after charges of ‘aggravated trespass’ were added to the original ‘obstruction of the public highway’ charges. This charged four of the…

1 June 2019 PN

Assange faces 175 years in prison as Manning reimprisoned

Julian Assange, London, 2014. Photo: david G Silvers [CC BY-SA 2.0]

Julian Assange is facing 175 years in prison for his investigative journalism if he is extradited to the US and convicted of the 18 charges filed against him by the US government.

Meanwhile, US whistleblower Chelsea Manning was jailed on 16 May for refusing (for a second time) to give evidence against the WikiLeaks founder.

Assange is being charged under the US Espionage Act 1917, mainly for obtaining…

1 June 2019 Brian Jones

Move to ban dumping contaminated sediment in sea off Cardiff Bay narrowly defeated

73 councils in Wales have now officially stated that they will not host an underground nuclear waste dump.

The Welsh consultation on a ‘geological disposal facility’ closed in April 2018. In their submission, CND Cymru argued that the Welsh government should follow the Scottish government and adopt an ‘on site, near ground level’ storage policy for nuclear waste.

The group cited the large number of councils which have rejected underground storage as indicative of the opposition…

1 June 2019 David Polden

74 charged and counting

An arrest on the first day of XR’s International Rebellion, 15 April, on Waterloo Bridge, London. Photo: Vladimir Morozov / Extinction rebellion

Despite there being over 1,000 arrests during 11 days of Extinction Rebellion (XR) climate actions which shut down much of central London in April, only 74 people seem to have been charged. The police are now threatening all the arrested with prosecutions....

On 23 April, Elliott Cuciurean (20) became the first person to be convicted…

1 June 2019 David Polden

David Polden surveys three recent UK peace movement actions

Here are three notable peace movement street actions that took place recently.

On 18 May, the Gareloch Hortis Women’s Peace Group took to the streets of Newcastle to make the links between their anti-nuclear campaigning and other concerns held by members of the group.

Their colourful banners attracted curious passers-by who wanted to discuss climate justice, an end to austerity and poverty, and ATOS assessments and their effect on people with disabilities. The banners had…