Way back in 2006 I added my face to the Control Arms Million Faces Petition. I just checked back and was pleased to see that more than a million people have now joined.
Oxfam have called the arms trade "out of control" and state that "as well as prolonging and intensifying conflicts, the poorly regulated arms trade causes huge levels of waste, corruption and debt".
A joint report by four select committees says the government must do more to ensure arms exports are not being used against civilians in war zones.
Meanwhile, DSEi, the world's largest arms fair, runs from Sept 8-11 at ExCeL in London. Check out Disarm DSEi to see how you could help oppose this outrage.
Did you know that Mother's Day began as an anti-war protest.
Hundreds of anti-war demonstrators have taken to the streets of Brighton in a May Day protest.
I have just read the Wikipedia entry on Sophie Scholl. Since the 1970s she has been celebrated as one of the great German heroes who actively opposed the Third Reich during the Second World.
Playing for Change is a multimedia movement created to inspire, connect, and bring peace to the world through music.
Shannonwatch.org, a website set up in December 2008 to document US military traffic and rendition flights through Shannon Airport has become the victim of organised international attacks. The attacks which started on January 8th are being repeated, and efforts to keep the website live are currently proving difficult. The website managers are determined that they will not be silenced however, and will continue in one form or another to publish information on military and suspect CIA flights through Shannon.
The first of more than 100 countries have begun signing a treaty to ban current designs of cluster bombs, at a conference in Oslo, Norway.
On 3 December, more than 100 countries, including the UK, will sign a treaty banning cluster bombs.
More than two-thirds of Britons think UK troops should leave Afghanistan within a year, a BBC poll has found.
Here is a good article by journalist Jason Parkinson about police violence at the recent Carnival Against the Arms Trade in Brighton.
Indymedia has a comprehensive report of yesterday's SmashEDO Carnival Against the Arms Trade, including timeline and photos.
UK teachers have voted to oppose military recruitment activities in schools if they employ "misleading propaganda".
Thousands of people have gathered in London and Glasgow for demonstrations to mark the fifth anniversary of the start of the war in Iraq.
More than 120 countries are meeting in New Zealand to discuss an agreement limiting the use of cluster bombs.
Campaigners are to begin a High Court case arguing that the decision to end investigations into BAE Systems' dealings with Saudi Arabia was illegal.
An inquiry should examine Tony Blair's role in the scrapping of an investigation into a major arms deal, Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg has urged.
Both BAe and the Saudi government have both insisted that they acted lawfully. If that were true then it would have been in the interest of both parties for the SFO investigation to have proceeded to a conclusion which would have exonerated them. The fact that the investigation was squelched strongly suggests that something very dodgy was in fact going on.
A BAE shareholder has filed a lawsuit against the UK defence group's board, seeking damages over the firm's past arms deals with Saudi Arabia.
The UK government has been accused of trying to reclassify two kinds of cluster bombs so they can still be used after a proposed global ban begins.
Instead of going to the Moonie organised "First Annual Peace Festival" on September 9th, why not do something much more inspiring and get involved in Disarm DSEi 2007 which starts on September 11th in London's Docklands.
I just read a posting on a mailing list which said:
The First Annual Peace Festival will be held in London on September 9, 2007. For more information about this event, please see the attached file.
It sounded like it might be worth going to so I tried to find a website to learn more about it. A bit of searching turned up globalpeacefestival.org and digging down there I discovered that the event is organised by the Universal Peace Federation which is one of several organisations founded by the notorious Sun Myung Moon. The Moonies, along with Scientologists and their ilk are a group which I recommend steering well clear of.
Protesters who broke into an air base intending to sabotage B-52 bombers have been cleared of all charges.
Campaign Against the Arms Trade is running a Control BAE campaign to reopen the Saudi corruption enquiry. As part of this they will be attending the BAE Systems AGM 2007 on 2007-05-09 and are calling on supporters to gather outside the QE2 Conference Centre in London in the morning for a peaceful protest.
I often listen to Groove Salad on soma fm (in fact I am listening to it now) and they often play a track with a sample of a monologue about stuff which ends with the phrase "And fuck the God of War". It seems like it is part of an interview with Howard Bloom, taken from a DVD entitled "Disinformation: The Complete Series". Here is someone's transcription.
Preparations are already underway for DSEi 2007 which is scheduled for September 11th-14th. Check out the Disarm DSEi website for more info.
Forty-six nations, including the UK, have pledged to work towards a new treaty banning cluster bombs.
For the fifth consecutive year a Peace Vigil will be held at Imber on the Salisbury Plain held, at 12 noon on New Year's Eve 31 December 2006.
Campaigners have won a legal battle to prove their rights to protest were violated when police stopped them from attending an anti-war demonstration.
Three peace campaigners who were taken hostage say they "unconditionally" forgive their Iraqi captors.
Jo Wilding's book "Don't Shoot the Clowns" has been available on mail order from the publishers New Internationalist since the beginning of August and will be available in shops from October 5th. Also note that she let her domain registration expire and so www.wildfirejo.org.uk is now being exploited for spamdexing - please delete all links to it. She now has a new website made for her by Al Booth at www.jowilding.net.
Hundreds of demonstrators are expected to gather outside Prestwick Airport to protest against the refuelling of US flights bound for Israel.
Peace Inspirations is a call for local gatherings on the eve of the anniversary of the destruction of the twin towers of the WTC to share visions of peace.
The inventor of the infamous AK-47 assault rifle has backed stricter gun controls as a key small arms conference gets under way on Monday in New York.
The United Nations agency responsible for decommissioning weapons in Eastern Europe has criticised arms exports to Iraq.
Here are the Basic Concepts of Satyagraha (Ghandian Nonviolence) from the APT Nonviolence Trainer's Manual.
Schoolchildren have exploited loopholes in Britain's arms controls by importing torture equipment including thumb and wall cuff restraint devices and a Chinese "sting stick" - a metal bar covered with spikes. The ease with which British controls on trade in torture equipment and small arms can be evaded is exposed in a Dispatches programme, After School Arms Club, presented by Mark Thomas, to be broadcast on Channel 4 next Monday.
One British and two Canadian peace activists held hostage in Iraq for almost four months have been freed in an operation by multinational forces.
There will be an Advanced Weapons Integration Conference organised by EDO and Raytheon at Selfridge Hotel, Oxford Street on March 30th and 31st. Activists will be gathering outside the hotel at 17:30 on March 30th.
In second half of January 2006, private Sychev became symbol of brutal realities of Russian conscription. "Dyedovschina" - bullying and torture of new arrivals by "Dyadi" (gaffers), those soon to finish their duty, has been part Russian lexicon for a long time but now this word became known internationally. Willingness to do military service has fallen dramatically as a result and Anarchists have staged "Deserter Day" actions around Russia. Here are some photos.
The Commons defence committee is examining whether the UK should replace its Trident weapons system. This should be a matter of serious public debate but instead we are being distracted by the Iran smokescreen.
The Vanunu Freedom Ride is due to set off from Faslane nuclear submarine base on 2006-04-07. Bush and Blair are trying to get us all cranked up over the Iran but whilst nuclear proliferation is clearly a concern, we should be looking closer to home for the solution. There is no way we can have global nuclear security whilst some nations cling to their stocks of nuclear weapons. So check out the website and see if you can help. The ride will be arriving in London on 2006-04-21.
This morning I picked up Pedals in South Londan and rode it to Grosvenor Square to provide music/PA for an International Women's Day event. The plan was for a vigil/rally outside the US Embassy and an attempt to hand in the "Women Say NO To War" petition (see event listing). I got there early and had time to chill out before others began arriving. The petition had been handed in at Downing Street earlier by a group of women who were now on their way to meet us, and while we waited for them we played some tunes through the soundsystem. Eventually everyone arrived and we moved to the front of the US Embassy where we stayed for about an hour. Nobody would come out to receive the petition so eventually a friendly police officer delivered it for us. The rain held off during the vigil but I got soaked taking Pedals home. Here is a photo I took, with Pedals in the foreground.
Criminal charges against three peace protesters who staged a mock weapons inspection at the EDO factory in Brighton have been dropped. The CPS dropped the case after the judge ruled that certain documents should be made available to the defence. It is assumed that these documents would have revealed police collusion with EDO in suppressing protests.
Faslane 365 is a plan to mount a year-long continuous peaceful blockade of the Faslane nuclear submarine base in Scotland.
On 2006-01-27 my MP (Grant Shapps, Cons.) sent me a letter saying that he was "happy to sign EDM 1088" and I have confirmed that he has done so - nice one Grant.
I wrote to my MP today, asking him to consider signing Douglas Hogg's EDM 1088 which calls for an investigation of circumstances surrounding the government's decision to join the US invasion of Iraq.
The picnicforpeace Yahoo! group I mentioned in my 2005-05-13 entry on this page has changed it's name to pointlesspicnic - see this message posted by John Harding for an explanation. So what is it all about, and will the idea succeed? Well the idea as I understand it is a sort on non-commercial, apolitical meeting place for people to share food in peace. For this to happen people must come together in both time and space. The time aspect is taken care of by specifying that these picnics should occur at noon by the sun on Sundays. So what about space? Well that has to be sorted out in a decentralised way. If you like the idea, then think of a suitable venue in your area and go there with some friends for a picnic at the specified time. Let other people know what you are doing and why, and try to spread the word.
On July 3rd I cycled from the G8 rural convergence space in Stirling to Faslane nuclear submarine base accompanied by a number of other G8 Bike Ride participants and Pedals, a collectively owned soundsystem towed behind a tandem. We stayed at the peace camp and got up early on July 4th to take part in the blockade. We used bike trailers to deliver food and water to protesters and Pedals provided music to keep spirits up. All gates to the base were successfully blockaded although it was largely a symbolic action since the base had been closed for the day in anticipation of the blockade (essential workers were brought in by boat). See Faslane G8 Blockade for more details.
The next big protest against Britain's WMD program looks like being a blockade at Aldermaston on 2005-08-08 in remembrance of Hiroshima and Nagasaki 60 years on. The Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) at Aldermaston is the place where facilities are being built to develop a new generation of (illegal) nuclear weapons. The G8 Bike Ride crew have been specifically invited to take part. For details see Block The Builders.
Then on 2005-08-13 at 12:00 there will be a demonstration against EDO at Churchill Square in Brighton - see the SMASH EDO website for details.
A judge has refused to impose an Anti-social Behaviour Order on Lindis Percy for protesting at Menwith Hill, but has instead ordered that she be electronically tagged and obey a curfew!
Apparently twelve Trident Ploughshares activists occupied Drakes Island in the River Taymar today, close to the Devonport Dockyard in Plymouth. The occupation coincides with the NPT Review Conference in New York. Here are some of the first pictures of the occupation.
I noticed there is a new Yahoo! group called picnicforpeace which aims to get people worldwide together for peace picnics at 11:59 every Sunday.
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has called on world leaders to reinforce their commitment to a treaty aimed at reducing the threat from nuclear arms.
The good people of Brighton have been busy making life difficult for EDO and their efforts have not gone un-noticed in the wider peace movement. Check out the new Smash EDO website for all the latest news and intrigue.
Excellent news from Canada as Prime Minister Paul Martin shuns US missile system.
Short notice for this I know, but on 2005-02-05 there will be a Peace News relaunch party at RampART from 4PM to midnight.
If you can't make that then what about the following Saturday? check out the O-I-L website for details of an alternative Valentines event. Basically, meet at the Eros Statue Picadilly Circus at 13:45 on 2005-02-12 for samba band, bicycle and love powered sound systems, free Valentine card making stall and much more. Unfortunately, it seems like this might clash with the Kyoto Climate March organised by Campaign against Climate Change which will leave Lincoln's Inn Fields at 11:30 to arrive at the US Embassy for speeches at around 14:00 - but then again the march might dally a while in Piccadilly. Then to top it all Peace Not War will be having a Valentine's Make Love not War Party at the Circle Community Centre in Tufnell Park.
Anti-war protesters made a mockery of Tony Blair's key election pledge of security by bursting into the Cabinet Office just minutes after the Queen had announced new measures to tackle terrorism. The only coverage I could find in the mainstream media was a report by Joy Copley in The Scotsman, and another by Clair Weaver in the Evening Standard.
I took the train to London yesterday with white flowers. On my way down Whitehall I caught up with a solemn funeral march for the people of Fallujah. I joined the tail end of the small group and we slowly made our way to Parliament Square where I listened to a few speakers including an Iraqi doctor who had witnessed the horrors of the last US assault on the city. During that attack he had been trying to treat dead and dying women and children without the benefit of any drugs. When he pleaded with US troops at a checkpoint to be allowed access to the main hospital to get some supplies of anaesthetic they told him to "fuck off". This is all happening again now as I write. Well, after the speakers we set off back up Whitehall to lay flowers at the Cenotaph. When we got there the police were only going to allow a few people to cross the road but suddenly everyone just started to cross anyway and a lot of people sat down, bringing traffic to a standstill. It didn't take long for the police to regroup and haul everyone off, but the point was made. I won't go on about it, here is an Indymedia report.
That was a relatively small action, but with the full scale assault on Fallujah now clearly underway there are many more protest actions taking place across the country, and indeed across the world.
Come to Parliament Square in London on Sunday 2004-11-07 with white flowers for Fallujah. Meet at 14:00 and protest against the looming attacks in whatever way you feel is appropriate - called by Voices UK and others.
Milan Rai of Justice not Vengeance was arrested yesterday after climbing onto the side of the Foreign Office building next to the gates of Downing Street and stencilling "Don't Attack Fallujah, Black Watch Out".
Also, two days ago, Julia McBride and Peter Burt scaled fences to enter RAF Welford near Newbury and spent over an hour in the explosives storage area where they chalked messages on bombs - big up Julia and Peter!
The Serious Fraud Office is looking into allegations of false accounting in connection with contracts between the Saudi Arabian government and BAE.
There was a demonstration at Fylingdales today to protest against the possible deployment of US interceptor missiles. For more information see Free Fylingdales.
Block the Builders is a new campaign which aims to nonviolently prevent the building of a new laser facility at AWE Aldermaston.
I did a bit for peace at the weekend and wrote about it in my ESF Report. Nothing nearly as dedicated as the Spanish antimilitarists who stopped a NATO train leaving Valencia by chaining themselves to the rails - photos on Indymedia Barcelona.
Activists block Downing Street with 45ft submarine.
On Thursday and Friday there will be an important case being heard at the High Court in London - see Fairford Coach Action.
Trident Ploughshares and Scottish CND are throwing around the idea for a blockade of Faslane on the Monday before the G8 meeting at Gleneagles. This would be on 2005-07-04, contact Phill Jones at Scottish CND if you have any thoughts about the plan.
At the last London Critical Mass someone handed me a photocopy of a rough hand written leaflet which gave details of some events for the International Day of Peace on September 21st. The leaflet included a request to "please copy and redistribute" - so I have reproduced the text here.
Creative Forum are holding Free Festival for Peace at RampART on Sept 11th. This will feature live music, film, art, discussion, workshops, healing and theatre. There is a PDF Poster available at United Diversity.
Over the past few years there have been a number of non-violent direct actions at Faslane and Coulport WMD bases. If you would like to "Carry-On up the Clyde" then check out The Big Blockade 2004.
In the case of the Fairford Five, a Foreign Office spokesman has warned the court not to rule on Iraq.
Clare Dyer reports in The Guardian on the case of the Fairford Five.
Brighton and Hove is a "Peace Messenger" City for the United Nations and yet EDO have a factory in Brighton where they develop, test and build weapons systems. Bombs Out Of Brighton are attempting to rectify this anomaly.
Due to public and press furor, Alan Turnbull has taken down his "Secret Base" page. Fortunately it has been mirrored at Cryptome.
The head of the UN's nuclear watchdog, Mohamed ElBaradei, says Israel should start discussions on ridding the Middle East of nuclear weapons.
Nine anti-war protesters have barricaded themselves inside Beaumaris Castle on Anglesea.
About a week ago, six UK peace activists were arrested after breaking in to the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) at Burghfield, west Berkshire.
Caterpillar D9 bulldozers are used to demolish homes in Israeli occupied territories. Campaigners recently tried to present Caterkillar with a "Housewrecker of the Year" for their outstanding contribution to misery in the Israeli occupied territories.
BEA Systems will be holding their AGM at the QEII Conference Centre tomorrow and CAAT are organising a protest. With impeccable timing, David Leigh and Rob Evans revealed in today's Guardian that MoD police have seized 386 boxes of "slush fund" accounts, as part of huge corruption investigation.
Mordechai Vanunu, peace hero and nuclear whistleblower was today released from an Israeli prison after 18 years confinement.
There is loads of stuff going on this coming Easter weekend and I won't be able to join those marching to Aldermaston, but I would encourage others to make an effort. See the Aldermaston 2004 website.
Matt Archibald will be exhibiting his photographs at Gloucester Friends Meeting House, Greyfriars, from 2004-04-05 to 2004-04-9 (10:00 till 16:00). The theme is "protest", and he has pictures from Genoa, Faslane, DSEi, Fairford etc.
Pentagon plans for war in space.
I have just found Alan Turnbull's Secret Base Page which has a loads of info and aerial photos of UK military and intelligence facilities. Thanks Alan.
I am subscribed to firstname.lastname@example.org which is a good way to stay informed about important stuff. For instance I learned that Trident Ploughshares are organising a Devonport Disarmament Camp in Plymouth at the end of May.
A non-violent blockade and demo at Menwith Hill on 2004-03-19 is being organised by Yorkshire CND with support from several other groups. See Block the Base for details.
Jo Wilding has been reporting from Baghdad squatter camps where she has been hanging out with Peat and Luis, teaching kids to juggle, putting on shows etc, and awaiting the arrival of the rest of the circus.
Less than a month now till the eagerly anticipated Peace not War Music Festival at the Hackney Ocean in London. Held over four themed days (rock, hip hop, dance and acoustic), the festival will celebrate the anniversary of the historic 2003-02-15 global peace demonstrations. For more about a few of the artists involved check out globalizer.
www.zenatode.org.uk Ian Gregory 2010