awareness acknowledgement acceptance action
different perspectives on peace
The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear (ICAN) made this short animation of Hiroshima survivor Setsuko Thurlow’s passionate call to action on the day that the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was adopted. video 5.04 mins
the humanitarian case
‘Nuclear weapons are unique in their destructive power, in the unspeakable human suffering they cause, in the impossibility of controlling their effects in space and time, and in the threat they pose to the environment, to future generations, and indeed to the survival of humanity.’ International Committee of the Red Cross, 2010
Nuclear weapons are the only devices ever created that have the capacity to destroy all complex life forms on Earth. It would take less than 0.1% of the explosive yield of the current global nuclear arsenal to bring about devastating agricultural collapse and widespread famine. The smoke and dust from fewer than 100 Hiroshima-sized nuclear explosions would cause an abrupt drop in global temperatures and rainfall
Friday 22 January 2021 marks ninety days after the 50th ratification when the nuclear ban treaty will enter into force as international law. The nine nuclear-armed nations (US, Russia, China, UK, France, Israel, India, Pakistan, North Korea), have so far boycotted the Treaty. read more
After befriending some of the world’s greatest physicists in 1920s Berlin, Albert Einstein among them, Leo Szilard is forced to flee when the Nazis come to power. In London, he discovers the destructive possibilities of harnessing nuclear power; setting the course for the world’s first atomic bomb.
Ben Griffin is a former British SAS soldier who refused to return to Iraq and left the Army, citing not only the ‘illegal’ tactics of United States troops and the policies of coalition forces but also that the invasion itself was contrary to international law.
He expected to be court-martialled, but was instead let go with a glowing testimonial from his commanding officer.
He spoke to an anti-war rally in 2008 about UK involvement in extraordinary rendition the day before he was served with an injunction preventing him from speaking publicly and from publishing material about his time in the SAS. He is the founder of Veterans for Peace in the UK
Soldiers can be on the front line from their 18th birthday onwards.
During the war in Afghanistan, British soldiers who had joined at 16 and completed training were twice as likely to die on deployment than adult recruits .
The Army states “RESPECT FOR OTHERS” as a key value, the Defence Secretary started an urgent review into bullying and harassment across the armed forces in 2019. Recruits shouted at often. If you fall behind you’re told you’re no good and your whole platoon may be punished.
The first Armed Forces Day was in 2009 as part of a broader strategy to increase recognition of the British armed forces.
Thousands of former members of the armed forces are homeless in the UK. Charities like Shelter and Help for Heroes try to help, but they are not guaranteed a home. When veterans reach retirement age, they do get a state pension, but they experience a lot of problems.
Mental health problems tend to get worse after soldiers leave the army.
Although the British Army spends a lot of money advertising itself as inclusive, many soldiers and veterans report racism and homophobia in the army.
While the British Army says it recruits equally, its recruitment adverts are ‘upweighted’ in areas of poverty.
UK military carbon footprint equivalent to over six million cars read more…
Defence is a word that usually evokes images of soldiers and tanks. But as modern and future enemies shape-shift into unprecedented forms, does the almost $2trln that was spent globally on defence in 2019 actually protect people from harm? The answer is clearly no.
ROOTS OF RESISTANCE
is a community of Friends building a creative, vibrant and radical Quaker response to the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) arms fair. Join in
Peace talks need women
why women in war zones make the best peacemakers despite rarely getting a place at the negotiation table dominated by men
“I think that negotiations and mediation processes have to touch people in their heart to be able to get to their head. I don’t think that you start with a head and go to the heart..” Sanam Naraghi-Anderlini Iranian activist and senior advisor to the UN read more…
What happens when women try to hammer out a peace deal? How does it differ from the way men do it? According to the United Nations, fewer than 3% of signatories to peace agreements are women. We meet two women who hope to change that. They made history in Northern Ireland and in Colombia by bringing the gender issue to the forefront of the peace process. Monica McWilliams is a Northern Irish peace negotiator who played a key role in the Good Friday Agreement of 1998. Hilde Salvesen was part of Norwegian team which facilitated the recent peace negotiations in Colombia between the government and Farc rebels. World service the conversation
audio 27 mins
There used to be a romantic notion of globalisation that all countries would simply have to get along as we were all so interconnected. It’s an idea that has made direct military engagement less likely. We live in a new era of conflict, where states try to achieve their aims through measures that stay below the threshold of war. This is a strategy of statecraft with a long history, but which has a new inflection in our technologically charged, globalised world. Now a mix of cyber, corruption and disinformation is employed to mess with adversaries. This programme looks at how political warfare works in a world where we’re all economically entangled.
‘Nuclear weapons are the beating heart of our colonial and patriarchal order. These weapons and the security apparatus that places faith in them are inherently dehumanizing… We are in desperate need of a foreign policy that is cooperative, inclusive, and based in our shared humanity—that is to say, feminist.’
Beatrice Fihn 2018 The Nation read the full article
Executive Director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN)
a series of films from the international centre of Non Violent Conflict
A Force More Powerful is a documentary series on one of the 20th century’s most important and least-known stories: how nonviolent power overcame oppression and authoritarian rule. It includes six cases of movements, and each case is approximately 30 minutes long.
Bringing down a dictator
In the year 2000 in a war barely noticed outside Yugoslavia, the indicted war criminal Slobodan Milosevic fought to hold power. He controlled a battle-hardened army, a tough police force and most of the news media. But he underestimated his opponents led by a student movement called Otpor! (‘resistance’) who attacked the regime with ridicule rock music and a willingness to be arrested.
Their courage and audacity inspired others to overcome their fear and join the fight.When Milosevic refused to accept his defeat at the polls, the people responded with a general strike. As normal life ground to a halt, Serbs by the hundreds of thousands descended on the capital on October 5 to seize the parliament in a dramatic triumph for democracy. Milosevic was arrested and extradited to the Hague to stand trial for crimes against humanity in June 2001.
It was just after 2 a.m. on November 22, 2004 when the call went out: “The time has come to defend your life and Ukraine. Your victory depends upon how many people are ready to say ‘No’ to this government, ‘No’ to a total falsification of the elections.”
Regime-controlled media claimed victory for Viktor Yanukovych, handpicked by the corrupt sitting president. But credible exit polls showed Viktor Yushchenko the opposition candidate, had won.
When they realized election officials were in on the fraud, the people had had enough.
In freezing temperatures, over one million citizens poured into the streets of Kyiv and took up residence there. They marched in protest and formed human barricades around government buildings, paralyzing all state functions. Restaurants donated food, businessmen sent tents, and individuals brought blankets, clothing, and money. At night, rock bands energized the protesters.
For 17 days, a group of ordinary citizens engaged in extraordinary acts of political protest. Through the eyes and in the voices of the people in Ukraine, Orange Revolution tells the story of a people united, not by one leader or party, but by one idea: to defend their vote and the future of their country.
For thirty years, President Hosni Mubarak had ruled Egypt by manipulating elections, crushing dissent, and jailing and torturing his opponents.
On January 25, 2011, they came into the streets, calling for the downfall of the regime.
Protests in Cairo’s Tahrir Square spread to all of Egypt. In eighteen days, Mubarak’s police killed almost a thousand demonstrators, but failed to stop the uprising. Mubarak was out. What seemed a surprise had been building for at least a decade: workers had been striking, human rights groups had gone to the courts, and a brave new generation had taken to the streets.
At the start, revolutionary goals seemed possible: bread, freedom, dignity. Interim military rulers promised a transition to democracy.
But the revolutionaries were fragmented lacked leadership and had no clear vision. The spirit of the revolution dissolved as elections produced a parliament and president controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood, and then a return to military rule.
Egypt: Revolution Interrupted? documents how an emerging opposition created the 2011 uprising, and how its aspirations were thwarted by entrenched forces. Under a new military government, repression was worse than under Mubarak. But as one of the pro-democracy activists said, “I am willing to take to the streets once again. And I will not be alone. Millions of Egyptians cannot be wished away. The road ahead is long and bumpy. But I have no doubt that the future belongs to us.”
With unique personal archive from civilians and soldiers from both sides of the conflict, this series takes viewers closer to the realities of war and life under Isis than they have ever been before.
5 episodes War, insurgency, Fallujah, Saddam, Legacy
A challenging and painful watch
The film is a metaphor for a journey into the self and shows how the self, in the face of war, darkens beyond recognition.
Fifty years ago, at the height of the Cold War and at the time of increasing tensions between East and West, Satish Kumar hit headlines around the world when he walked 8000 miles from New Delhi to Moscow, then on to Paris, London and Washington DC delivering packets of ‘peace tea’ to the leaders of the world’s four nuclear powers. He relives his extraordinary journey – made without any money – that took him from the grave of Mahatma Gandhi to the grave of John F Kennedy. Along the way, he was thrown into jail and faced a loaded gun – as well as meeting some of the most remarkable people of the 20th Century.