For more information on the issues and campaigns described here, please feel free to contact the Peace Pledge Union at mail@ppu.org.uk or on 020 7424 9444.

 

Soldiers showing weapons to children(Above) Soldiers invite children to handle weapons, Sunderland, 2017.

On Saturday 30 June 2018, events will be held around the UK to celebrate and promote the armed forces – and the values of war, coercion and obedience that they uphold.

Thankfully, plans are also underway for protests, vigils, alternative marches and other events to challenge war and armed force. 

Armed Forces Day was introduced in the UK in 2009, in the wake of widespread public opposition to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

By promoting “respect” for the armed forces, events such as Armed Forces Day encourage support for war by the back door. They normalise and encourage violence, nationalism and unquestioning obedience.

In encouraging “respect” for the armed forces as an insitution, they show no respect for victims of armed forces – including innocent people killed in warfare and the vulnerable teenagers targeted by the armed forces for recruitment.

Protests are planned against Armed Forces Day events in many places around the UK. Most protests are organised at a local level by grassroots campaigners, including members of peace groups, faith groups, trade union branches and others. 

The “national” event for Armed Forces Day will this year be held in Llandudno in North Wales, an area with a strong history of peace activism. The PPU is one of several organisations supporting people in the area who are planning resistance to the use of the town to celebrate armed force. 

Resistance to Armed Forces Day can be effective. Last year, Glasgow City Council cancelled a so-called “Armed Forces Fun Day” following local protests. Over the last decade, Armed Forces Day events have been met with protests from Cardiff and Liverpool to Leicester and Guildford. 

This year, let's step up the pressure.

What you can do:

Protest ahead of Armed Forces Day in Llandudno, 2018(Above) Protest ahead of Armed Forces Day in Llandudno, June 2018