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    July 2017
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REMEMBER THEM ALL -
PREPARING FOR WHITE POPPIES

November may feel a long way off but preparations for the run-up to Remembrance Day are well under way at the Peace Pledge Union. We'll be calling for remembrance for all victims of all wars of all nationalities, whether civilians or members of armed forces.

Our call to 'Remember Them All' stands in contrast with the government's insistence on a narrow form of remembrance that includes only British and allied forces personnel.

Thousands of people will wear white poppies to say that remembrance should lead to peace and not to attempts to glamourise violence.

White poppy sales have risen sharply in the last three years we are updating our systems to meet the demand.

There will be a new, clearer pricing structure and simpler online ordering system, along with new flyers and other materials to promote our message. There are many ways you can help:

- Order your white poppies sooner rather than later, especially if you're planning to sell them in your local community. You can order at any time.

- Make a donation to help us with the costs of updating our systems, distributing poppies and getting our message out.

- Let us know if you would like to sell white poppies in your shop, workplace, peace group, school, university, place of worship or local community. We are happy to offer advice and support. Email mail@ppu.org.uk.

The development of our remembrance work this year marks a step on the way to an even bigger remembrance campaign next year, as we mark the centenary of the end of the first world war.



White poppy leaflet


A small group discussion at Pacifist, Not PassivePPU supporters breaking into small groups to discuss varied tactics for pacifist activism.


PLANNING, PLOTTING AND PUTTING PACIFISM INTO PRACTICE

New PPU members were particularly conspicuous at the Pacifist, Not Passive gathering in London last month. Almost half of the people who attended had never been to a PPU conference before.

The day saw lively discussion both in small groups and as a whole conference, with topics ranging from nonviolent direct action to promoting pacifism online and challenging militarism in schools and communities.

"I was very encouraged to receive such a warm response," said Dan Woodhouse, who was cheered as he talked of attempting to disarm warplanes bound for Saudi Arabia. Other speakers included Rhianna Louise of Forces Watch and social media trainer Chris Henderson.

The contributions of all involved really made the day, with two first-time attenders signing the peace pledge and becoming PPU members before they had even left the room.

Earlier in the day, the PPU's annual general meeting saw a report on the PPU's work over the last year, along with discussion of plans for the year ahead.

Elections to PPU Council saw three members elected to Council for the first time: Amy Clark-Bryan, Hilary Cornish and Peter Glasgow. They join four members who were re-elected: Albert Beale, Lucy Beck, Ben Copsey and Bill Hetherington.

 

NEWHAM TEACHERS BACK PPU

We're deligthed that the Newham Teachers' Association, a branch of the National Union of Teachers (NUT), has voted to back PPU concerns about the militarisation of schools.

This is especially welcome at a time when armed forces visits to schools are on the rise, the UK government has spent millions on "alternative provision with a military ethos" for "disengaged" young people in England and the the number of cadet units in UK state schools has more than doubled since 2012.

Thanks, Newham teachers! We look forward to working with you.

 

LEARNING VIOLENCE

Have you ever heard anyone say that socially disruptive teenagers should be "sent into the army" to "sort them out"?

It wouldn't help. A new report written by David Gee and published by Veterans for Peace reveals that people are more likely to engage in heavy drinking and violent crime after joining the army.

 

 

 

 

 

 




PACIFISTS FROM AROUND THE WORLD TO PROTEST AT LONDON ARMS FAIR

Pacifists from around the world are preparing to travel to London in September for the latest meeting of the council of War Resisters' Intenrational (WRI) - and to take action against one of the world's largest arms fair.

As the British section of WRI, the PPU is pleased to welcome pacifists from as far afield as Israel, India and South Sudan in protesting against the so-called Defence Systems and Equipment International (DSEi), better known as the London arms fair.

The PPU is one of many groups in the Stop the Arms Fair coalition, who will take action in the week leading up to DSEi to impede the set-up of the event.

There will be a pre-DSEi week of action from 4 to 11 September, with a public meeting with WRI and international activists on Sunday 10 September.

If you have a spare bed you can offer to a visiting member of WRI Council for a few days in September, we would love to hear from you. Please drop us a line at mail@ppu.org.uk.

 

Protest against Armed Forces Day in Glasgow, 2017Campaigners in Glasgow demonstrating against Armed Forces Day.

SHOUT-OUT OF THE MONTH: SCOTLAND AGAINST MILITARISM

Well done to Scotland Against Militarism, whose protests led the Ministry of Defence to abandon plans for an "armed forces fun day" in Glasgow on Armed Forces Day, 24 June.

Theresa May was still recovering from the shock election result when she turned up at Liverpool for the national Armed Forces Day event. The ceremonies included a military march near the John Lennon Peace Memorial. Members of Merseyside Peace Network were on hand with banners quoting Lennon's words: Give peace a chance.

Veterans for Peace rallied against Armed Forces Day in York, Quakers held silent vigils in Brighton and Bury St Edmunds, an alliance of groups hosted film showings and discussion in Edinburgh and other pacifists and anti-militarists took to social media to challenge everyday militarism. We look forward to working with others to ensure that Armed Forces Day is challenged even more widely and more vocally than ever in 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No Pride in War, 2016
Last year: No Pride in War campaigners nonviolently block BAE Systems' banners on the London LGBT Pride parade, 2016.

STILL NO PRIDE IN WAR

You know that militarism is getting even more ridiculous when the armed forces and arms companies try to co-opt human rights marches.

In 2016, the PPU worked with LGBT+ rights campaigners and anti-arms groups to launch No Pride in War, a broad-based campaign challenging attempts by armed forces and arms companies to use LGBT Pride marches to promote and publicise themselves.

We do not of course object to individuals employed by armed forces or arms companies marching at Pride. We object to these organisations misusing Pride to pretend that militarism and arms dealing are somehow compatible with human rights and equality.

The campaign is growing. At London LGBT Pride on Saturday (8 July), No Pride in War will be allying with migrants' rights and anti-racist campaigners. Hilary Cornish, a member of PPU Council, will be among the PPU members attending. Find out more about the event here.

 

EVENTS

8 July: No Pride in War attend London LGBT Pride

22-23 July: It Starts Here - preparation and training weekend for resisting the London arms fair (DSEi) later in the year

4-11 September: Pre-arms fair week of action, with a different theme/group for each day (DSEi is due to take place on 12-15 September)

10 September: War Stops Here: public meeting with pacifists from around the world, organised by War Resisters' International, the PPU and others

11 and 12 September: War Resisters' International (WRI) Council meets in London

October-November: Run-up to Remembrance Sunday, with white poppies to remember all victims to war, to promote peace and to challenge militarism

21 October: Take Action on Militarism gathering

12 November: Remembrance Sunday

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



   

 




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