ISSUE 59 SPRING 2009

Peace Matters Index

work to do
Adrian Mitchell

ONLINE contents


- militarisation of Britain
- more than a t-shirt
- the role of scientific community
- absolutely pacifist
- can the greens stay nonviolent ?
- afghanistan: a misread war
- george lansbury anniversary
- work to do – adrian mitchell






- complete issue pdf



Adrian Mitchell died on 20 December 2008

I'm a pacifist.
If you're a pacifist too
You know that as soon as you say:
I'm a pacifist _
A Political Person smiles and says:
Of course I respect your position, but _

Well I say: I don't want your respect _
How about your help?
We've got work to do.
And the Political Person smiles and asks
The same stupid question time after time:
Wouldn't you have fought World War Two
To stop Hitler?
And I say: No _ and here's the reason why.
Because I wouldn't have fought World War One
So Hitler wouldn't have come to power.

Don't you understand
After all these centuries
That war gives birth to war
War gives birth to war?
That's how the murder plague grows
Unless we stop it.
Yes, we've got work to do.

Many of us feel weary.
We've been marching against the war
And talking against the war
And reading against the war
And watching the TV war
And we're tired of watching slaughter
And listening to the excuses for slaughter.

And in this time of grief
We often find ourselves on the brink of tears.
OK, let the tears flow.
Then wipe them away.
Have a party, get a good night's sleep _
And start again.
We've got work to do.

We put on the greatest demo
Ever seen in Britain.
We put on the greatest demo
Ever seen in wartime Britain.
That's a start.

But we've got to stop this war,
Stop the next war.
Stop all wars.
We find ourselves now
In the middle of World War Three
The war which started
When nuclear bombs dropped
On Hiroshima and Nagasaki
World War Three
The war between the rich and the poor.
That's the task ahead of us _
To bring an end to World War Three.
To heal the wounds of the world.
To bring peace throughout the world.
We've got work to do.

We'll work with our French and German
and American and Russian and Chinese
and Pakistani and Cuban and South African
and Iraqi brothers and sisters.
We'll make the United Nations
A blessing on the world.
We'll teach our children and our grandchildren
That we have done enough killing,
That killing people is wrong.
With them we'll examine pacifism
And ways of non-violent resistance
To cruel oppressors and benevolent oppressors.

We'll study and celebrate the lives
Of Gandhi and Martin Luther King
And their brave followers.
We'll set up Commissions of Truth and Reconciliation
All over the world, including Ireland.
We'll help to organise
The vast majority of the people on the planet
Who long for peace
And whose deepest wish
Is No More War.

And that's our work
No More War.

So, like my Jamaican comrade
Andrew Salkey used to say:
Brothers and sisters _
Keep on keeping on _
We've got work to do.

Adrian Mitchell, April 2003


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