'War is a crime against humanity. I
The Peace Pledge Union came into being in a climate of growing anxiety about the likelihood of another major war. Following a huge response to a letter published in the Manchester Guardian (now the Guardian) by Dick Sheppard in 1934 a mass meeting in the Albert Hall of the people who responded to the letter agreed to form an organisation to be known as the Peace Pledge Union. Its membership grew quickly – tens of thousands, then hundreds of thousands by the start of the Second World War.
Why Peace Pledge Union? The letter, written by Dick Sheppard that started it all, invited people to send him a postcard giving an undertaking - making a pledge - to 'renounce war and never again to support another'.
The pledge became the basis of membership. Today the pledge and its wider implications continue to inform what the PPU does and the basis on which it acts. It is linked with similar organisations throughout the world through the War Resisters International.
The pledge has changed slightly over the years though its central values remain the same. The PPU is the oldest non sectarian pacifist organisation in Britain.
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