|| SHOP | WHITE POPPY | REMEMBRANCE | EDUCATION | PEACE MATTERS | CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTION | MEMORIALS | PACIFISM ||
The response was beyond all expectations - 2,500 postcards arrived in the first two days! Following a packed Albert Hall meeting in 1935, Dick Sheppard called together a number of well-known people as sponsors of the new movement, the Peace Pledge Union (PPU). In 1937 the No More War Movement, sharing the same aims as the newer and by then more active organisation, merged with the PPU. From its beginning, despite being started by a convinced Christian, the PPU's membership embraced a wide spectrum of belief - agnostics, atheists, anarchists, socialists and members of all religions. With the admission of women in 1936, the PPU brought together people who had struggled against WW1, people who regretted their part in it, and a new generation yearning for a future without war.
Slide show produced for the PPU's 75th anniversary
In a thousand groups around the country, the PPU campaigned tirelessly against a war it dreaded coming. When, despite all, war came, a decline in membership was compensated for by even more activity. The Central Board for Conscientious Objectors, working from the PPU offices, helped COs through tribunals, advised on alternative service and befriended those in prison, who, towards the end of the war, included women. Offsetting this waste of human potential was the establishment of the Pacifist Service Bureau to assist Conscientious Objectors in finding socially useful paid or voluntary work.
After WW2 campaigning against conscription continued throughout wars in Malaya, Korea and Suez until compulsory military service was ended in 1960.
In the early 1950s the PPU initiated discussions on nonviolent resistance, out of which grew the direct action wing of the nuclear disarmament movement, whilst the PPU never wavered from opposing all wars and all kinds of war: Vietnam in the 1960s, Falklands in the 1980s, and the Gulf in the 1990s have dominated the PPU's work, and throughout these years there has also been a major concern for Northern Ireland. The 21st century has seen the British government embroiled in more war that it can cope with and through them contributing to world instability at a time when it is ever more crucial for countries to co-operate.
Beyond unambiguous opposition to all wars, the PPU works on exposing and changing the institutions in society which make wars inevitable. Challenging militarism, together with promoting alternatives, continues to be the PPU's main task. | A little bit MORE history
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