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Welsh resistance to militarism on the rise as new network launched

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Welsh resistance to militarism on the rise as new network launched

A new campaigning network is preparing to map militarism in Wales and bring people together to challenge it.

Heddwch ar Waith (Peace Action) will map the extent of militarism in Wales, establish methods of distributing and spreading information on nonviolence and build a network of lobbyists for justice.

Wales has a strong tradition of peace activism and anti-war feelings, which has been seen in recent years in growing opposition to a military presence in schools and other forms of everyday militarism.

The new network has been founded on the initiative of Cymdeithas y Cymod (the Fellowship of Reconciliation in Wales) and CND Cymru. Other Welsh groups have joined the network along with the Welsh wings of UK-wide organisations, including the Peace Pledge Union (PPU).

Heddwch ar Waith (Peace Action Wales) has been funded through the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust with the intention of increasing collaboration between peace and justice organisations for the benefit of the people and communities of Wales and the world.

The network wants it organisations to be central to what Heddwch ar Waith seeks to achieve, and to lead on their objectives.

One of the main objectives of Peace in Action will be to work together with governments both local and national in Wales towards the goal of making Wales a Nation of Peace.

"By creating a nation with peace at its heart, people can be empowered to change the direction of our economy, our education system and our culture towards a more sustainable and secure future," said the organisers as the network was launched last week.

Rhun Dafydd from the Peace Action Wales steering group explained, "Peace Action Wales is a golden opportunity for peace and justice organisations to make a real difference to communities in Wales and beyond. Working as part of the international campaign to act meaningfully for peace, the network is there to stand up for injustice, listening to the voice of organisations and the people of Wales."

He added, "The intention of creating the Peace Action Wales network is to increase the capacity to campaign for peace and justice and try to bring to fruition the desire for a nation that puts people and community before profit and greed for power."

Recent years have seen increasing co-operation between peace and human rights groups to tackle militarism in Wales. Cymdeithas y Cymod worked with the Peace Pledge Union and Forces Watch on two years of research on militarism in Welsh schools, which led to a joint report in 2021. The report concluded that military visits to schools were acting as a "fig-leaf" for armed forces recruitment.

For more information or if you would like to be part of Peace Action Wales, contact