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    August 2017
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RESIST THE ARMS FAIR!

Thousands of arms dealers and their customers will soon arrive in London to do deals at one of the world's largest arms fairs.

But vast numbers of peace and human rights campaigners will be there to stop them.

All the signs suggest that more people than ever before will take action this year against the London arms fair, or "Defence & Security Equipment International (DSEI)" to use its absurd official name.

Dozens of groups, including the Peace Pledge Union, have joined the Stop the Arms Fair coalition and are organising a range of both lawful protests and nonviolent direct actions. An event co-organised by the PPU will bring pacifists from around the world to speak at a public meeting outside the fair on Sunday 10 September.

With the focus on disrupting the arms fair before it even starts, there will be campaign actions every day in the week before the fair.

There are many opportunities to join the resistance to DSEI. Click on the links to find out more.

Monday 4 - Friday 8 September: Protests and actions every day, with a different theme each day

Saturday 9 September: Big day of action. PPU will be there!

Sunday 10 September: War Stop Here – Public meeting organised by War Resisters' International, PPU and other groups. Pacifists from around the world will speak outside the arms fair. All welcome.

12-15 September: DSEI due to take place. Hopefully, the set-up will have been significantly disrupted!

There will also be some protests and other events outside of London.

DSEI organisers' own publicity promises visiting arms buyers that there will be over 1,600 exhibitors, 250 speakers and "40 demonstrations" inside the fair. We can promise there will be more demonstrations outside the fair!


Wayne Sharrocks

WELCOME, WAYNE!

We're pleased to be welcoming a new face in the PPU office from 1 September.

Wayne Sharrocks (above) will be working with us full-time for a year. He is employed by Quaker Peace & Social Witness (QPSW), who recruit peaceworkers and place them with peace organisations for twelve months. We owe many thanks to QPSW.

Wayne will be working mainly on our campaign against everyday militarism, including in universities and among younger people. If you're a student, part of a university society or just think you would find it helpful to talk with him, please get in touch via mail@ppu.org.uk or on 020 7424 9444.

 

EVENTS

4-10 September: Pre-arms fair week of action, with a different theme/group for each day, and the big day of action on Saturday 9 September (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

21-22 September: Seventeen army instructors to be court-martialled over alleged mistreatment of recruits

24 September: Christian peace groups and churches mark Peace Sunday

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

21 October: Take Action on Militarism gathering

23-26 October: PPU members Dan Woodhouse and Sam Walton on trial for attempting to disarm a warplane

12 November: Remembrance Sunday 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

LOCAL ACTION FOR REMEMBRANCE

Do you wear a white poppy in the run-up to Remembrance Day? Would you like to see more people wearing them in your area?

This year a number of local groups are planning not only to sell white poppies in their communities but to provide them to local schools.

Leicester for Peace, for example, have already ordered more white poppies than usual - some to sell in their area and some to donate to a school. We're hoping other local peace groups, faith groups and others will do the same.

The Peace Pledge Union (PPU) in conjunction with Forces Watch, has produce information for schools about white poppies. This can be given to them along with the donation of a box of white poppies.

Each year, the PPU sells white poppies to symbolise remembrance for all victims of all wars. They are based on the belief that remembering the dead and injured should lead us to strive for peace and to reject militarism.

If you're part of a local group - a peace campaign, faith group, student group, union branch or something else - why not suggest buying a good stock of white poppies? You can donate a box of them to a local school and perhaps sell the others in your area.

You can order white poppies from us online. If you would like to know more, or have any questions, comments or suggestions, please contact Sophie Morrison at the PPU. You can reach her at development@ppu.org.uk or on 020 7424 9444

Distributing white poppies in Leeds, 2016

PPU supporters distributing white poppies in Leeds, 2016.

 

BRITAIN HOSTS GLOBAL PACIFIST COUNCIL

The Peace Pledge Union is the British section of War Resisters' International (WRI), an umbrella body of pacifist and anti-militarist groups around the world. This year, we have the privilege of hosting the annual meeting of WRI Council in Britain. We'll be welcoming pacifists from as far afield as Israel and Zimbabwe at the Council meeting in London on 11-12 September.

That might sound like it's very soon after DSEI, the London arms fair. It's timed that way so that our comrades from overseas can join us in resisting the arms trade in London, including challenging the delegations from their own governments. Watch out for the next issue of Peace Matters for reports of both WRI Council and the actions against the arms fair.

 

ALLEGED ARMY ABUSERS GO ON TRIAL

At a training camp in Scotland three years ago, UK army instructors allegedly punched and kicked 17-year-old recruits, forced their heads under water and smeared animal faeces on their faces.

Perhaps this is not suprising given that the British army, like most armies, is built on the brutalisation of vulnerable teenagers. What's different this time is that seventeen alleged abusers will go on trial.

The seventeen instructors will face a preliminary court-martial in Salisbury on 21-22 September. It is not clear why it has taken three years to reach this point, and there can be little doubt that some would rather it was all hushed up.

We can also ask why the army is allowed to conduct its on trials. People accused of abuse in any other organisation would be expected to face a civilian court.

Retired colonel Richard Kemp told the Mail on Sunday that he is worried that the case will be "detrimental to the army from a recruiting perspective". It's not often that the PPU agrees with Richard Kemp, but on this occasion, we hope he's right.

 

Plate from James Bloomfield exhibition

SHOUT-OUT OF THE MONTH:
JAMES BLOOMFIELD, SALFORD ARTIST

We were impressed to hear of the latest exhibition at the Working Class Movement Library in Salford. The artwork by artist in residence James Bloomfield involves 226 commemorative ceramic plates (see above) in remembrance of the estimated 67,000,000 people killed in armed conflict since the end of the "war to end all wars" in 1918.

The plates are on view at the Library until 10 November.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



   

 




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