Nonviolent Resistance to the Falkland War.

The overriding mood in Britain the during spring of 1982 was
that of Jingoism, nationalism, & militarism.

The Falkland Islands had been invaded by the Argentina
military,
& Britain was at War.

In between the Jingoism, nationalism, & militarism: –
There were a few of us who were engaged in
Anti Falkland War Activities.

Over the few months of the war there were a lot of small
scale demonstrations,
and three national marches against the war.

Upon one of these demonstrations I was photographed in the
company of my comrades from Greenpeace ( London ).
This photo appeared on the front page of the Morning Star –
Monday May 10th 1982.

During the period between may day 1982 & the ‘victory parade’
on oct 12 of that year:
Some circa 118 people were arrested for Anti-Falkland war
activities.

Most of these arrests were for small scale,
or symbolic actions against the war.

Some £515 was raised in donations to cover their fines &
other legal costs.

These figures come from bulletin no 6 of the anti-Falklands
war support network (March 1983 ), in which I was involved.

This support network was founded on may 24th 1982,
and held its last meeting on February 28th 1983.

The Peace Pledge Union ( P.P.U. ) was engaged in activities
against the war,
as was London Peace Action,
&
Greenpeace ( London ).

Peace News published various news stories and back ground
articles upon the situation during the time of the war.

Since then very little has been published about this small
grass root opposition to the Falkland War.

The archives of the anti-Falklands war support network are
now held by the P.P.U.

A statement marking the 25th anniversary of the war was
published in Information for Social Change 2007.

What I would like to happen is an oral history project upon
the resistance to the Falkland War.

Would anyone be interested in undertaking such a project?

The Imperial War Museum.

I’ve just been back on a visit to The Imperial War Museum.

I was in the company of some young War Resisters from
German, Chile, and South Korea.

Although there is a lot within the museum upon the various
wars which Britain has been involved within during the 20th
century:
One can also find a lot of material upon conscription and
conscientious objection.

For me it was a visit to the museum in my teens which kick
started my thinking which resulted in my becoming a pacifist.

Every Pacifist should try and visit the museum.

Don’t knock it.

Some Notes Upon Pacifist Activities in Bulgaria During the 1920s & 1930s.

On July 3rd 1924 a young man was beaten up in the Bulgarian
village of Bujinci-Vasil. His ‘crime’ was that of refusing to be
conscripted.

This was in contravention of the provisions of the peace
treaty which came in to effect at the end of world war one.

The reporter upon this incident had no idea upon what had
subsequently happened to the young man.

Thus we have the 1st of a number of reports upon the pacifist
movement in Bulgaria which were published in the various
newsletters of War Resisters International ( WRI ).

In September 1924 it was reported that a group of Bulgarian
Tolstoyans had formed a new section of WRI.

At the same time it was reported that their situation had
become much more difficult. Continue reading Some Notes Upon Pacifist Activities in Bulgaria During the 1920s & 1930s.

Another Forgotten Piece of ‘our glorious History’.

People celebrate the abolition of slavery within Europe and
North America,
but forget that ‘bonded labour’ ( another form of slavery ),
is still in place within many parts of the world.

Britain gave up the slave trade over 150 years ago,
but it was still involved in supporting slavery for a long time
after that.

I was reminded of this fact while reading the obituary of
Colonel David Smiley,
which was published in The Times on January 14th.

During a long military career Smiley worked with the Sultan
of Omans Armed Forces during the late 1950s.

It might also be noted that British SAS forces were active in
Oman against various insurgencies during the 1960s.

Now here is the interesting point:
Slavery was only officially abolished in Oman during the
early 1970s.

There was not a word about slavery in Oman which appeared
within the Times Smiley obituary.

It would of been a very different kind of obituary if this fact
had been noted.

The Return of L.S.Lowry.

During the weekend I visited The New Art Gallery Walsall.

This is a very fine gallery which houses many of the sculptures
of Jacob Epstein,
plus various 18th to 20th century paintings.

The current temporary exhibition is entitled Outsiders.

The gallery exterior looks like an unimaginative piece of
modern architecture,
but there are some very fines views from inside of the building.

The gallery windows make a good setting for the paintings.

As I looked out of one of these windows I could see swans
walking upon the frozen waters of the near by canal.

I could also see the remains of the former industrial area:
factories and canals,
plus an area which has recently been cleared by demolition.

It all reminded me of the works of L.S.Lowry.

What I fear is that many of our inner cities are going to become
the subject matter of a new L.S.Lowry.

Lots of derelict buildings:
Former offices and shops,
peopled by the new unemployed.

There is going to be no ‘retail therapy’ for the majority during
this current economic crisis,
but we can all enjoy what is to be found within the many art
galleries which abound.

W Heath Robinson Illustrates the Stock Market.

One of my favourite books is entitled:
‘Success with Stocks and Stares.’

The subtitle to this work being:
‘A practical guide to profitable investment.’

Written by John B Gledhill and Frank Preston, it was
published in 1938.

The book is illustrated by W Heath Robinson.

Two of his drawings clearly illustrates just how a bull and
market work.

Although many of the technical details within this book are
very dated:
much of the advice in this work still holds true.

Here are a few examples: –

– Beware of boom flotations.

– Don’t borrow money to gamble on the stock exchange.

– Beware of market under-currents.

– Beware of bucket shop literature.

– Axioms do not always work.

&

– Remember a mine is a diminishing asset.

This is also something of a good piece of ecological advice.

If only some of the people who now run the financial industry
had read this work,
then we might not be in the kind of global fiscal mess that
faces us all right now.

Human Rights

December 10th is Human Rights Day.

Here is a list of Human Rights which still need some working
upon,
or which we should all focus more upon.

The right to fresh air,
by not having to breath in the muck which is produced by the
internal combustion engine.

The right to practice our good atheist values:
Without being persecuted by religionists for doing so.

The right to built a peaceful world, and not to be jailed as a
conscientious objector.

The right to good basis housing,
which is not subject to the economic pressures which come
from an attitude that it is just another consumer product.

&

By extension to that of Human Rights:
We should think upon the rights of our fellow creatures.

40 Years of Peace Activism.

On November 3rd it will be exactly 40 years since I first
become involved in the peace movement.

I remember this exact date as I was on a sitdown outside of a
company which made military plane equipment that was
being used in Vietnam.

It was my 19th birthday when I joined a demonstration
outside of a company called Elliott Automation.

Elliott Automation made navigation equipment which was
used upon American Military Aircraft in Vietnam.

I knew no one upon the demonstration, but felt that it was
important to show my opposition to the war

What happened on the demonstration,
& information upon Elliott Automation,
appeared within Peace News: –
November 1st & 8th 1968.

If you look very carefully:
you can see me in a photo of the demonstration that was
published within Peace News.

The first copy of Peace News I ever purchased was sold to
me by a street seller outside of Holborn Tube station.

It was dated November 8th 1968.

While upon the demonstration I picked up a leaflet about
the Peace Pledge Union ( PPU ).

I joined the PPU,
started to read Peace News,
and the rest is history.

Death pays a Dividend

It is not a normal publishing practice to review a book some 60
years after it came out, but in this one case these are very good
reasons to do so.

Death pays a Dividend is an account of the arms trade, & the
various companies which still are involved in the trade.

Companies which are still very well know by any of todays
anti arms trade campaigners.

Companies like:
Vickers.
Dupont.
&
ICI.

Starting with the US, German, & British companies which
supplied all these countries armies during World War one, the
book goes on to show that even while in the middle of this
conflict, that an International arms cartel was in
operation.

It was British made shells which fell upon British Troops in
Gallipoli, While after the armistice Vickers had to pay for the
Krupp-patented rights on the 123,000,000 fuses which were
used against the German armies.

Continue reading Death pays a Dividend

When is Equality not equality?

When is Equality not equality?

When it comes to legislation to give ‘equal rights’ to
religionists.

A fine example of this is the UK
‘Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations’ 2003.

The aim of this law is to prevent discrimination to individuals
because of their religionist or Philosophical beliefs.

The key wording upon this legislation is: ‘ religion’ or
‘Similar Beliefs’.

Continue reading When is Equality not equality?