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News relating to our work is also published in an occasional newsletter and shared through our Facebook and Twitter accounts, as well as reflections from the NFPB Co-ordinator on the Peace Peaces blog

Ukraine - NFPB letter to UK government

The following was sent today to the Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond:

11th February 2015

Philip Hammond MP
Secretary of State
Foreign and Commonwealth Office,
King Charles Street
London, SW1A 2AH

Dear Philip Hammond,

Ukraine

We are very concerned about the continuing and growing tensions and armed violence arising from the conflict in Ukraine. We wrote to your predecessor, William Hague, just under a year ago urging action that would seek to de-escalate the conflict.

Voices from the Ukraine and nurturing peaceful change

wall hanging at Newcastle Meeting House

At our final meeting of 2014, Northern Friends Peace Board members gathered at Newcastle upon Tyne Quaker Meeting House. A well attended meeting was joined by three young men from the Ukraine, who were all gaining experience in community work with children in the East end of Newcastle. They talked about some of the underlying causes of the protests that led to the continuing violent conflict in their home country, mentioning their own experiences of unemployment and corruption as well as participating in the demonstrations a year ago in Kiev.

Peace education - teaching another way

Manchester - peace education outreach day group discussion

It’s not unusual to begin events in a Quaker Meeting House with a period of silence, but that silence is not so often punctuated by the sound of a large gun. The Peace Education Outreach Day in Manchester was just a short distance from the war memorial in the city centre and took place on 11th November. Many Friends are looking for opportunities to share our concerns for peace in schools; the Armistice Day gunfire underlined the importance of doing this.

Reflection and action

NFPB members met in Dunblane on the 27th September, the bright autumnal air being filled with the sound of bagpipes as we gathered in worship. The meeting came at a poignant time, being just nine days after the referendum on Scottish indepdendence and at the end of the week in which the UK parliament voted to undertake air-warfare against Islamic State in Iraq. These were major items on our agenda, as we reflected on our priorities and opportunities for action for peace in both contexts.

New posters available - and YMG news

Poster - 'There is Another Way'

We had our new posters printed in time to take a good supply to the Quaker ‘Yearly Meeting Gathering’ at the beginning of August and were pleased to see Friends liked them. The posters consist of three reproductions of earlier designs, which we hope will be useful for those wanting to mark the centenary of the First World War over the coming four years with a message of peace. The fourth is a new poster, reflecting our concerns for promoting peaceful approaches to the range of potential and actual conflicts in the world.

NFPB activities during Yearly Meeting Gathering 2014

Yearly Meeting Gathering logo

There will be a number of us from NFPB attending (Look out for the NFPB logo badges) throughout the week, as British Quakers gather in Bath for the Yearly Meeting Gathering.

These are our formal commitments (below). We look forward to meeting with you at these events or in other informal settings.

There is another way

Just over a hundred years ago, NFPB’s Secretary, Robert Long, wrote a powerful piece of text two days after Britain declaring war, asking ‘What Shall We Do?’ . We are producing this simple A5 leaflet in 2014 for Friends and others to use. This may be particuarly appropriate over the period of, and events relating to, the centenary of Britain going to war in 1914 (4th August) but also for other occasions.

Peace is a journey...

The journey for Keith Hargreaves, NFPB member from Lancashire Central and North AM, began last September when he was joined by two others in running in the Salford 10K run to raise awareness of and funds for NFPB. In his 67th year,

Keith is at it again and this coming Saturday (12th July) will be running a further 10km in the We Love Manchester run.

War and peace

Letter to The Times (see all signatories below)
28/06/2014

On this day 100 years ago, Archduke Ferdinand of Austria and his wife were assassinated in Sarajevo in an action that led to the First World War. Unchecked militarism in Europe was also a major factor.

New priorities for peace and security

NFPB has been part of small working group, along with other peace and disarmament organisations, preparing for the Global Day of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS) which this year is on 14th April. Although the focus is on that date primarily, the period leading up and after it are valuable opportunities for people to ask questions, challenge assumptions and advocate alternatives to the levels of military spending that our government has committed us to.

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