Challenging Militarism

Independence from America Day

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

MENWITH HILL. Reading and handing in of Declaration of Independence. Speakers, music, singing, food and drink. NSA Menwith Hill main gate, N Yorkshire.

Armed Forces Day - peaceful counter vigil

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Liverpool peaceful counter vigil at The Albert Dock organised by Merseyside Peace Network. Peace Fair with Film Show during the day at Liverpool Quaker Meeting House, School Lane Liverpool L1 3BT (tbc) [email protected]

Day of Action in support of the Global Nuclear Ban

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Women Ban the Bomb is a women-led initiative calling for people of all genders, sexual orientations, ages, races, abilities, nationalities, cultures, faiths, political affiliations and backgrounds to rally and march on Saturday, June 17th 2017 in New York City and around the world in support of the negotiations. Actions around the world. See for events in the UK.

​Protest, Power & Change - 2017 Peace History Conference

Friday, June 9, 2017 to Saturday, June 10, 2017
Organised by Movement for the Aboltion of War in partnership with Imperial War Museums, it will take place on Friday 9 and Saturday 10 June in London.

News and updates on the Nuclear Ban Treaty negotiations

Talks are to resume in New York in mid June 2017 and due to conclude on 7th July. Here are some reports of the first stage in March and April, and we shall add other material as it comes up


From the Tribunal October 18th 1916

This is a further update in a series of extracts from the No Conscription Fellowship’s journal, published in the UK between March 1916 and November 1918
For other extracts go to:

A Negro’s Argument

The following is an extract from the written statement of a negro who was recently arrested as an absentee, and who had been under the impression that his colour exempted him from the provisions of the Military Service Act:-

“I am a negro of the African race, born in Jamaica. My parents were sent in bondage to Jamaica. They were torn from their home. My country is divided up among the European Powers (no fighting against each other), who in turn have oppressed and tyrannised over my fellow-men. The allies of Great Britain, i.e., Portugal and Belgium, have been among the worst oppressors, and now that Belgium is invaded I am about to be compelled to defend her…. As a people the negroes are last among men taken into consideration in this country, although we be regarded as British. Even Germans or any aliens who are white men are preferred to us. I am not given ordinary privileges as a citizen. I have tried to obtain work and I have been refused solely because of my colour…. I have been buffeted from one Labour Exchange to another…. Business men claim that their employees would not work with me; others hold… they may lose their customers because I am a negro.

“In view of these circumstances, and also the fact that have a moral objection to all wars, I would sacrifice my rights rather than fight, for to subdue one with might can never destroy the evil…”

UK General Election 2017 - peace concerns

voting for peace

Our society and our planet need politics that will enable people to live sustainably, with respect for differences and diversity, promoting human rights for all. These are some of the foundations for peace. We offer these comments during the period leading up to 2017 general election, as pointers and prompts for conversations with candidates and others, and in considering how you might use your vote.

International Conscientious Objectors' Day

CO day ceremony in Manchester

This annual event was marked on 15th May with ceremonies in different parts of the UK, including in the North, vigils in Edinburgh, Manchester and Liverpool. At the Manchester event, the following poem was read by poet Steven Waling. Steven is a Manchester Quaker and also works one day week in the NFPB office. The poem has been informed and inspired partly by First World War CO Tribunal accounts, as well as by more recent events.



From the Tribunal 12th October 1916
This is a further update in a series of extracts from the No Conscription Fellowship’s jounal, published in the UK between March 1916 and November 1918
_ For other extracts go to:_

Barratt Brown, being a Quaker, has a conscience, Chamberlain, not being a Quaker, has not. – Q.E.D.

A. Barratt Brown and W.J. Chamberlain appeared before the Birmingham Local Tribunal on Friday last. Barratt Brown’s appeal was taken first. He based his claim for absolute exemption on the ground that he believed all war – however noble the aim – to be both un-Christian and immoral. He understood the teaching of Jesus to mean implicit faith in God and unalterable love of man. He could not reconcile this with Dreadnoughts and high explosives. The Military Service Acts were intended to organise the national resources for war. He could not allow his services to be conscripted – however indirectly – for such a purpose. Civil alternatives would be a bargaining and compromise of conscience. To give up working for the welfare and liberties of his fellow-citizens and for peace among the nations would be disloyalty to his country and his God.

Appellant, questioned as to his connection with the Society of Friends, said he was a member of various committees connected with that body. The Chairman said he regarded appellant as a danger to the State, but he thought that his type of man had caused the Government to put the conscience clause in the Bill. He granted exemption, though he disagreed with the statements made.

W.J. Chamberlain’s case was heard immediately after. He said he believed with an intensity such as no power on earth could overrule in the Brotherhood of man, and the doctrine of non-resistance as enunciated by the Christs of all ages. He was a Socialist, believing that Socialism and Christianity, rightly interpreted, were identical. He held the view that the best service he could render his fellows was to strive to his utmost to advance the cause of peace, and to endeavour to bring about a recognition of the fact that the only hope for humanity was that the peoples of the world, realising their brotherhood, would refuse to be lead the shambles for mutual massacre. He could not accept any form of alternative service. He claimed that his present work in connection with the N.C.F. was of vital national importance.

In reply to the Chairman, he said that he was not a member of any religious body as he was not aware of any such body to which he could conscientiously belong – members of all the alleged Christian bodies were at present slaughtering their fellows in the name of the Prince of Peace.

The Chairman said the decision was to refuse the appeal. He did not look upon appellant as a conscientious objector, and his work was not considered of national importance. Appellant asked leave to make a statement but the Chairman refused to hear him, remarking “I am not going to enter into any arguments!”

NFPB calls for de-escalation in relation to North Korea

Northern Friends Peace Board’s trustees met today and agreed to send the following to Theresa May, Prime Minister, and to Boris Johnson, Foreign Secretary. The same will also be sent to leaders of the main opposition parties.

Friday 28th April 2017


Subscribe to RSS - Challenging Militarism