Statement from Northern Friends Peace Board Walk of Witness
at Menwith Hill, CAAB Independence From America Day, 4th July 2013
We are a group of Quakers from the Northern Friends Peace Board, an organisation dedicated to the ‘active promotion of peace in all its height and breadth.’ This year we are celebrating our centenary.
Over the past five days we have walked the 35 miles from Richmond Castle to Menwith Hill, linking two significant sites of peace witness which span our hundred years.
At Richmond Castle, sixteen Conscientious Objectors were imprisoned during the first World War, for refusing to be conscripted. Here in Menwith, the personnel in the base dedicate their working lives and their skills to the costly illusion that peace can be kept by force.
As we have walked over the high moorland and through the wooded valleys of the Dales landscape, we have relished the beauty of the countryside and the wonderful variety of its trees and flowers, birds and animals.
We have been strengthened in our belief that the world is not ours to despoil and exploit in the pursuit of war and the perpetuation of injustice.
In the course of this week we have affirmed the strength of people working together in mutual respect, shared values and shared responsibility – power with, not power over.
As we start on our second hundred years we continue to be inspired by those who have gone before us. We anticipate that we will face new and unforeseen challenges to our commitment to peace. What we can be sure of is that all of us in this great movement really are ‘in it together’.