NFPB was due to meet on 3rd March in Carlisle. As we approached the weekend, however, it became clear that – well, that roads and rail routes to the city and to the Meeting House were unlikely to be clear. Emails sent to all our members two days before managed to reach nearly all with the announcement that we would not be going ahead with a meeting on that date. Friends locally and further afield were grateful to have this decision made.
But peace is not to be frozen out and on the day itself we managed to gather a number of Friends together via Skype for an hour, sharing news and information about a range of peace concerns and activities. At the time of writing we are exploring the possibility of having one or more additional opportunities for our members to meet again before our scheduled meeting in June. A selection of items that have happened recently or are coming up and that we would have heard about had we met in Carlisle are listed below.
Canoeing Quakers: some of these intrepid local Friends were to speak to us about their activities, raising funds for and awareness of the needs of refugees. See http://www.quaker.org.uk/our-work/our-stories/penrith-quakers-paddle-the-second-longest-lake-in-the-uk-to-raise-money-for-refugees
Solidarity with Yarl’s Wood detainees – our Friends at QPSW had sent suggestions for action http://www.quaker.org.uk/our-work/social-justice/migration
Nae Nukes Anywhere! – international demonstration in support of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) will be taking place on 22nd September 2018 – details http://www.nuclearban.scot/nae-nukes-anywhere-international-rally-at-faslane-22nd-september/
Parliamentary Pledge on nuclear weapons – writing to elected representatives regarding the TPNW (as mentioned above) http://uk.icanw.org/get-involved/engage-your-parliamentarian/)
Armed Forces Day – the national focus for this in 2018 will be on 30th June in Llandudno – local peace activists, including Friends, will be happy to have support in preparing for witness in response to that.
We also heard updates on local activities by Friends to promote peace education, to support those striving to live in a way that reduces our carbon footprint and to provide a culture of support and welcome for people seeking sanctuary.
Information about re-arranged meeting dates will be sent out to representatives when we have become clearer about the most convenient dates and venues.