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Peace News log archive: March 2012

Articles from the Peace News log.
For archive articles from the whole site, look here

Rather than trying to mitigate against the numerous problems posed by cars why not try to get rid of them altogether?

ImageEvery one knows the environmental damage that cars cause, but the response is usually to make them greener and cleaner... but why not try to get rid of them altogether? Because that’s just not possible? Because we love our cars too much? Because we need them? This article hopes to explain why we’re in this mess, and to show that we can in fact park the car...for good.

Understanding Car Culture...

When the car was first invented it created huge excitement, but it also caused huge resentment and fear. One of the biggest myths surrounding the car is that everyone embraced it immediately. In fact, there was considerable opposition to what people rightly saw as a dangerous and dirty machine invading their space. But with the weight of big business and willing governments behind it, the car was slowly forced into our lives, whether we wanted it or not.

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Manchester peace protester has 'no case to answer' after being wounded by police but still faces charges from a separate arrest.

I haven't written for a month or two due to personal circumstances but now I'm back in the land of the living I'd like you all to hear about a Manchester peace protester and his court cases. Usman Hamid (affectionately known as Mani) has protested for a long time often as a single protester with hand-written placards as well as in groups, and always, always peacefully. The Manchester Evening News (M.E.N.) covered his story recently, on Thursday February 16th to be exact. They were correct in saying that Mr. Hamid had stood with fellow protesters in Piccadilly Gardens on Armed Forces day last June (2011) holding a placard, but wrong in saying it featured an expletive; the placard had read "Bombing for Peace is like F*****g for Virginity" (censoring stars included).

The article stated that Mr. Hamid grappled with the police which is untrue. He wasn't given a reason for his arrest so he did resist arrest and was pushed, pulled and violently dragged, sustaining multiple injuries. The M.E.N. also stated that Mani was protesting against the war in Afghanistan which he refutes, he was merely making a philosophical statement.

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A thirteen-day prison sentence poses an odd problem for peace campaigner Maya Evans and her supporters.

Up betimes at 5.30am, to catch the 6.08am tube to Vauxhall and thence the 6.32am overland train, arriving at Ashford (Surrey) station at 7.03am. From there, a short walk brought me to Her Majesty’s Prison Bronzefield.

I’d been there once before - to see Susan Clarkson out of jail - and the reception assured me that Maya would be released shortly. They were just dealing with her property.

So began a chilly wait outside in a strong wind – positioned far enough from the main entrance not to freak out the prison authorities.

At first I tried reading Andrew Cornell’s excellent little book on the Movement for a New Society - a radical, nonviolent US group, active in the 70s and 80s - but before long my hands were too cold to hold it, and I fell back on listening to Hubert Dreyfus’ equally wonderful – but very different – lectures on Existentialism in Literature and Film on my mp3 player, hands thrust deeply into my coat pockets.

Struggling to get my head round the notions of lower and higher immediacy whilst reducing the wind chill to an absolute minimum (neither an easy job without a hat), I hadn’t spotted the approach of Martin Birdseye, anti-nuclear activist extraordinaire. Formerly an engineer, he’d cycled 8 miles against the wind to be there.

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Patrick Nicholson reviews the new play at the Tricycle on nuclear weapons.

ImageThe Bomb: a partial history, in two parts. Directed by Nicholas Kent. Tricycle Theatre, London, 9th February – 1st April 2012. www.tricycle.co.uk

Reviewed by Patrick Nicholson

The Tricycle Theatre, “Britain’s leading political playhouse” according to the Times, is running a season of events examining nuclear weapons and the nuclear debate. A centrepiece of this season is an ambitious two-part, five hour sequence of ten new short plays exploring nuclear issues, the performances punctuated and complemented by verbatim readings, archive footage and images.

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