March 2018
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PPU demonstration


PPU supporters from across the UK will gather on 12 May for what promises to be a particularly exciting conference and training event. Meeting in Friends' House, immediately opposite Euston station in London, we will share ideas, learn skills and make plans for resisting militarism and promoting nonviolence in our own communities.

It’s 100 years since the end of World War One and the partial success of the Votes for Women campaign. But the “war to end all wars” only triggered more wars, while campaigns for equality and peace are as vital as ever.

Sessions will explore topics such as:

• Building a local peace campaign: Learn from activists around the UK

• Students against militarism: Resisting recruitment on campus

• Gender, sexuality and war: Challenging the armed forces' attempts to portray themselves as feminist and pro-LGBT

• Children's minds are not military targets: Militarism in schools

• Learning from the past for the sake of the future: Lessons from the suffrage campaigners and peace activists of 100 years ago

Whether you're an experienced peace activist or new to the whole thing, you're equally welcome at Remember & Resist.

The conference will follow the annual general meeting of the Peace Pledge Union.  The AGM will include news of the PPU's campaigns and the chance to elect the PPU Council. If you're a PPU member, you'll receive information in the post shortly. If you're not a PPU member, you can become a member here.

But remember, that while the AGM is for members, the conference is open to everyone. The cost of attending the conference depends on your income. Click here to book!

UK Military School tweet


The UK Military School - which provides education with a 'military ethos' in both primary and secondary schools - recently tweeted a photograph of seven-year-old children preparing for a 'passing out parade'.

This should be a wake-up call. The UK government has ploughed millions of pounds into schemes for ‘military ethos' education. The number of school cadet forces in the UK as a whole has more than doubled since 2012. Military visits to schools are clearly targeted at the poorest areas, where young people are most likely to consider signing up.

The Peace Pledge Union is backing school students, teachers and parents who are challenging mliitarism in schools.

At the end of March, we'll be meeting members of the National Education Union (formerly the National Union of Teachers) at their annual conference in Brighton. As well as promoting the PPU's educational resources, we'll be talking with them to learn how we can support them to challenge the promotion of war and armed forces in their own schools.

If you're a school student, parent or teacher, please get in touch with questions, thoughts or suggestions, or to let us know how we can help. You can drop us a line at mail@ppu.org.uk or on 020 7424 9444.


Email inboxes tend to fill up pretty quickly these days, which is why we email you no more than every month or two, and to focus on key campaigns and events.

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Daily Mirror report on abuse trial


Court-martial proceedings against 16 army instructors have collapsed after the judge strongly criticised the Military Police for their investigation. Around forty recruits aged 16 and 17 made allegations of abuse by army instructors in 2014, but it was two years before the Military Police made any arrests. The judge called this an "unacceptable delay" and also accused the Military Police of a biased investigation.

The Peace Pledge Union pointed out that the armed forces are the only organisations allowed to run their own police forces and conduct their own criminal trials, effectively operating as if they were above the law.

Media coverage of the case quoted the PPU's call for such cases to be dealt with by civiian police and civilian courts. Similar views were expressed by groups including Liberty, Forces Watch and Child Soldiers International.


Student protest against BAE recruitment in Leeds


On 16 March, students at Exeter Univesrity voted to reject the motion, "That this house would fight for queen and country". A number of students opposed to the motion could be seen wearing PPU badges in the bar after the debate.

Of course, resisting militarism is about more than winning debates. In several universities, students are busy campaigning for change.

For several years, students have been working with the Campaign Against Arms Trade and taking nonviolent direct action against arms companies trying to recruit at careers fairs (the picture above shows students in Leeds doing just that). Last year saw a growth in white poppy stalls on university campuses.

A number of PPU-supporting students are now turning their attention to organisations such as the Officer Training Corps (OTC), which openly aims to promote the army to students "who ultimately go on to civilian employment, so that they are minded to act as positive advocates for the army".

Are you a student? Do you want support challenging militarism at university? Or have advice or ideas about how we can do it better? Please get in touch at mail@ppu.org.uk or on 020 7424 9444.

You can also come along to the training session on Resisting Militarism at University at our Remember & Resist conference on 12 May.


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