3000 years of action for peace                                        to order  

Voices for Peace is a wide-ranging resource on CD

Its exploration of proposals and activities against war over the course of human history gives the lie to the view that we are an inescapably warlike species.

War and violent conflict have complex origins. These are explored side by side with up-to-date statistics about the state of the world at war. Maps, graphics and illustrations help to make the issues clear.

A major part of the CD looks at the experiences and attitudes of those men who in the First World War refused to fight - often at great cost to themselves and their families. Despite some being ‘crucified’ on barbed wire fences in France, and even sentenced to death, they steadfastly refused to put on a uniform and fight. Young men around the world today continue to be forced to fight, and those who refuse are often imprisoned. Not all action for peace needs such courage. This CD tells of the commitment of millions throughout the world who are trying to make it a less violent place.

Educating for peace: Voices for Peace also includes material for educators, together with suggestions for classroom activities and projects directly linked to some of the material. There is also a wide range of ‘original’ documents to work with.-
Resistance to war and suggestions about how to avoid it are, unsurprisingly, as old as war itself. The human misery caused by war is incalculable. The sheer number of deaths - over 200 million - in the 20th century alone is only one of the results of war. More quickly forgotten are the millions of people bereaved, disabled and psychically damaged, and the millions driven from their homes. Often overlooked, too, are the effects of this misery on social and economic systems. War casts a long dark shadow on the lives of all of us.

It is appalling that despite all the wealth, resources, knowledge and goodwill there is around the world we still allow wars to happen. It is appalling that we still spend billions on weapons, which ensure that wars go on happening, and with even more destructive and terrible consequences.

As the regular British army was decimated by German machine-guns in the early months of World War I, and the flow of enthusiastic volunteers began to falter as their graves multiplied, the government made compulsory military conscription legal. The relationship between the state and the individual was changed for ever. It was now illegal to refuse to kill. Millions accepted the new law. Thousands, however, did not, and many of these were sent to prison, and some died. These men and their supporters, who included some formidable women, were the pioneers of today’s protest movements. Their story is too rarely told, and some of it can be found here.

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