Please join us by the Thames in Canbury Gardens on Tuesday 6th August at 8.30 pm sharp to commemorate the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945.
We shall float lighted boats on the river to remember the victims of the first nuclear bombs. You can make a simple boat with a night-light in a grapefruit skin half or bottom of a plastic water bottle (though these should be collected up afterwards). Or you could bring white flowers to scatter on the water.
You will find us approximately half-way between the entrance nearest to Kingston and the pub, where we will put up our banner.
This kind of simple ceremony will be taking place all around the world on this evening, especially of course in the city of Hiroshima where elderly victims of the bombs continue to suffer from injuries incurred, and many from succeeding generations suffer from genetic damage.
This is why we gather to say NEVER AGAIN – these weapons must be outlawed and abolished.
The 9/11 attack was unprecedented, almost biblical, and the unholy triumvirate, Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld initiated diabolic retribution. They invaded Afghanistan (not responsible), determined to eliminate the Taliban (a product of Thatcher and Reagan Secret Services machination) and invested themselves with powers unseen since Genghis Khan. They ‘bought’ prisoners for $5000 dollars/head and, without evidence, granted themselves rights of abuse and torture. The luckier ones went to Guantanamo, including local charity worker Shaker Aamer, where systematic torture and abuse was often not immediately life-threatening.
Shaker’s ‘imprisonment’ is in its 12th year and it is hoped the last. Those of us who know former friends, colleagues and the family understand him to be of exceptional character.
Through his lawyer, Clive Stafford Smith he has recently issued a statement:
“Killing innocent people for an idea, whether on London’s streets or from the skies in Pakistan, is always wrong.
Here I am in Guantanamo Bay. I was meant to be a Muslim extremist, one of the “worst of the worst”. ... because I am still here and 613 detainees have left, you might think I am ... although perhaps the fact that I was cleared for release six years ago would give you pause for thought.
... yesterday I was talking to another detainee about the murder of Lee Rigby. Neither of us could understand how anyone could think such an act was consistent with Islam. I condemn it regardless of the men’s motive. I don’t know what they thought might be achieved by it. Perhaps they were just mentally ill. The same is true of the attack on the Boston Marathon in April. Maybe those who killed the innocent thought somehow that their attack was going to strike a blow for those who were fighting Muslims in Afghanistan or Iraq, or the Americans who were killing innocent children with drones in Pakistan and Yemen. But their actions were just plain wrong. You do not kill innocent people ... and say that is jihad for justice.
The US is still living the 9/11 nightmare. Guards ... in Guantanamo, who were just eight years old at the time ... treat me as if I blew up the World Trade Centre. Why have we passed this nightmare to the next generation? They have been taught to hate. This is driving the world away from reconciliation. Our children are being taught to live in the past, not the future.
When we combat terrorism, we are in a struggle to maintain our principles – ideas that terrorists and EDL members have apparently long forgotten. We must always ensure that we do not make our principles, and our respect for others, the first victims in the fight.”
At a recent Kingston Peace Council/CND meeting it was mooted whether or not we should award Shaker Aamer indefinite honorary membership of Kingston Peace Council. Our members have been campaigning for his release for six years. Certainly I believe him to be someone that everyone should be proud to call a friend. We look forward with anticipation to his return to his family in Battersea which we hope may be hastened by his over-150-days of hunger strike and the determined intervention of Conservative Battersea MP Jane Ellison.
Kingston Peace Council was founded by Quakers in the 1930s when my father and some of the UK aristocracy thought Fascism a ‘promising idea’. CND opposes the ultimate threat to the human right to life – the nuclear bomb. We are unreservedly grateful to everyone helping free Shaker Aamer.
Do you think we should make him an honorary KPC member? Let me know your thoughts.
Noel Hamel, Chair, Kingston Peace Council/CND, 73 Northcote Road, New Malden, KT3 3HF, 020 8395 2656, firstname.lastname@example.org
The government is welcoming the world’s worst human rights abusing regimes to shop for weapons in London. A massive arms fair is planned to take place in the UK in September 2013. The UK government plans to invite regimes such as China, Zimbabwe, Indonesia, Bahrain, Russia and Saudi Arabia to the London arms fair to court them and sell them weapons. The arms fair brings together 28,000 international buyers and sellers. The deals that begin here fuel the arms trade the world over. Death, injury, fear and repression are exported from the arms companies on our doorstep. These are some of the activities already planned by CAAT:
Saturday 7 September – Musical protest at the ExCel centre 2pm – 5pm
Sunday 8 September – Huge protest as arms dealers arrive and try to set up at the arms fair
Monday 9 September – Say no to Drones and a Silent Vigil, 6.30 pm - 8pm. Meet near Royal Victoria DLR station.
Tuesday 10 September – Creative 'greet the arms dealers' actions on the first official day of the arms fair! Details in next newsletter.
Wednesday 11 September – Laying a wreath for the victims of the arms trade in Royal Victoria Dock. Meet 2pm at SE exit Royal Victoria DLR
Thursday 12 September – Arms dealers plan an expensive dinner, protesters want to be there to stop them. Details of venue to follow when known.
Thurs 12 and Friday 13 September – Leafleting arms dealers on trains and around the Excel Centre
Info: www.stopthearmsfair.org.uk and www.elaaf.org
Hilary Evans hopes to arrange a vigil outside Vince Cables’s office on Friday 6th and/or Friday 13th Sept. Please email her nearer the time to check. email@example.com
Several of our members went to the funeral of our member Connie, who died in June aged 99 ½ . She was buried in a beautiful wild-flower meadow at Clandon. She was a long-standing member of the Congregational Church Peace Fellowship, and recently used to come along to help at our annual New Malden Fair stall, near to her home, until the age of 98. Also she grew and donated many lovely plants for us to sell, especially African violets – I still have two flowering on my windowsill.
AT the gathering afterwards we spoke to a nurse from Zimbabwe and her daughter – Connie had made contact with her mother while she was suffering persecution in what was then Rhodesia, and had helped her to come to Britain and train as a nurse. This may have been through an Amnesty contact.
Connie was a keen member of CAAT and Amnesty, a vegetarian and environmentalist, and loved folk-dancing. She asked for donations to either of the above, and our Group has sent £40 to CAAT in her memory.
Anti-Israel protesters breached security and infiltrated a dinner for leading football executives. Two men and a woman gained entry to the dinner held by European governing body Uefa in central London.
Guests including Uefa president Michel Platini, David Beckham, and Sir Alex Ferguson, watched as the trio climbed on to a stage, shouted and waved a Palestinian flag.
They were demonstrating against Israel’s hosting of the Uefa under-21 tournament, held in July.
Guests at the Old Billingsgate Market event said it took a number of minutes before the protesters were removed by security staff. A Uefa spokeswoman confirmed three people caused a “minor disturbance” at the dinner but said they were “quickly apprehended”.
They have been bailed while investigations continue. Earlier that day activists from the Red Card Israeli Racism group had gathered outside the annual Uefa congress held at the Grosvenor House Hotel in Mayfair. They were joined by Palestinian footballer Mahmoud Sarsak who had previously been on hunger strike while being held for three years by Israeli authorities. He was released last July.
In a letter published in the Guardian, campaigners including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, footballer Frédéric Kanouté and film-maker Ken Loach called on Uefa to follow the example of scientist Stephen Hawking and boycott Israel.
They wrote that it was “shocking” that Uefa “shows total insensitivity to the blatant and entrenched discrimination inflicted on Palestinian sportsmen and women by Israel”.
Mr Platini has repeatedly backed Israel’s right to host the competition and last year rebuked the Palestinian Football Association for lobbying against Israel.
I recently went to a meeting of Kingston and Richmond PSC campaign where the speaker was to have been Mahmoud Sarsak who was on a speaking tour of Britain. However due to mental and physical exhaustion following his 3 year detention and hunger strike in Israel (see above) his talk was given by PSC Chair Sara Colbourne.
Mahmoud has been a footballer since age 9 . Israel bombed sports facilities in Gaza in 2006 so now children have to play in the grounds of a mosque. Gaza is very densely populated and about half the population are children. Mahmoud was refused a visa to go to the world cup qualifiers – Fifa and Uefa completely ignored this in spite of their anti-racism stance. Mahmoud was allowed to go to the West Bank but while there was arrested and kept in administrative detention for 3 years, also subjected to torture such as sleep deprivation, loud music, 18 hours continuous interrogation. During his hunger strke he lost half his body-weight, and when eventually released after international pressure, was very unfit and having not played football for 3 years, is finding it very difficult to get his career back.
A friend of his, Zacharia, was sentenced to 16 years detention, and was only released after getting terminal cancer, soon after which he died. International football organisations have ignored this.
If you have any friends or family involved in football, please acquaint them with this campaign, and for more information email firstname.lastname@example.org (Red Card Israeli Racism)
I see from the July edition of KPN that once again the myth of Arab terrorists being responsible for 9/11 is being perpetuated. ("Ironically, it was Sunnis who were responsible for 9/11 and a majority of terrorist outrages.")
As I have tried to point out in previous KPNs, there is clear and indisputable evidence that it was a "false flag" operation. That is why almost 2,000 architects and engineers are disputing the "official" explanation and launching a high profile campaign this September to reveal the truth using billboards across major Cities in USA and London.
Please, please look at their website, http://www.ae911truth.org/ and I am certain you will be convinced that there is clear evidence that the buildings were rigged to collapse with explosives - an exercise that takes many weeks to prepare.
I sometimes feel my pleadings are met with a blindness and deafness here at KPN. I have had no response from my previous correspondence with KPN. This terrorist outrage was pivotal in changing our world in so many ways. It's time we had a reality check as getting to the truth will reveal much of how manipulated the public are in matters of such great importance.
Come on Members! Look at the evidence http://www.ae911truth.org/ and give some feedback!
Yours sincerely, Des Kay
Thanks for writing again Des, and sorry no-one has replied. Let’s hope the above will stir someone into doing so. For myself, I fear the whole idea of this being deliberate is so enormous it is very hard to take on board. My main worry is that, if it were so, so many people must have been involved in the preparations, it’s hard to believe no whisper has come from any of them in the last 10 years. Or perhaps there have been whispers and they have all been hushed up? What do others think? Come on – someone else have a say on this please! Rosemary
All my adult life I have carefully surrounded my house each evening with dishes of pickled gherkins to stop Martian flesh-eating zombie killers from entering my house. It works – pickled gherkins are clearly an indispensable deterrent against MFEZKs (I’ve been burgled a few times but that’s neither here nor there).
Now, let’s discuss Britain’s Trident nuclear deterrent.
Thanks to Tom Voute
The Guardian has run a poll on Stephen Hawking’s principled decision to pull out of Israel’s Presidential conference in support of the academic boycott.
This poll is now closed, but I have just read the result online:--62% said yes he was right to boycott the conference, 38% said he was wrong.
I feel this is encouraging – as I believe even more people would have been in favour of boycotting Israeli products and of disinvestment had they also been asked about this, as there is a lot of informed disagreement on the academic and cultural boycott. If you have an opinion on this please send a letter to our next editor,
The conflict has reinvigorated the interminable and insoluble dilemma about intervention or not. Rwanda was a turning point that prompted the discredited Tony Blair to insist the world could not stand by whilst thousands were massacred. An emotive call to support innocent victims of genocide or states’ murderous assassination intent, used selectively, was justification enough to secure UK parliamentary support for Iraq invasion. Syria is a more pressing problem and a solution is evasive.
The ruling Bashar al-Assad’s minority administration is of questionable legitimacy based on the ruthlessly effective state machinery use of a familiar mix of terrorizing and bribery. Syria is an artificial construct of French/British machinations post Ottoman Empire. Alawis, who were a persecuted minority within an ethnic mix of six, gained ascendancy mainly through a disposition for military service which others disdained. The military is the administration’s licence to rule. Were any kind of broader based representation to be introduced the state control machinery would collapse and those currently sustained and made extremely prosperous and privileged by it would instantly lose its protection and be vulnerable to retribution.
What began as a legitimate peaceful democracy protest quickly evolved into bitter sectarian civil war.
‘Government’ held the upper hand with an extensive and well equipped military which it turned on all areas of the majority civilian population suspected of opposition to its dictatorial control. The UK and other governments, mindful of the vulnerability of Assad opponents, are confronted with the familiar dilemma of intervention or not.
Western governments have, for decades, covertly infiltrated Syria on missions to subvert and destabilise the regime. And distaste for Iran and Hezbollah, close allies of Assad, has fuelled anti-Assad action.
The chaos that has ensued must make Syria virtually ungovernable for at least a generation even should Assad prevail.
Numerous NGOs are chronicling the grotesque and abominable human rights violations, the overwhelming tide of refugees internally and externally, the dead and mutilated, pain, suffering, privations, injustices and war crimes. Amnesty International has particularly scrutinised war crimes perpetrated by a military regime which is under siege from an opposing majority population comparatively lightly armed. There are also examples of war crimes by the opposition, of which there are innumerable different factions some of which support Islamic fundamentalism. ‘Government’ forces are guilty of the most egregious war crimes by deliberately targeting civilians, using massive aerial and rocket-launched bombardment indiscriminately, using banned cluster munitions, torture, murder and disappearances of non-combatants and combatants , and the use of pro-government shabbiha militia to kill and terrorize innocent civilians. It is difficult to see how any government could recover from this situation.
Others are entering the battle. Saudi Arabia is arming rebels. Other Gulf States are also giving support. Russia, Iran and Hezbollah are supporting Assad. Should UK, EU and Western governments intervene? The UK has been particularly prompt in donating money pledged for refugees; a problem threatening to overwhelm Jordan and Turkey. We also give humanitarian support to Syria’s civilian population. Should the ‘rebels’ be armed?
At an Amnesty International meeting recently it was explained that arming ‘rebels’ is illegal under a recently approved International Arms Trade Treaty. The Treaty prohibits supplying arms if the ‘end-user’ cannot be unequivocally identified. This restriction is to ensure that weapons are only used by those authorized to receive and use them and for specific purposes like defence or law and order. In Syria the opposition is made of so many disparate and unorganised groups, (some suggest up to 1000,) that determining who might receive or use them is impossible; and thus illegal under the Arms Trade Treaty.
Fear of escalation inhibits Western governments as well as doubts about some opposition motivation. How could intervention to protect civilians be possible without a military force? Would intervention grant Assad allies permission to step up their involvement? And the example of the wanton attack on Iraq casts a long shadow.
Noel Hamel, July 2013
It is likely that G4S will be bidding for an £80 million security contract with the BBC. Given their future Government contracts are in jeopardy following their latest debacle, it is likely G4S will be desperate to win this contract. Help us make sure that they don’t!
Ask the BBC to say NO to G4S because:
To find out how to do this please look at www.palestinecampaign.org.
(Thanks to Summer CND ‘Campaign’ for this. )
When campaigner Jaine Rose was sitting by a camp fire at the Reclaim Hinkley camp last October with her crochet hook and wool, the Wool Against Weapons idea was born.
A pink scarf is being knitted which will eventually be rolled out between the atomic weapons factories at Aldermaston and Burghfield. The campaign, termed “guerrilla wool fare” by Jaine is involving people who have never taken action before. People are very interested in the craziness of a seven mile long knitted scarf, and this is leading to lots of conversations around as to why we are doing this.
Please get involved in this – ask your friends, relatives and neighbours if they have any pink wool, and get started. Maybe some of them will join in as well, and the news will spread, together with the message - NOT IN MY NAME – NO TRIDENT REPLACEMENT.
For more info. see www.woolagainstweapons.co.uk.
Newsletter Editor for this issue: Rosemary Addington
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this edition are not necessarily those of Kingston Peace Council/CND