WILPF in the UK

Posted by on Dec 13, 2015 in Disarmament, Environment and militarism, Gender, Peace and Security, Human Rights | 0 comments

MR: I am very glad that WILPF has a strong section in Scotland. And we need to be stronger. We need to get more people out there. We need more people in the UK. I really wanted to have seen a strong response to this Cameron Government and his belligerence. We need to be out there showing that 187bn dollars toward a war effort, for the future, is just not something that is conscionable because it will make conflict inevitable. So the militarisation that is going on under Cameron is appalling, instead of doing the work that would keep people safe. You know, the police, the front line, intelligence but intelligent intelligence, about decency, about increasing levels of education, ending Islamophobia, making a more equal society – you don’t hear that from him. Not now, and that is scary; so we need to step that up. We need to be getting our politicians to ask Parliamentary questions all the time. If Jeremy Corbyn is true to his word in saying that he will ask the questions constituents put to him. Let’s get these questions in. HK: Any hints on how we can engage with younger women? MR: It’s interesting. That is a discussion we have been having forever! We have to be cool and sexy. If, from what I have seen and heard, there is a degree of alienation – that is why Jeremy Corbyn has been good in mobilising, he speaks to what young people are concerned about; and if young people want a future then they have got to be concerned about what we are concerned about. So it is getting that message out. And I think that the universities are great recruitment grounds, especially this one, seems to be fantastic. Part of the problem of being such an old organisation, we still have practices, constitutions and things – are they really what we need now? There is an endless debate around just now about whether somewhere like India which is vast, whether you have to be a member of the section or you can be an international member. And how we are going to manage all that. Because that tends to be the thing – people don’t want to go to local meetings anymore, they go to global gatherings. So we need to make it broad enough church to have the movement as well as the sections and it is a question of, ideally we get all people joining the sections and being the real powerhouse which then can be part of the movement. But we are not there yet. HK: It may be part of globalisation process, people want to be part of the international?...

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Working together on the environment and militarism

Posted by on Dec 13, 2015 in Environment and militarism | 0 comments

HK: There seems two different moves going on – the move to right wing ideas but also the environmental lobby is saying much more about bringing ‘peace and justice’ into the environmental movement. MR: I would love WILPF to campaign for the inclusion of eco-crimes in the Rome Statute. There is a movement growing, and started by a woman called Polly Higgins. She is a barrister and she was pondering while she was waiting for a judgement, that the earth needs a lawyer to defend her. She has now developed the theory of ecocide and how it fits with international law and international criminal law and why it is that we should be able to prosecute CEOs of companies who pollute deliberately or with disregard to the consequences, knowing or should have known that their actions would lead to terrible environmental degradation. They should be before the ICC. That will encourage States to prosecute and they will have to bring that into their criminal legislation. It would make a huge difference and it’s not that complicated. For WILPF if this is a campaigning thing, perfect, let’s get behind it. Let’s push it through. HK: That is an interesting issue that is worth looking at. MR: Environmentalism and accountability. HK: The WILPF UK autumn seminar was about climate change, environment and militarism. The environmental lobby is just thinking about this MR: Yes they are dipping into our world and we can dip a bit into theirs – we don’t have to repeat what they do because they do an excellent job but what we are looking at as well is environmental degradation as a driver of militarism. You chop down a forest and you cause displacement, you chop down a forest to get money to buy tanks, you then you cut down the forest to see your enemy and flush them out and you don’t replant afterwards and then you have got a tiny bit of space for everyone to live on and that perpetrates the next...

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COP 21: WILPF urges governments to commit to ambitious targets

Posted by on Nov 30, 2015 in Environment and militarism, Gender, Peace and Security, Human Rights, News | 0 comments

The twenty-first Conference of the Parties (COP21) has started in Paris. WILPF International is holding two workshops, both on 6 December 2015. They are “Nuclear energy doesn’t save the climate” and “Women facing climate change.” Earlier this year, at the meeting of its centenary congress, WILPF passed a resolution on Climate Change, Environmental Justice and Peace. The Resolution calls for urgent government action and international divestment from fossil fuel investments, as well as the appointment of a Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Climate Change. Read the Resolution in...

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Climate change, environment and militarism: book now for WILPF’s Autumn Seminar on 14 November

Posted by on Nov 2, 2015 in Disarmament, Environment and militarism, Gender, Peace and Security | 0 comments

How do these topics affect our lives, particularly when together? Why is that intersection important? WILPF UK’s autumn seminar will explore these questions, with an afternoon of workshops designed to share ideas about potential political action and how we can accelerate positive change, in each of these areas and together. Saturday, 14 November, 10.30 – 4.30 Crofton Halls, York Rise, Orpington, BR6 8PR 5 minute walk from Orpington Station 30 minutes by train from Charing Cross, Waterloo East, Victoria or London Bridge Parking available Environmental damages such as pollution of air, water and land; unregulated plunder of natural resources and the negative impacts of mass population movements on the environment are often common in times of war and are in many cases only reversible in the long term. For us, a just, fair and sustainable way of living will not be possible without a radical transformation of society. We have to transform the idea that “security equals military might” to “security equals wellbeing of every human being, in a society based on universal human rights, justice, peace and respect for the natural world upon which we depend.” We are pleased to welcome Margrethe Tingstad from Norway, a WILPF International Vice President who has experience in peace, environment and women’s participation work; April Humble, a researcher on climate change, human security and adaptation; part of the secretariat of the Earth League; a writer for Open Democracy on border security and human rights; Jenny Marklew, Secretary of Green Party Women and the 2015 Green Party parliamentary candidate for Milton Keynes North; and Janet Fenton from UK WILPF. They will open the seminar and then take part in a panel discussion. After lunch, there will be workshops and a showing of the Movement for the Abolition of War film “Conflict and Climate Change.” Email Jeanette to book, or call 0208 466 8207. Cost is £10 (£8 concession) with lunch; £6 (£4 without – there are no sandwich places near the...

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