A petition calling on Edinburgh Council to establish a memorial in Edinburgh to Conscientious Objectors and Opponents of War is now open for signature on the City of Edinburgh Council website. Please show your support for all those, past and present, who have refused to participate in or opposed wars by signing the petition here.
The Petition states:
With respect to the life and death choices of all those who have taken part in or supported wars we the undersigned therefore call upon the City of Edinburgh Council to grant the use of a permanent public space within the precincts of Princes St Gardens and to provide material and financial support for a memorial to Conscientious Objectors and those who oppose wars. We ask that this be facilitated by February 2016 to coincide with the centenary of the passage of the Military Service Act which led to conscription in 1916.
With the Centenary of the First World War there is a feeling that there should be a memorial in Scotland’s capital city to conscientious objectors and opponents of wars which would henceforth provide a public focus for those who wish to gather to remember all those, past or present, refusing to participate in or opposing wars.
Taking this stance meant considerable hardship for those who refused to participate in or support the First World War and their families, that over 300 British “Deserters” were shot, and Conscientious Objectors were subjected to harsh treatment by the military, in prison, and in their communities and 73 First World War conscientious objectors died in or following imprisonment; their courageous stance cleared the way for improved recognition of the right to oppose war and to refuse to take part in wars and helped lay the foundations for the promotion of peaceful means for the resolution of conflicts and for achieving a just peace.
Please sign the petition here. And please Share it. We only need 200 signatures, but let’s get 2000!
The campaign for a memorial was initiated by the Edinburgh Peace and Justice Centre and Fellowship of Reconciliation Scotland and is backed by Iona Community, Edinburgh Stop the War, Edinburgh CND, Scottish WILPF, Muslim Women’s Association of Edinburgh, Edinburgh Central Friends Meeting, Church and Society Council of the Church of Scotland, St Mary’s Cathedral Pax Christi, St Mary’s Cathedral Justice and Peace Group and the Religious Society of Friends Scotland.
There will be a fundraising concert at the Pleasance Cafe on the 20th of June. This evening is being organised by local peace and justice singer songwriter Penny Stone and should be a great evening. Please save the date!