Past Events – many are available to watch anytime online. Links provided
To address COVID, climate and the ecological emergencies we must move from an outmoded model of national security towards human security
- Professor Paul Rogers, Emeritus Professor of Peace Studies at Bradford University and President of the Movement for the Abolition of War.
- Professor Jenny Pearce, Latin America and Caribbean Centre (LACC). London School of Economics.
- Moderator: Brian Larkin, Peace & Justice Coordinator
To address COVID, climate and the ecological emergencies we must move from an outmoded model of national security towards human security
This year the UK increased military spending by about 10%, the biggest increase since the Korean War. It plans to build 80 new nuclear warheads while continuing to supply arms to Saudi Arabia and cutting aid to Yemen by half. Globally, military spending is over $1.8 Trillion, while $1.2 Trillion is needed to ensure we reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions. And wealthy nations, who also spend the most on weapons, are failing to commit the funds needed to ensure that people in the poorest countries receive COVID19 vaccinations.
Isn’t it time to cut funding to the military and prioritize human security and a future for life on earth instead? With the UK hosting COP26 in Glasgow in November, shouldn’t the UK lead the way to a shift from the failed model of military security toward real human security and a just green recovery from COVID and the climate and ecological crises?
Response: Prof Jenny Pearce
Rethinking Security as a Means to Reduce not Reproduce Violence
In her monograph Politics without Violence? Jenny Pearce asks: “As climate change differentially impacts on the globe, will violence be the way the privileged protect themselves from the human struggle that climate change will mean?” Indeed, while recognising the common global threat to security posed by climate change, in “Global Britain”, the Integrated Review of Security, Defense and Foreign Policy, with its increases in military spending and push toward greater force projection, we are already seeing this. Professor Pearce will speak on how peace building is impeded by a focus on militarist solutions to security, with specific reference to Central America, particularly Columbia.
Create your own embroidery peace handkerchief (online workshop).
On Conscientious Objectors’ memorial day, create your own embroidery peace handkerchief with Opposing War Memorial artist, Kate Ive. She will give some background to the upcoming memorial to be installed in Princes Street Gardens and help you design your handkerchief.
This is one of a number of embroidery workshops running as part of the memorial’s creation process, Some of the handkerchiefs created in these community workshops will inspire designs for the bronzed ‘bracts’ or flowers that will decorate the bronze handkerchief tree and represent Conscientious Objectors and individuals and organisations that oppose war.
International Conscientious Objectors Day Vigil – UK. Online. 15 May. Time & Details tbc.
Spirituality and Nuclear Weapons:
The Spiritual, Ethical, Legal, Political, and Practical Response to Humanity’s Greatest Threat.
Date: Wednesday 19 May 2021.
Time: Online Zoom Forum: 7pm-8.45pm
Brian Larkin. Coordinator of Peace & Justice (Scotland). Member of Trident Ploughshares. Brian has been arrested for civil resistance to nuclear weapons and arms sales around twenty times. He was jailed indefinitely for 3 months for blockading a Cruise missile engin factory. Brian has a court case pending for an action at BAE Systems in London with XR Peace as part of the Oct 2019 Extinction Rebellion.
Scottish Elections Peace Hustings 2021
Scottish Elections Peace Hustings
An evening with the candidates addressing questions of peace and militarism. Supported by P&J Scotland.
Militarism, Climate Change, and Global Dissent.
A workshop on the intersection between militarism, the climate crisis and supression of protest at From the Ground Up Global Gathering.
Environmental Impacts of the Military Sector: Brian Larkin, Peace & Justice (Scotland) Coordinator, Jane Tallents, Trident Ploughshares, Emilie McSwiggan, Scottish CND.
Arms Conversion / Defense Diversification. Dr. Stuart Parkinson, Scientists for Global Responsibility
Banning Nuclear Weapons – Smashing the Patriarchy.
UK Military Budget Webinar: February 2021.
Peacebuilding and the arts Talk and Panel Discussion.
Director of Centre for Theology and Puclic Issues and Editor of a new book on this topic, Professor Jolyon Mitchell gave a short talk followed by presentations from Opposing War Memorial artist Kate Ive, Peacebuilding in Schools project coordinator Fiona Oliver-Larkin and Peace Cranes curator Iliyana Nedkova on how our projects are working through the arts to do peacebuilding locally with Q&A. The event was chaired by Dr Lesley Orr.
Special guest Alison Johnstone MSP joined us by video link for our 40th anniversary of the Edinburgh Peace & Justice Centre celebration and to help us relaunch as Peace & Justice with the mission to build a culture of peace in Scotland.
Become a member and support our work of building a culture of peace in Scotland.
Alternative Remembrance. Nov 2020. Edinburgh
We laid awhite poppy wreath to remember all victims of war at the site of the planned Memorial to conscientious objectors in Princes St Gardens in November 2020 and hung embroidered handkerchiefs symbolizing war resistance that will be incorporated in the bronze peace tree sculpture.
UK Alternative Remembrance
Our Edinburgh Alternative Remembrance Ceremony featured in the UK Alternative Remembrance Ceremony along with that in London and others around the country. Check out the UK ceremony and with singer songwriter / peace activist Penny Stone and Yemeni-Scouse poet Amina Atiq here.
Peace Cranes Pre-Exhibition Online Events August 2020
Ahead of the 2021 launch of Peace Cranes – our contemporary arts exhibition about the cultural legacy of Hiroshima – we curated a series of online events in August 2020 commemorating the 75 th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.
The Priest’s Tale: A new play written and performed live by Michael Mears. August 2020.
An exclusive performance of The Priest’s Tale streamed live from the empty theatre of London’s Sands Films Studio. The compelling account of a survivor of the first atomic bombing – written and performed live by Michael Mears with live musical accompaniment by violinist Chihiro Ono. Michael’s new piece The Priest’s Tale is inspired by John Hersey’s book Hiroshima (1946) and offers an eyewitness account of the first atomic bombing.
The Mistake: Film of a new play by Michael Mears. August 2020
The making The Mistake by Michael Mears before its live stage version appears as part of our Peace Cranes 2021 exhibition. Working remotely under lockdown the performers Michael Mears and You-Ri Yamanaka, and director Jatinder Verma compiled an exclusive film collage of extracts and images from the making of The Mistake.
Conscientious Objectors’ Day Scotland 2020 Virtual Vigil
We’ve organised CO Day Vigils in Edinburgh annually since 2014.
Revolution of the Heart: The Dorothy Day Story with Kate Hennessey, author of Dorothy Day: The World Will Be Saved by Beauty: An Intimate Portrait of My Grandmother.
The book is available to purchase from the P&J. £9. Email us to order.
NAE CASH FOR NUKES!
Launch of the Don’t Bank on the Bomb Scotland 2019 report. Linda Pearson, Don’t Bank on the Bomb Scotland, Audrey Doig, Renfrewshire Councillor, NFLA Scotland Co-convenor, John Finnie, Green Party MSP for the Highlands and Islands
Peace Walk 2019
We organise Peace Walks annually on 21 September to mark UN International Day of Peace.
XR Peace: Militarism and Climate Change
We urgently need to cut greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2025 to avert climate catastrophe. That won’t be possible unless we transform the militarism at the heart of the global industrial system that relies on fossil fuels.
Fly Kites Not Drones. Meadows Pavilion Café
We’ve organised these popular family friendly Kites Not Drones events annually from 2014 – 2019. The events were inspired by the Afghan Peace Volunteers, an inter-ethnic peace community of young people. Afghans fly kites at the Nao Ruz, or New Year. Jointly organised with with Refugee Community Kitchen.
How We Win Workshop – Exploring Nonviolent Resistance
A Peace news “How We Win” workshop drawing on decades of activist experience, exploring how to take effective action to create changes we want to see in the world.
Resistance to the First World War Exhibition Event
January 2018. St Mungo Museum. Glasgow.
This event showcased the work of WEA Scotland adult learners in Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow who investigated the experiences of First World War Conscientious Objectors from their communities. It was an HLF fundedWorkers Education Association Scotland project with support from the Edinburgh Peace & Justice Centre.
UN: Peacemaker or toothless tiger?
How to reform the United Nations and bring about a more peaceful world.
With Vijay Mehta, Chair of Uniting for Peace and Dr Claire Duncanson, University of Edinburgh.
STOP FUNDING THE END OF THE WORLD
How to eliminate nuclear weapons through divestment
New Guide for Scotland Launch Event
Linda Pearson summarized findings of new research on investments by Local Authorities Pension Funds and other institutions in Scotland in nuclear weapons and outline actions people can take to support the campaign. The report is available at: https://nukedivestmentscotland.org/
Don’t Bank on the Bomb Scotland Network Members: Scottish CND, Medact, Edinburgh Peace & Justice Centre.
Anatomy of Peace Building through Music, Rhythm & Silence
Becoming a musical peace-maker. Interactive, inspirational workshop. Internationally acclaimed author and music therapist Christine Stevens shared highlights of her successful project in the war-zone of northern Iraq and highlight her work with refugee populations from Sudan, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria.
Opposing War: Memorial Design Launch. Edinburgh.
Launch of fundraising for the sculpture.
Legacies of Resistance: First World War COs
Legacies of Resistance. With Wales for Peace & Legacies of Resistance to 1st WW.
Event at the Scottish Parliament, sponsored by Christine McKelvie MSP. Members of the WEA WW1 ‘Legacies of Resistance’ research groups (supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund), will tell us more about the realities of individual conscientious objectors lives, and we will discuss the importance of their legacies and values on the journey towards our shared future. Organised by WEA Scotland. Supported by P&J.
Festival of Nonviolence:
Living non-violently towards the earth – 1st October – Bridgend Farmhouse
“Live simply so others may simply live”
This event invited us to question how we can live non-violently towards the earth. It consisted of workshops, discussions & a movie around this topic; natural building, wilderness skills, urban life up-cycling, vegan cooking/animal rights workshops & a food waste reduction action (DiscoSoup!).
Peacemaking in Kabul:
Maya Evans: Report from Afghanistan.
Maya Evans has led delegations to Afghanistan to stand in solidarity with Afghan peace activists, and be eyewitnesses to the ongoing conflicts. The Afghan Peace Volunteers are a small, intentional, multiethnic live-in community in Kabul. They are building alternative lifestyles and ways of relating which counter the socio-economic, environmental and military violence in Afghanistan and the world.
Carolyn Affleck Youngs Walking to Japan
Carolyn’s moving book tells the story of her late husband Derek Youngs who walked 25’000 miles in the name of PEACE. Walking to Japan is the insightful, humorous and touching tale of learning to live one step at a time. Now more than ever we need this kind of inspiration.
John Dear: Nonviolent Resistance in Trump’s USA
John Dear is an internationally known voice for peace and nonviolence. A long time activist, popular lecturer, and movement organizer, Fr. John is the author of 35 books and hundreds of articles, including “Living Peace,” “Jesus the Rebel,” and “The Nonviolent Life.” He was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Archbishop Desmond Tutu. John is Outreach Coordinator for Campaign Nonviolence,which is coordinating hundreds of nonviolent actions for peace each year in the United States.
Working Through the Arts
The World is My Country May 2106.
The World is My Country exhibition celebrated, in stories and pictures, the people and movements that opposed the First World War. Featuring disobedient soldiers, feminist peace initiatives, a Maori princess, a famous Cambridge philosopher, and the striking graphic art of Emily Johns.
Light Against Darkness: An Exhibition of the Artwork of Syrian Refugee Children
October – November 2015. City of Edinburgh Methodist Church.
We brought 166 paintings and drawings created by Syrian refugee children during a three month psychological support project at the Shatila refugee camp in Lebanon to audiences in Edinburgh and raised over £1,600 to support the “Tomorrow is Ours” programme of Najda Now that extends a loving hand to these children and plant the seeds of hope. Organised by Edinburgh Peace and Justice Centre with the Children’s War Museum. Supported by Church of Scotland World Mission Council, Edinburgh City Centre Churches Together and Just Festival.
The Drones Quilt Exhibition: A Tribute to the Victims of Drones: August 2013
The Centre exhibited the 40 foot long Drones Quilt throughout the August Festival. It was seen by thousands of people. Each square was made by a different person, the Drones Quilt reminds us that those killed by drones are human beings, whose lives are sacred.
Productions and Performances
Divergent Voices of the First World War Scottish Storytelling Centre & Scottish International Storytelling Festival
Cross Cultural Arts Exchange: Scotland and Tibet
Marking the Centenary of Conscription
January 2016. Patrick Harvie MSP, Quakers in Scotland, and the Edinburgh Peace and Justice Centre, hosted a reception to mark the centenary of the Military Service Act at the Scottish Parliament.
Speakers: Trevor Royle, author of ‘The Flowers of the Forest’ the definitive history of Scotland in the First World War, and a member of the Scottish Commemorations panel, University of Edinburgh historian Dr. Lesley Orr, Brian Larkin, Coordinator, Edinburgh Peace and Justice Centre, Second World War conscientious objector David Turner, and Elisabeth Allen and Joyce Taylor-Richards, descendants of First World War conscientious objectors. In addition, three students from St Thomas Aquin’s High School in Edinburgh, Kristy, Rose and India, presented their work on conscientious objectors.
Candlelit Vigil for Refugees: Save All Calais Children
With the French government preparing to demolish the Calais “Jungle” refugee camp, home to more than 9,000 people we held a simple vigil to demonstrate solidarity especially with the more than 1,000 unaccompanied children who are among the most vulnerable. We collected signatures on letters to the French government and Home Secretary Amber Rudd calling on their respect governments to protect all the children at the camp and delivered these by hand to the Scotland Office and the French Consulate.
Conscientious Objectors Day Vigils. 15 May. Annually since 2014
On 15 May each year, International Conscientious Objectors’ Day the Peace and Justice Centre holds a Vigil on the Mound in Edinburgh to honour the memory of conscientious objectors to all wars, past and present, and in these centenary years, especially those of the First World War. Here is a report on the 2016 vigil from The National.
White Poppy Remembrance: Poetry and Reflections 11 November Annually since 2013
The 2013 event was a candlelit ceremony with poems from Edna St Vincent Millay, Wilfred Owen, Siefgried Sassoon and Edinburgh poet Tessa Ransford around the peace pole at the Peace and Justice Centre remembering all victims of war, military and civilians. Each year we distribute white poppies and arrange for many venues to distribute over 600 white poppies.
Planting the Peace Pole in the Peace Garden at St John’s Church
The Centre organised a ceremony for the planting of a Peace Pole with the phrase May Peace Prevail on Earth in four languages. Two people one “ordinary” and one “bigwig”, including the Ambassador of Ukraine, recited the mantra in each of the four languages when the pole was planted.
Campaigning for Nuclear Disarmament
Love the Planet – Scrap Trident
Scrap Trident Demonstrations in Glasgow.
Organised with the Scrap Trident Coalition in 2015 & 2014.
Thousands of people marched against Trident. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Scoottish Greens Co-Convenor Patrick Harvie spoke at the 2015 rally. Peace and Justice Centre had a lead role on the Steering Committe and handled parliamentary liason work, media work and part of the social media work.
Blockade of Faslane Trident Nuclear Weapons Base. 2014
Organised with the Scrap Trident Coalition. Peace & Justice Centre had a key organising role on the Steering Committe and handled parliamentary liason work, media work and part of the social media work.
Aboliltion 2000 International Conference in Edinburgh.
WeContributed to draft and delivery of “Faslane Declaration” calling for UK disarmament of Trident and global abolition of nuclear weapons.
Scotlands for Peace
The Peace and Justice Centre is the East Coast Base and a core member of Scotlands for Peace. Includes religious, trade union and other peace groups.
Scottish Peace Covenant
The Peace & Justice Centre and Scotlands for Peace created beautiful books with a specially commissioned frontispiece by Alasdair Gray, author of Lanark. Forty of the books were widely circulated the length and breadth of Scotland and signed by thousands of people including Bishop of Edinburgh, the Rt. Rev. Brian Smith, Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond and the moderator of the Church of Scotland, the Rt. Rev. Sheilagh Kesting, at a public ceremony at the Scottish Parliament. The Peace Covenant declares, “We desire that Scotland should be known for its international contribution to peace and justice rather than for waging war.”
People and Parliament Against Trident Demonstration
March through Edinburgh calling for UK Government to remove all nuclear weapons from Scottish soil. More than 2,000 people took part. Organised by Scotland For Peace.
Cross Party Group on Nuclear Disarmament
The Peace & Justice Centre is an active member of the Cross Party Group on Nuclear Disarmament.
Organising Mayors for Peace Conference – 2006
The Centre played a key role working closely with Bill Kidd MSP co-Chair of the Cross Party Group in organising this conference and bringing mayors from Glasgow, Edinburgh, Shetland and other parts of Scotland together with Japanese Hibakushasa at the conference which culminated with the symbolic planting of a cherry tree at Gillies College in memory of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.
The Centre has been active in several other Cross Party Groups including the Tibet, Human Rights, Violence Against Women and Palestine groups.
Initiating and Facilitating Gude Cause
Gude Cause was the name of a feminist project, based at the Peace and Justice Centre iwhich inspired over 60events and projects throughout Scotland between 2007 and 2009. Gude Cause aimed to commemorate the work of Scotswomen involved in the suffrage movement, to celebrate women’s achievements in the 100 years since the Women’s Suffrage Procession which had taken place in Edinburgh in 1909, and to re-energise women’s commitment to political representation and action in Scotland.
The work culminated in the re-enactment on 10 October 2009 of the 1909 Edinburgh procession, and was organised by volunteers, women’s historians and community workers, in association with the Edinburgh Peace and Justice Centre, drawing attention to the problems that still need to be addressed , such as tackling domestic violence, forced marriage, sex trafficking and equal pay.
Thousands of people from groups across Scotland had prepared for the day by creating banners, learning old and specially written songs, researching women’s struggles in the past and discussing current issues and future aims
Book Talks, Speakers Series & Conferences
Meeting the Needs of Refugees and Unaccompanied Refugee Children in Scotland and the EU: From Turkey to Scotland:
October 2016. University of Edinburgh
Gary Christie, Scottish Refugee Council, Matthew Naumann, Edinburgh Peace and Justice Centre. Author of our report on Meeting the Needs of Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children in Scotland, Sabine Gundren from Citizens UK, Amadu Khan, The Welcoming Group, Janet Barnes, Coordinator of East Lothian Aid to Refugees.
Trident and International Law: Scotland’s Obligations Conference
Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh.Keynote Speaker HE Judge Mohammed Bedjaoui, President of the International Court of Justice.
Scotland and International Law Event at Scottish Parliament
Keynote Speaker: HE Judge Christopher Weeramantry, International Court of Justice.
The Hammer Blow: How Ten Women Disarmed a Warplane
A Book Talk by author and activist Andrea Needham. November 2016.
Andrea Needham’s gripping inside account of how ten women disarmed a Hawk jet bound for genocide in East Timor – and were acquitted. Marking the 20th anniversary of the historic Seeds of Hope Ploughshares action. Published by Peace News.
Britain Brexit and World Peace. September
Vijay Mehta, Author, Peace Beyond Borders, Brian Cooper, Coordinator, Uniting for Peace, Brian Larkin, Coordinator, Edinburgh Peace and Justice Centre,
Chris Cole, Coordinator of Drone Wars UK and Convenor of the Drones Campaign Network outlined the first decade of Drones, outlined the legal and ethical arguments against their use and gave us a glimpse of the future. A few days later Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch called for those responsible for the killings of civilians in Drone attacks in Pakistan and Yemen to be tried for war crimes.
George Lakey: a Living Revolution: July 2013
George spoke about his book Toward a Living Revolution, (1987) re-published by Peace News this year. He offered an analysis of 5 stages in social change movements, and a range of practical tools for creating change. Lakey was a trainer for Mississippi Summer and co-founder of the Movement for a New Society and Training for Change. Read the Full Report Here.
Peace Pilgrimage Events
The Centre organised a number of events in support of the Iona Pilgrimage for Peace and Economic Justice, including a ceilidh with Hud yer Wheesht, receptions at Hoyrood, with Marco Biagi MSP and Alison Johnstone MSP and at City Chambers with Councillors Maureen Child (on behalf of the Lord Provost) and others, and a send off from St John’s by Bishop John Armes.
Prospects for Peace with Iran: June 2013
Peace News Editors Mil Rai and Emily Johns reported on their trip to Iran with an FOR Peace Delegation. Emily exhibited her wonderful line drawings, which will form the basis of a new edition of her book Drawing on the Axis of Evil. Mil spoke on Iran’s nuclear programme. Read the Full Report Here.
Guantanamo Solidarity Fast : May 2013
The Centre held a public Guantanamo Solidarity Fast in conjunction with solidarity fasts which took place globally as the hunger strike reached 100 days, with more than 100 of the 166 inmates on hunger strike and many being force fed in what many consider amounts to torture. Read the Full Report Here.
Susan Clarkson on the UK Peace Delegation to Afghanistan. February 2012
Though legally blind Susan provides shelter to destitute asylum seekers and went to prison for cutting a fence at Aldermaston – where UK nuclear weapons are built. Susan travelled to Afghanistan in December 2012 and met with the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers (AYPV). Read the Full Report Here.
Disarming Trident in the US and Scotland: Nobel Peace Prize Nominee Bill Bichsel & Leonna O’Neill of Faslane Peace Camp. December2012
83 year old Jesuit priest Bill ‘Bix’ Bichsel was imprisoned for 6 months for seeking to live out Isaiah’s prophecy to “beat swords into plowshares”. He and four others attempted to disarm US Trident nuclear weapons with hammers. LeonnaO’Neill lived at Faslane Peace Camp for two years. She has organised numerous nonviolent direct actions resisting Trident here in Scotland. Read the Full Report Here.
The Spirituality and Practice of Peace in a World of War:
Fr John Dear and Rev Kathy Galloway. August 2012
Nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Archbishop Desmond Tutu Jesuit Fr John Dear is an internationally known voice for peace and nonviolence. Rev Kathy Galloway is head of Christian Aid Scotland and former leader of the Iona Community, a dispersed community of Christians who work for justice and peace throughout the world. John and Kathy have stood against nuclear weapons and gone to jail. Kathy blockaded Faslane, where Trident, the UKs nuclear weapons are based. John was hammered on an F15 nuclear fighter bomber in an effort to “beat swords in plowshares”. Both are grounded in the gospel of the nonviolent Jesus.
Dr Omar Shaban of Pal-Think Institute: May 2012
In the May talk in our Series, Dr Omar Shaban, Director of Pal-Think Institute in Gaza , argued that international aid has ‘deepened the divide’ and prevents reconciliation between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority.
Ecumenical Accompaniment in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI). April 2012
Ros Robertson served as a human rights observer in South Hebron with EAPPI.
Cooperation in Israel – Palestine: Hamed Qawasmeh & Erella Dun of The Villages Group.
The Villages Group is a remarkable group of Palestinians and Israelis working together to support Palestinian communites in the West Bank.
South Sudan: Building for Peace: March 2012
Sheila Dhariwal and Sylvia De Nygos spoke of their work with Gua-Africa and Scotland and South Sudan Initiative (SASSI) one year after independence. South Sudan has experienced nearly continuous wars since achieving independence in 1956. More than 2 million people have died, and more than 4 million are internally displaced persons or refugees. Sheila focused on Gua Africa’s work with former child soldiers and the ‘lost boys’ of South Sudan. Silvia De Nygos was born in Torit and educated in Khartoum. She is founding SASSI to support women starting up their own small businesses to feed their families.
Report from First UK Peace Delegation to Afghanistan: Maya Evans. February 2012
Founder of Voices for Creative Nonviolence Maya Evans visited the Afghan Peace Volunteers in Kabul. Maya is the author of Naming the Dead an account of being the first person to be arrested under the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act (SOCPA) for reading the names of the dead in Afghanistan outside Downing St.
Centre Coordinator Brian Larkin led workshops on Consensus Decision Making and Pacifists & Realism in the 21st Centurty at the Edinburgh Peace Initiative international conference Voices in Conflict: Rights, Realism and Moral Outrage, and on Nonviolent Action for University of Wisconsin Summer in Scotland programme.