Our Workshops & Events

Past Events

Re-Launch as Peace & JusticePeacebuilding and the arts Talk and Panel Discussion

At our Annual Meeting at 6pm 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 join us by video link for our 40th anniversary of the Edinburgh Peace & Justice Centre celebration and to congratulate us on our relaunch as Peace & Justice with the mission to  build a culture of peace across Scotland.


Click here to become a member and support our work of building a culture of peace in Scotland.

Alternative Remembrance Ceremony Edinburgh

A few Peace & Justice Centre members laid awhite poppy wreath to remember all victims of war at the site of the planned Memorial to conscientious objectors in Princes St Gardens 8 November 2020 and hung embroidered handkerchiefs symbolizing war resistance that will be incorporated in the bronze peace tree sculpture.     

UK Alternative Remembrance – online

Our Edinburgh Alternative Remembrance Ceremony featured in the  UK Alternative Remembrance Ceremony  along with that in London and several others around the country. The online UK event was organised by Peace Pledge Union. Check out the UK ceremony and extracts including singer songwriter / peace activist Penny Stone and Yemeni-Scouse poet Amina Atiq here 

The Mistake – rehearsal extracts and Q&A with Michael Mears
Saturday August 22nd, 4pm – 5.30pm.

Join us online to watch a sneak preview of Michael Mears’ new play about the dropping of the Hiroshima bomb from the perspective of the survivor, the scientist and the soldier. Watch the rehearsals, and then join the question and answer session with Michael Mears, his fellow performer You-Ri Yamanaka, and director Jatinder Vermaand. This is a free event.

‘The Mistake’ will feature in our Peace Cranes exhibition which will be part of the Just Festival programme in 2021. At the moment, Michael Mears and company are rehearsing the play. This online film and rehearsal collage with live Q&As is part of the Just Festival 2020, taking place online this year due to the pandemic. Co-curators of the Peace Cranes exhibition, Iliana Nedkova and Heather Kieran, will also join the Q&As part of the event. 

You can also share the event and book tickets through Facebook here

See the full Just Festival programme online here

Peace Cranes Pre-Exhibition Online Events August 2020

We are pleased to announce that ahead of the 2021 launch of the Peace & Justice initiative Peace Cranes – our contemporary arts exhibition about the cultural legacy of Hiroshima – we are curating a series of online events in August 2020 commemorating the 75 th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. All pre-exhibition events are free though donations are warmly welcomed. Spread the word!

The Priest’s Tale

A new play written and performed live by Michael Mears

6 August 2020, 7:15 – 9.15pm BST | For 12+ year olds | Livestream: https://vimeo.com/438259377 

Watch the exclusive performance of The Priest’s Tale streaming live from the empty theatre of London’s Sands Films Studio. See 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. As one of the contemporary artists featured in our  Peace Cranes 2021 exhibition, the actor, playwright and peace activist Michael Mears is familiar to all at Peace & Justice from his solo stage play  This Evil Thing (now available as a ‘lockdown’ film) portraying the stories of Britain’s World War I conscientious objectors. 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. Meet Father Wilhelm Kleinsorge – a German Jesuit priest living in Hiroshima, who survived the blast but witnessed much of the devastation and later succumbed to radiation sickness. Experience Father Wilhelm’s story full of extraordinary detail and rounded out with warmth and compassion. (Duration approx. 55 mins.) Directorial supervision by Rosamunde Hutt. A Peace Cranes pre-exhibition initiative of the Peace & Justice Centre as part of Sands Films Studio Theatre Events. The event will be available to view afterwards.

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Origami Peace Cranes: A workshop led by Shoji Masuzawa

6 August 2020 from 10am – 11am and available to view afterwards.  For 8 to 80+ year old.

Register for this free event (donations also accepted) on eventbrite here

 Help us publicise the event by sharing  on Facebook

Join Peace & Justice Centre’s member Shoji Masuzawa, for an origami peace crane making workshop. This workshop is dedicated to the two women who have inspired our  Peace Cranes exhibition through their life-affirming act of folding origami paper cranes – Sadako Sasaki (1943-1955) – the Hiroshima school girl who still signifies our hopes for peace and nuclear disarmament and  P&J’s own member Atsuko Betchaku  (1960-2016) – a teacher and pacifist. In 2015, Atsuko embarked on an international collaborative project of folding 140,000 origami peace cranes to represent the 140,000 people who were killed by the atomic bombing of Hiroshima on 6 August 1945 and to highlight the  United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons as a way to ensure that this will never happen again.

Our Peace Cranes 2021 exhibition will feature an installation by Juliana Capes, a contemporary artist and activist – incorporating all 140,000 origami paper peace cranes folded by Atsuko and hundreds of other volunteers like her from over five countries who have contributed to the Origami Peace Cranes project led by the Peace & Justice Centre over the last five years.

A Peace Cranes pre-exhibition initiative of the Peace & Justice Centre as part of Edinburgh CND and Scottish CND Hiroshima Day 75th Anniversary Events. 

The Mistake

A film of a new play by Michael Mears and a post-screening Q&A 

16, 22 or 23 August 2020 (date and time tbc)  For 12+ year olds

Be the first to see a film of a new theatre in 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 have compiled an exclusive film collage of extracts and images from the making of  The Mistake and will be around for a live post-show Q&A together with the  Peace Cranes exhibition co-curators Iliyana Nedkova and Heather Kiernan. Using testimonies and eye-witness accounts, The Mistake interweaves the stories of survivor, scientist and soldier to create an evoking drama of what happens when scientific discoveries unlock the power of nature. Shigeko Nomura is a young woman living in war-time Hiroshima. Leo Szilard is a Hungarian scientist and ‘father of the atomic bomb’. Paul Tibbets is the American pilot chosen to fly the plane that drops the bomb. At 8.15am on a Monday morning in August, their lives become fatally and forever entangled.

A Peace Cranes pre-exhibition initiative of the Peace & Justice Centre as part of Just Festival 2020 Digital

Times and registration details will be listed here and our Facebook page when confirmed.

Conscientious Objectors’ Day Scotland 2020 Virtual Vigil

140,000 Origami Peace Cranes Exhibition Prep Workshops.

People have been making origami peace cranes at our workshops and around the world since 2015 and we now have reached our goal of 140,000 cranes. Now we are organising an exhibition of these beautiful peace cranes – at St John’s Church in the Just Festival in August 2020 to mark the 75th anniversary of Hiroshima and to raise awareness of the Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty. Once ratified by 50 states the Treaty (TPNW) will become international law.

Revolution of the Heart: The Dorothy Day Story & Q&A with Kate Hennessey, author of Dorothy Day: The World Will Be Saved by Beauty: An Intimate Portrait of My Grandmother.

NAE CASH FOR NUKES! Launch of the new 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

Conscience International conference.


Peace Walk and AGM. 

XR Peace: Militarism and Climate Change: What can we do?

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. Come join the discussion on the rebellion so far, how to get involved in the new XR Peace alliance and support the October Rebellion.


Peacebuilders facilitator training

Training for anyone interested in becoming a facilitator for our peacebuilding in schools programme. Upon successfully completing the first day you are elegible to continue on our 8 week training programme one afternoon per week. Upon completion of the course you will be eligible to be a Facilitator on our schools programme. More about the programme at http://peaceandjustice.org.uk/want-to-join-our-team/

Fly Kites Not Armed Drones.  Meadows Pavilion Café 

We’ve organised these popular family friendly Kites Not Drones events annually since 2014. 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. As in past years the event will be a joint one with Refugee Community Kitchen who will be offering homemade soup, chutneys as well as crafts and live music.

Annual Inter-Faith Occasion for World Peace
July. 2019.
St. Mark’s Unitarian Church, Edinburgh EH1 2DP

Speakers include: Sister Louisa Gupta [Brahma Kumaris]; Rev.Alastair Moodie [Glasgow Unitarians]; Dr. Abdul Hayee [President, Ahmadiyya Muslim Community [Fife & Edinburgh]; Ms. Laura Westring [Edinburgh Baha’i Community]; Ian Stewart [Secretary, Edinburgh Inter-Faith Association]. Organised by Peace & Justice affiliate Uniting for Peace.

Conscientious Objectors Day Vigil.
Wednesday, 15 May. 5 – 6pm. 2019. 

A vigil to remember COs of the First World War who were not released until 2019 and those of all wars, including present day COs. With songs by Protest in Harmony, reading of names of COs and brief talks by a few descendants of COs.

How We Win Workshop – Exploring Nonviolent Resistance

The this Peace news “How We Win” workshop if for you. Drawing on decades of activist experience, this is an opportunity to explore how to take effective action to create changes we want to see in the world.

Resistance to the First World War Exhibition Event

Friday 25 January. 1:30 – 3:30pm.
St Mungo Museum. 2 Castle St, Glasgow G4 0RH. 

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.

More than 1,300 Scots claiming exemption from military service as conscientious objectors. WEA Scotland adult learners in Glasgow, Dundee and Edinburgh explored the histories of some of these COs. Learners also investigated the role of COs in their communities. A booklet with these stories is forthcoming soon.

This is an HLF funded Workers Education Association Scotland project with support from the Edinburgh Peace & Justice Centre. 

UN: Peacemaker or toothless tiger?  Are you interested in how to reform the United Nations and bring about a more peaceful world? 

Vijay Mehta, Chair of Uniting for Peace, and Dr Claire Duncanson, Senior Lecturer in International Relations at University of Edinburgh, explore how the UN can become a relevant organisation fit to tackle the challenges of 21st Century.  


How to eliminate nuclear weapons through divestment

New Guide for Scotland Launch Event

Linda Pearson, author of the new guide 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 Don’t Bank on the Bomb Scotland Network has been campaigning for RBS, Scottish Parliament, Universities and Local Authorities to divest from nuclear weapons.

The report is available at: https://nukedivestmentscotland.org/

Don’t Bank on the Bomb Scotland Network Members:  Scottish CND, Medact, Edinburgh Peace & Justice Centre. 

‘That’s Not Okay’ Workshop
Standing up for our values on the street,
at work, in our groups and at home.  

With Mil Rai and Emily Johns, Editors of Peace News.  Details Here

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.

Conscientious Objectors Day Annual Vigil. 
15 May. On the Mound. Usually 5 – 6pm. Check our Events calendar to confirm. Speakers, singing, silence. Remembering those who refused to kill.

Opposing War: Memorial Design Launch. Edinburgh.
Launch of fundraising for the sculpture.

Cyril Pearce: Communities of Resistance: Some new thoughts on British War Resisters 1914-1918′. British Conscientious Objection at the time of the First World War

Abertay Historical Society & Great War Dundee Evening Lecture

 War, Conscription and Conscientious Objection 1914-1919

Saturday 10.30-3.00 May 19, 2018, Dalhousie Building, Room 1LG03, University of Dundee

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.

Cooperative Games & Conflict Resolution
Facilitator Training.

★For more info see here.
To register or with queries email coopgames[ateaceandjustice.org.uk .

Fly Kites Not Drones.
Make & Fly Kites. Big Display kites on show.
Inspired by the Afgan Peace Volunteers, this event happens all around the world at Nao Ruz, the Afghan New Year, when people in Afghanistan fly kites. Solidarity with people living under drones threat. Support for refuges. With Refugee Community Kitchen. Music & soup. Family friendly. Give what you feel. 

Alternative Remembrance Day
Saturday 11 November4pm.

Origami Cranes Flyer

140,000 Origami Cranes Workshops:

Remembering Hiroshima.

Come learn to make origami cranes and support the nuclear ban treaty to abolish nuclear weapons.

Peace & Justice Centre.

5 Upper Bow,

Edinburgh EH1 2JN

Second Saturday of every month. 2 – 4pm.

Stop Funding Nukes Public Meeting

Don’t Bank on the Bomb Scotland invites you to a Stop Funding Nukes public meeting

This is an Edinburgh CND supported event.

 WEAVE Events
Festival of Nonviolence:


Peace Walk –
Walking to Various locations around Edinburgh

A walk for peace on the weekend of the International Day of Peace & The Peace and Jusitce’s 38th birthday.

We walked to a number of peace places around Edinburgh, peace gardens, peace poles and statues. With talks, discussion, performances and participation: singing, dancing & storytelling about peace, and a short section in silence led by the Sangha Interbeing Community.

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!). With stories, spoken word & talks such as the 1000 Simple Shelter project. Owen Pilgrim and others began creating a peace pole whilst sharing stories about nonviolence.

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.

Afghan Peace Volunteers projects include:
– a Duvet Project employing local women to make duvets that are distributed to the Kabul refugee camp.
– Planting trees and developing green spaces like the Bamiyan Peace Park and the Kabul Peace Garden.
– Permaculture Learning and practice
– The ‘Borderfree Cycling Club’ established to encourage Afghan boys and girls to use the bicycle instead of motorcycles and cars.
– Borderfree Afghan Street Kids School attended by 93 street kids in Kabul.

Carolyn Affleck Youngs Walking to Japan
Book Talk
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
Thursday 13 July.
Quaker Meeting House, 7 Victoria Terrace.
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.

Teaching Peace and Conflict Resolution; Building a Culture of Peace   

Workshops & Schools Programme

Cooperative Games and Conflict Resolution in Primary Schools

Facilitator Trainings & Workshops:

   DSC_0587The Peace & Justice Centre has run Cooperative Games sessions in schools across Edinburgh since 2015. Working through Cooperative games and activities the foundation sessions develop a culture of peace. Further conflict resolution sessions build skills in class groups to prevent and resolve conflict and within schools to put in place processes for restorative justice.

We run two to three Facilitator trainings each year. These trainings provide the foundation for our Cooperative games and Conflict Resolution Programme for Primary Schools. They are open to parents, teachers and people who work with children as well as those planning to become facilitators on our programme.

Workshop Leaders: Louise Smith, Programme Coordinator & Emma Quayle, Development Coordinator

Overcoming Violence Schools Project

In the late 1990s the Centre designed and carried out this project running sessions in schools across Scotland, teaching skills to prevent violence and create a culture of peace.

Working Through the Arts


The World is My Country at The Scottish Storytelling Centre. 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

13 October – 12 November 2015. City of Edinburgh Methodist Church, Edinburgh University Chaplaincy (Bristo Square) and St John’s Church, Princes St, Edinburgh.

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. We hope the psychological support programs provided by the center can help bring these children out of the darkness and in to the light; put smiles back to their sad faces, and wipe away the tears from their troubled eyes.

Read the STV News review of the exhibition here.

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.

MaryatstallThe 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.  Read the Full Report Here.

New Scots Photo exhibition

Large format photographs by Indian photographer Herman Rodrigues, at the Ocean Terminal November 2002. Commissioned and organised by the Peace & Justice Centre.

Productions and Performances

Divergent Voices of the First World War Scottish Storytelling Centre & Scottish International Storytelling Festival

Public Events

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.

St Thomas Aquins students spoke about Conscientious Objectors at Scottish Parliament event.

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.

Fly Kites Not Drones Days

Centrenewspic11April2017The beautiful blue skies of Afghanistan are now a fearful sight to children who no longer want to fly kites, due to fear of a drone strike. Drones are now extensively used in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Gaza, Yemen, Mali and Somalia. In solidarity with all people living under threat of drones we organise fun days being the change we want to see and bringing a culture of peace to life. Organised in partnership with Meadows Pavilion Cafe these ‘Days of Action’  are in response to a call out by Afghan Peace Volunteers and Voices for Creative Nonviolence UK.  Each year more people have attended and more kites made. In 2017 about 300 people attended and 130 kite kits were distributed. Read the full report from 2015 here.. With kite making, kite decorating, and kite flying, badge making and face painting. Lots of families took part. The 2017 day was organised jointly with Refugee Community Kitchen as a fundraiser for them.

save-calais-children-and-tableCandlelit 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

right to refuse to killOn 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. The vigils pay special tribute to COs from Edinburgh and Scotland, with the reading of the names of 235 Edinburgh area WW1 COs, accounts of the experiences of Scottish COs and recollections of COs by a number of descendants of WW1 COs.
There has also been testimony from a World War 2 CO, and solidarity was expressed with current COs around the world. Between readings there was silence and intermittent singing by Protest in Harmony, including  ‘Tell me the Names’, writtenby Jane Lewis.

Here is a report on the 2016 vigil from The National. And here is a report on the 2017 vigil in CommonSpace.

Read the full account of the 2017 vigil here.. 

white-poppiesWhite 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. These events take a different form each year. Each year we distribute white poppies. In 2017 we reached out to arrange for 16 more venues to distribute over 600 white poppies, a 100% increase from 2015.

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

12657858_1319718008054338_1109392971484064647_oLove the Planet – Scrap Trident

Groups and individuals demonstrated oppostion to nuclear weapons on Valentine’s Day 2016 in 37 towns and cities across Scotland. People created their  own events linked to the theme Love the Planet – Scrap Trident.  #LovethePlanet & #ScrapTrident.

 8 George Square DemoScrap Trident Demonstrations in Glasgow.

Organised with the Scrap Trident Coalition in 2015 & 2014.

scrap trident rallyThousands 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.

Building a culture of peace in Scotland

Member of International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons

Member of Aboliltion 2000. Particpated in Aboliltion 2000 International Conference in Edinburgh.

Contributed 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_Procession,_Edinburgh_2009_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,[1]  drawing attention to the problems that still need to be addressed , such as tackling domestic violence, forced marriage, sex trafficking and equal pay.[1]

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: 

panelOctober 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

dsc_0949Janet Barnes, Coordinator of East Lothian Aid to Refugees. Janet has visited Calais and refugee camps in Greece many times delivering aid.

Former Head of Oxfam Response to Syria Crisis, recently returned from visiting refugee camps in Greece and Turkey.

Chair: Brian Larkin, Coordinator, Edinburgh Peace and Justice Centre

Post Brexit major questions exist about UK policy on refugees, especially refugee and asylum seeking children. The fate of thousands of children in Europe remains uncertain. The workshop brought together people working in the field to suggest how we can best advocate for the UK to admit its fair share of refugees, especially unaccompanied children and how best to carry that out. The event was attended by 200 people.

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.

Nonviolent Resistance to the Nazis:

 Book Talk and Discussion with author George Paxton. October 2016.

George Paxton is a Trustee of The Gandhi Foundation whose aim is to spread knowledge of Gandhi and his ideas mainly in the UK.  He edits their quarterly journal, The Gandhi Way, and is the author of ‘Sonja Schlesin: Gandhi’s South African Secretary’. Read a Review of the book on the Satyagraha Foundation website at http://www.satyagrahafoundation.org/book-review-nonviolent-resistance-to-the-nazis/

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 2016. 

Vijay Mehta, Author, Peace Beyond Borders

Brian Cooper, Coordinator, Uniting for Peace

Brian Larkin, Coordinator, Edinburgh Peace and Justice Centre 

Peace Beyond Borders: Booktalk by Vijay Mehta, Author, Peace Beyond Borders

Ditch Coal Film, speakers and discussion. June 2016.

Speaker from Grassroots community resistance to open cast coal mining in Siberia. We know burning coal causes climate change, but what do we know of its human and ecological impacts?

Drone Wars: Today, Tomorrow, Forever? Chris Cole Coordinator of DroneWarsUK. May 2104 

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.

Edinburgh Peace and Justice Centre Speakers Series & other Events 2013 & 2012

afghan speaker

Economic & Human Cost of Drone Wars: Chris Cole Coordinator of DroneWarsUK:  October 2013 

Chris Cole, Coordinator of Drone Wars UK and Convenor of the Drones Campaign Network, spoke on the operational use of drones for remote warfare, the costs, and the legal and ethical issues surrounding their use.  Read the Full Report Here.

George Lakey: a Living Revolution: July 2013      

George Lakey at the Peace and Justice Centre

George Lakey at the Peace and Justice Centre 

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: Ceilidh, City Chambers & Holyrood

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.

goodies baddies

Photo Credit: Witness Against Torture

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 ClarksonSusan 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.

Bix and Leonna at Faslane Naval Base. Photo Credit: Brian Larkin

Bix & Leonna at Faslane. Photo: Brian Larkin

Disarming Trident in the US and Scotland: Nobel Peace Prize Nominee Bill Bichsel & Leonna O’Neill of Faslane Peace Camp. December 2012                             

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.


John DearThe 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 Shabhan, Director Pal-Think Institute. Photo credit: ALMonitor

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.

war child

Photo Credit: Gua Africa

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.

NVA Workshop visits Peaton Glen Woods. Photo Credit: Brian Larkin

NVA Workshop at Peaton Woods. Photo Credit: Brian Larkin

Centre Workshops

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.

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