Welcome to the Tower Hamlets branch of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament CND

CND campaigns non-violently to rid the world of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction and to create genuine security for future generations.

CND opposes all nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction: their development, manufacture, testing, deployment and use or threatened use by any country.

We aim to:

Change Government policies to bring about the elimination of British nuclear weapons as a major contribution to global abolition.

Stimulate wide public debate on the need for alternatives both to the nuclear cycle and to military attempts to resolve conflict.

Empower people to engage actively in the political process and to work for a nuclear-free and peaceful future.

Co-operate with other groups in the UK and internationally to ensure the development of greater mutual security

As a British campaign, we concentrate first and foremost on British nuclear weapons but we also work with anti-nuclear groups in other countries to eliminate the global threat. CND is also present at the United Nations and other international disarmament conferences.

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Campaigning News

 


Peace Gardens and Community

Building moments of ‘Peace’ and community wherever we can find the space would go a long way to resolve the many social issues we struggle with. From small moments of flowery prettiness in a forgotten corner of the street to small planted areas allocated in a local park to purposefully designed peace gardens would go a long way to help inform us all that we all have equal share of the planet and we all have equal responsibility for its survival too.

There are several dedicated ’Peace Gardens’ in London, or ‘Peace corners’ in local parks such as: Tavistock Square (where Ghandi’s statue resides and a beautiful Cherry tree around which each year CND organises a Hiroshima memorial day’), but there are never enough. Here are a few notable gardens:

‘World Peace Garden in South Hill Park in Hampstead

Tibetan Peace Garden on South Bank – St George’s Road

Elthorne Park in Islington

Tibetan Peace Garden – near the Imperial War Museum in Lambeth, London

Charlton House Peace Garden –  Greenwich – alongside a Pond Garden and a Sensory Garden


Remembrance & White Poppies

White poppies were first introduced by the Women’s Co-operative Guild in 1933. According to the Peace Pledge Union, the white poppy symbol represents ‘remembrance for all victims of war, a commitment to peace and a challenge to attempts to glamorise or celebrate war’. (1) White poppies were first produced in 1933 by the Women’s Co-operative Guild . The Guild was becoming increasingly concerned by what it saw as the growing militarisation of Remembrance events and the association of the red poppy with this.

The Co-operative Wholesale Society employed its own workers to make the poppies. The money raised from their sale went to organisations such as War Resisters’ International. Many in the anti-war movement were concerned at this time that, even though memories of the slaughter of the Great War were still fresh in people’s minds, governments were preparing for the outbreak of another war. In 1936 the Peace Pledge Union  took on the role of producing the white poppy. This continues to this day.

by Hilary Chuter

The Peace Pledge Union is the oldest secular pacifist organisation in Britain. Since 1934 it has been campaigning for a warless world. From anti bombing campaigns during WW2 to protest at the remote controlled military drone assassinations of today. Campaigning against the militarisation of Armistice Day in the 30s to the militarisation of society today.

‘War is a crime against humanity. I renounce war, and am therefore determined not to support any kind of war. I am also determined to work for the removal of all causes of war.’

So why, in the 21st century, with all our skills, knowledge and resources, are we still waging war?

by Wikipedia:

Remembrance Sunday is held in the United Kingdom as a day “to commemorate the contribution of British and Commonwealth military and civilian servicemen and women in the two World Wars and later conflicts”.[1] It is held at 11am on the second Sunday in November (the Sunday nearest to 11 November, Armistice Day,[2] the anniversary of the end of hostilities in the First World War in 1918).

Remembrance Sunday

The poppy is worn around the time of Remembrance Sunday (traditionally from All Souls’ Day (2 November) until the later of; Remembrance Day (11 November) or Remembrance Sunday)

It is marked by ceremonies at local war memorials in most cities, towns and villages, attended by civic dignitaries, ex-servicemen and -women (many are members of the Royal British Legion and other veterans’ organisations),


Angela Broome September 2019

Tower Hamlets CND is saddened to inform our members and supporters that our long-term member and activist passed away last week after a lengthy battle with kidney disease.

We will of course be including an obituary in the next edition of our newsletter, and do feel free to send us any memories you have of Angela to include in this.

We will post more information when we know the details of her funeral for anyone who would like to attend.

Phil Sedler for THCND


14 September at Excel London

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Stop the trade in death

CND General Secretary Kate Hudson looks at why CND will be protesting against the upcoming arms fair in London’s ExCel exhibition centre in Royal Victoria Docks E16 1XL.


Walter Wolfgang

Wolfgang

Walter Wolfgang died peacefully in hospital in the early hours of Wednesday morning, 29 May 2019, just a few weeks shy of his 96th birthday. Born in Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany, he was sent to Britain by his parents in 1937. Walter became a British citizen in 1948 and made his home here, joining the Labour Party the same year and remaining an active member till his death.
Deeply critical of Ernest Bevin’s decision to align Britain with the United States, he campaigned for the adoption of a non-aligned foreign policy, and against war and nuclear weapons. He campaigned for party democracy and to increase the voice of party members in policy making, firmly believing that this would add weight to the support for the progressive policies he espoused. One of the organisers of the original Aldermaston march, Walter became – and remained – a stalwart supporter of CND and Labour CND and was Vice President of both organisations and of Stop the War Coalition at the time of his death.
Walter was stood as a parliamentary candidate for Labour in the 1959 general election on a unilateral nuclear disarmament programme and increased the Labour vote in his Croydon constituency. However he’s best known and well remembered today as the elderly gent evicted from the 2005 party conference and detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act for heckling then Foreign Secretary Jack Straw over the Iraq War. He won instant approval for saying out loud what everyone else was thinking. His reinstatement to conference the following day was greeted with a standing ovation and led to his election to Labour’s National Executive Committee a year later, where he continued to press the case for an independent and peaceful foreign policy.
When he arrived in Britain, Walter had already experienced anti-semitism first hand in Hitler’s Germany. Throughout his political career he was an outspoken anti-racist and a supporter of Palestinian rights. It is fitting then that Walter’s last public appearance was
making the opening address to at the No Pasaran: Confronting the Rise of the Far Right conference in London on 2 March. He made the opening address of the day, seizing the opportunity to fulminate against Trump and urge support for his long-time friend Jeremy Corbyn.
Walter Wolfgang was a modest man and thoughtful man. Recalling his eviction from Labour conference, he later remarked to me: ‘I’m not very important and I’m certainly not a celebrity. But I’ve done a lot of things in my life that are important – considerably more so than getting thrown out of Labour Party conference, which isn’t very important at all.’
What was important to Walter throughout his life was speaking truth to power for which he will long be remembered.
See the video of Walter’s No Pasaran speech (approx 5 mins) at
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=78&v=Sw2Y5yy6CkU

Carol Turner
Vice Chair, Labour CND

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Published on May 6, 2019
Walther Wolfgang, evacuee from Germany 1937, at the No Pasaran Conference, London 2019. Conference theme – ‘The Rise of the Far Right’. 4m 09s.
Links to each of the 10 speakers:
1 Kate Hudson https://youtu.be/wz73uJ9visw
2 Walther Wolfgang https://youtu.be/Sw2Y5yy6CkU
3 Shaista Aziz https://youtu.be/BTT-rMvLjeo
4 Diane Abbott MP. https://youtu.be/YZ3OPXqy1Xc
5 Ken Loach https://youtu.be/x2NjiDkfHEE
6 Prof. Tamas Krausz https://youtu.be/EmahWRdp9pw
7 Myriam Kane https://youtu.be/JaiZ5Yh6Cn0
8 Esther Lynch https://youtu.be/3GdOkVaNLEI
9 Lindsey German https://youtu.be/F2X_ekh5xqk
10 Salma Yaqoob https://youtu.be/HH9QQALC0Hc


London CND Group Development & Social Media Worker

Group Development & Social Media Worker wanted

Want to help make the world safe for future generations? Like the idea of campaigning alongside others who’re doing just that? Get satisfaction from working in a compassionate and committed environment? This might be just the job for you….
London Region Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament wants to employ a Group Development & Social Media staff member who will work for two days a week supporting our local groups, helping set up new ones in the Greater London area, and keeping our social media shipshape.
Application deadline

We will acknowledge receipt of your application and let you know of your progress by email. Closing date for submitting your application is 5pm on Thursday 2 May 2019. Interviews will take place between Tuesday 7 and Thursday 9 May.

More information

Read the rest of this entry »


Gerald Holtom’s Peace sign of all times

THE designer of the internationally recognised peace symbol, Gerald Holtom, has been acknowledged with a blue plaque unveiled earlier this month on Blackstock Road in Finsbury Park by The Speaker of LB Hackney Clare Potter with a representative from CND.

“It’s great that we can celebrate this heritage by acknowledging the local origin of the world-recognised peace symbol designed by Gerald Holtom.”

The plaque, funded by the LBH Council, was placed at the former offices of ‘Peace News’, where Gerald presented his design 60 years ago, as a symbol to unite protesters who eventually came under the banner of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND).

The origin of the symbol included the use of the semaphore flag signalling system for the letters ‘N’ and ‘D’, standing for ‘nuclear disarmament’.

There was no copyright put on the design and it was quickly adopted across the world as a global symbol for peace.

Daughter Rosie Holtom said: “Everyone in the family is proud of the symbol and how it has come to represent peace and hope all over the world.”

The Speaker of Hackney, Clare Potter, added: “Hackney has a long history of being a home for radical thought, from the dissidents buried at Abney Park Cemetery to the conscientious objectors of the CND movement.”

Gerald Holtom, Artist

Left: The Speaker of LB Hackney Clare Potter with a representative from CND • Photo: @Rosie Holtom


Jill Truman’s Common Women at Kingsley Hall

Jill Truman’s story “Common Women”, written from her direct experience of the peace camp, keeps the action of Greenham Common Peace Camp alive and, as a play, provides us with an opportunity to re-live the hardship and enduring spirit of the camp. Not only through the way women discovered the power of collective action by a wide range of women from all ages and life experience. but through the dilemmas faced by the character Becky, a 16 year old local girl, who has difficulty overcoming the mythologies and small minded bigotry of different authorities: her father, a local council dignitary, her mother, local people who see Greenham as bringing economic opportunity to the area and small minded people who think only the worst of the protesting women.
The recent fresh and lively staged playreading by Bow Drama Group joined up with the month long 90th anniversary celebrations of Kingsley Hall in London’s east end – An apt venue to host the playreading not only famed for its social and ethical works but also for welcoming and accommodating the peace activist Mahatma Ghandi during his famous visit to London in 1931. The event was also supported by Tower Hamlets CND.
The production was organised by Tower Hamlets CND member, Joan Griffiths
The cast were members of Bow Playreading Group.
The Play Common Women was written by Jill Truman – another member of CND.
Through working closely with Bow Drama Group and TH CND, the commemorative book Common Womenwas designed and produced by ArtZone Co-operative and published by AND Association, 10 Back Church Lane, London E1 1LX
Further copies Common Women can be obtained from
Bow Drama Group e: joangriffiths46@gmail.com
Tower Hamlets CND e: towerhamletscnd@yahoo.co.uk
AND Association e: and@and.org.uk

To see more photos from the play please click this link


Forthcoming Event

TH CND AGM 2019
Nuclear Weapons and a
New Nuclear Arms Race

Tower Hamlets CND
Public Meeting and AGM 2019
at Kingsley Hall
Our guest speaker Bruce Kent

More details on the March 2019 Resister pdf

TH CND Public Meeting and AGM 2019

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East London Peace Network

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We aim to launch the Peace Network on the 8 November.

Building PEACE from the grass roots establishing East London Peace Network 2018 – 6:30-8:30
Thursday 8th November
Informal discussion led by Carol Turner (Chair London Region CND)

Lecture Room 1A Whitechapel Ideas Store Whitechapel Road,

It’s time for change… At September’s Tower Hamlets CND meeting the main item on the agenda was the proposal to establish an East London Peace Network as the successor body to Tower Hamlets CND.

Sixty years ago, during the ’Cold War’ days and the Cuban missile crisis, local members set up CND Stepney & Poplar Group to raise awareness of events which threatened world peace. Later the group was renamed as ‘Tower Hamlets CND’ and continued its campaigning with National CND and other organisations against the proliferation of nuclear weapons and increased military expenditure on Trident nuclear submarines and maintenance of huge arsenals of nuclear missiles. Although these central concerns are still with us, since 1959, people’s anxiety about imminent nuclear war has reduced. However, we are all concerned that war is never far away. During the past sixty years the world has seen many wars – big and small – national and international and,although not escalating into world threatening levels, the potential of ‘nuclear’ was never very far away. A major local event which is also not far away has been the bi-annual DSEI armaments fair at Excel…! This event impacted on many of our members who have been increasingly involved with the anti-war movements and other Peace campaignes. For this reason TH CND is proposing to put its energy towards setting up an East London Peace Network which would bring together other likeminded CND groups from neighbouring boroughs.

Just turn up. Or even better, let us know you’re interested by registering for free on eventbrite here. If you need to contact us, email eastlondonpeacenetwork@gmail.com towerhamletscnd@yahoo.co.uk or phone Phil on 0207 247 5269.

London CND

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COMMON WOMEN

A play by Jill Truman with songs

Friday 28th September
at 7.30 – 10.00pm
interval 30 minutes
Refreshments available
Entrance Free

Kingsley Hall, Powis Road, Bromley By Bow, London E3 3HJ

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A scene from Common Women as performed in 1991 under the title ‘The Web’

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Joan Griffiths

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Jill Truman

“As men have forsaken the plough and the anvil at the summons of war, let women now leave all that may be left of home for a greater and earnest day of counsel.”

Julia Ward Howe (1817)

Women made a protest against nuclear weapons back in the 1980s. They set up camp in the open air at the gates of a missile base. There they resisted for years through winter cold, mud, and police rough handling. In this play, a woman who was there shows what it was like.
In spite of critical praise such as: “…a lively drama which explores wider feminist issues with wit and sensitivity” Time Out… and “…a vital and moving experience in theatre” The Stage, there has been no performance since the first London Fringe run in 1991 under the original title “The Web”.
Tower Hamlets Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament has been meeting here in Kingsley Hall for many years and taking part in many actions for world peace. New members welcome.

Towerhamlets CND: https://towerhamletscnd.wordpress.com
Bow Drama Group: joangriffiths46@gmail.com tel: 020 8981 8104

Please click on this link to see photographs of a performance of  ‘Common Women’ (Leytonstone Library Playreading Group in collaboration with the Bow Drama Group) which took place at Leytonstone Library in 2016.


Hiroshima Day Commemoration – 6th August 2018

Statement from TH Mayor John Biggs:

The 6th of August is an important point of reflection each year, where we take the time to remember the terrible events of World War 2, particularly Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

This day is marked around the world as a vital moment to pause, reflect, and think about how we can all work together to avoid and agree to prevent such events in the future. This has become increasingly important in a world which can sometime feel ever more fragmented. The last century also marked an increased targeting, particularly with modern and more powerful weapons and particularly those able to strike remotely, of urban populations in war.

The events of 1945 feel increasingly distant as each year passes, yet we must not forget them. They are a reminder of what can happen in the darkest of days, and a reminder that we must always strive for peace.

John Biggs

Mayor of Tower Hamlets

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