Why oppose war?

By the end of  World War I there were about 38 million casualties worldwide, over 17 million deaths and 20 million wounded.

11 million deaths were military and 8 million deaths were civilians

885,000 British people were killed, and 1,668,000 were wounded

Since the end of the 1st World War, British forces have been engaged in the following conflicts. Apart from WW2  – none of these countries threatened Britain:

  • 1918-1924 Russia
  • 1918-1924 Somaliland
  • 1919 Third Afghan War
  • 1919 1921 Ireland
  • 1927-1934 China
  • 1928-1933 Aden
  • 1928-1933 Sudan
  • 1936- 1948 Palestine
  • 1939 – 1945 World War II
  • 1945-1948 Greece
  • 1946-1950 Indo-China
  • 1948-1953 Eritrea
  • 1948-1954 China
  • 1948 – 1960 Malaya
  • 1951 – 1960 Kenya
  • 1951-1961 Suez
  • 1953-1958 Guiana
  • 1955 -1959 Cyprus
  • 1957-1975 Muscat and Oman
  • 1959-1968 Kuwait
  • 1960-1965 Cameroon
  • 1962 – 1966 Brunei
  • 1962 1966 Indonesia–Malaysia
  • 1963 Aden
  • 1969–2007 Northern Ireland
  • 1982 Falklands War
  • 1990 -1991 Gulf War

 There has been growing opposition to wars over the course of the last 100 years.

WHITE POPPIES FOR PEACE

WHITE POPPIES FOR PEACE first appeared on Armistice Day 1933 at a time of rising domestic and international tensions when people feared the War to End All Wars would be followed by an even worse war. They were distributed by women, many of whom were the mothers, widows and sweethearts of men who died, were injured or imprisoned for refusing to fight in the 1914 – 18 war.

Importantly, the White Poppy became not only a symbol of grief for ALL the victims of war, but a commitment to work for the resolution of conflict without violence and with justice. It urges us to challenge militarism and work for a culture of peace – to have the courage of the conscientious objector of WW1 to resist the temptation to participate in the war machine.

Armistice Day marked the day fighting stopped on 11th November  1918. The annual ceremony was cancelled in 1939 when British troops again landed in Europe and fighting resumed.
The public meaning of ‘ Armistice’ – for peace and warning against future wars – changed, so that Armistice Day was no longer a time for mourning and reflection on lost lives, but a day for celebrating the military and a powerful recruitment tool for the War Office.

In 1914 people may have thought they were fighting German militarism but not a year has gone by since then when the British military have not been engaged in fighting somewhere in the world.

From economic reliance on arms sales (Britain is the world’s second largest arms exporter) to maintaining manifestly useless nuclear weapons, Britain contributes significantly to international instability. The outcome of the recent military adventures highlights their ineffectiveness and grim consequences.

Now, nearly 100 years after the end of the ‘war to end all wars’, we still have a long way to go to put an end to wars which in just the last decade have killed millions.

Last thin pull up - ProPeace white poppy wreath.JPG

 

Last thin pull up - Conscietious Objectors Day.JPG

 

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