can you help us build real peace in our time?

by Campaign ~ June 25th, 2013. Filed under: fundraising.

War doesn’t work… but peacebuilding does. We hope you’ll get involved with our exciting new campaign, ‘meet the real peacebuilders’, in which we are working with ordinary women and men who build peace in their communities, across the world, each and every day.

Peacebuilders from the African Youth Peace Initiatives engaging with children in Uganda

This year, of course, we are all thinking about the centenary of the First World War.  We are reminded of the suffering and the staggering numbers of the dead; we are reminded of the Somme and the trenches, the war’s poets and letters sent home to loved ones; we remember ‘the 11th hour’ each November and think of poppies blooming across the battlefields.

At conscience, we think back a hundred years, to the war itself, but even more so to what happened in 1916.  In that year, the Military Service Act simultaneously introduced conscription, and recognized the right of conscientious objectors to refuse military service.  Thousands of brave individuals answered the call of conscience, and refused to kill. As we recognize the struggles faced by 21st century conscientious objectors across the world, so we reflect on our own century of freedom from bodily conscription.  And we ask, what will the next century look like?

What if we could make it a century of building peace?

We know that war doesn’t work, but peacebuilding does.  Can you give £20 today to help us make the right of conscience a 21st century reality

We work for the right not to pay for war, as those who came before us worked for the right not to go to war.  What if the century ahead witnessed a turn in the tide?

1.75 trillion selfieI hope you’ll already have read about our campaign, ‘meet the real peacebuilders’, in which we are showcasing the ordinary women and men who build peace in their communities, across the world, every single day.

This supports the Conflict Pool campaign in which we lobby for the development of the government’s inter-departmental Conflict Pool which funds effective peacebuilding activities around the world. We see these complementary projects as working towards legally-recognized conscientious objection to military taxation, furthering our vision of a world where taxes are used to nurture peace, not pay for war.

By supporting conscience, you are helping to show the British Government that there are alternative, non-military security solutions already in action around the world.  These are the peaceful security measures we can pay for with a clear conscience.

Can you give £20 today to help us make the right of conscience a 21st century reality?

Each year, the painful and inspiring history of conscientious objectors is remembered on International Conscientious Objectors’ Day, held on 15th May.  This year, descendants of conscientious objectors to the First World War will join in the commemoration ceremony to honour their relatives.

The annual ceremony will take place at 12 noon on Thursday 15th May at the Conscientious Objectors’ stone in Tavistock Square, London WC1. It is being organised by the First World War Peace Forum – a coalition made up of conscience, Fellowship of Reconciliation, Network for Peace, Pax Christi, Peace News, Peace Pledge Union, Quaker Peace and Social Witness, the Right to Refuse to Kill group and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.  We hope you might join us as we remember those who came before us, and draw inspiration to work for a century of peace to come.

Mr Armstrong, your gift can make the difference as we campaign to make the right of conscience a 21st century reality, to advocate for non-violent peacebuilding, and to work for a more peaceful world.

Thank you for your support,

David

David Milner

Quaker Peace and Social Witness representative on the conscience Executive Committee

 P.S.  It’s all too easy to forget these things – please send your gift in the post today!  We couldn’t do this without you.


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