Happy New Year!!

by Outreach ~ January 7th, 2016. Filed under: News.

950 years since the Battle of Hastings, 400 years since the death of William Shakespeare, 350 years since the Great Fire of London, 100 years since the Battle of the Somme and 50 years since England won the World Cup…

2016 has a lot of national commemoration in store, the most significant for our campaign being the Centenary of the Military Service Act 1916.

We have now enjoyed the legal right of conscientious objection for 100 years in this country, yet our right to object has failed to adapt with changes in the way modern warfare is waged. 100 years on, we continue to fight for absolute exemption to military involvement, as our government takes our financial contribution for granted.

Help spread the message that this is not ok,

Join our register of people who object to funding violence, and invite your friends to join too: http://www.conscienceonline.org.uk/register-yourself-as-a-conscientious-objector/

Tell your MP about the Peace Tax Bill, and the campaign for the legal recognition of conscience within the tax system: http://www.conscienceonline.org.uk/template-letter-to-send-to-your-mp/

Happy New Year All, here’s a look back at our work last year:

20151

 

In February, conscience held an event in Parliament with John McDonnell MP (Labour MP for Harlington and Hayes), Sir Richard Jolly (Former United Nations Assistant Secretary General) , Richard Reeve (Research Director of the Oxford Research Group) and the Shahrar Ali (Deputy Leader of the Green Party).

 

20152

We kicked off our Peace Agenda series of events with Natalie Bennett (Green Party), Marigold Bentley (Quaker Peace and Social Witness) and Emma Sangster (Forces Watch) who discussed their work in peacebuilding.

 

20153

We launched the public consultation of our Taxes for Peace Bill, to be tabled in Parliament in 2016. This bill would allow conscientious objectors to re-direct the military portion of their income tax to peaceful forms of security. Thank you to everyone who gave their comments!

 

 

20154

We met with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Independent Commission for Aid Impact to discuss reforms to the Conflict, Security and Stability Fund (CSSF). One of our key asks was an increase in the level of funding for the CSSF, so we were delighted to see a 30% increase in the budget in the Autumn budget statement.

 

 

20155

 

Thanks to your support of our crowdfunder we attended the Labour Party Conference to canvass MPs and Labour members for support of our bill.

 

 

 

20156

 

Two conscience supporters, Jeremy Corbyn MP and John McDonnell MP became Leader of the Labour Party and Shadow Chancellor. A very exciting development for conscience!

 

 

 

20157

 

We collaborated with over a dozen groups to produce several events including a debate on Trident, the International Conscientious Objectors Day commemoration, and hosted a talk on the reality of conscientious objection for serving soldiers with Veterans For Peace.

 

 

20158

We received national press coverage in the Morning Star Newspaper. This is on top of coverage in Liberal Democrat Voice, Methodist conference, Left Foot Forward and Huffington post.

 

 20159And… Ruth Cadbury MP became the new sponsor of our Taxes for Peace Bill and will be hosting a Parliamentary reception on March 2nd 2016 – the 100th Anniversary of the Military Service Act which enshrined the first inclusive right of conscientious objection in UK law. The reception will be open to all conscience members.

 

Thank you for supporting our work in 2015

This was all made possible by our generous and dedicated supporters – so thank you all.


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