Skip to content or view screen version

Veterans for Peace UK Officially Launched (peace) | 17.04.2012 12:55 | London

Veterans for Peace UK held its inaugural meeting on Easter Sunday. 11 veterans attended the meeting. The meeting was started with the reading of The Statement of Purpose. We then had an extended check in where there was a good exchange of experiences.

The aims of VFP UK were laid out;
1) To resist war through non-violent action.
2) To support war resisters.
3) To counter militarism and educate on the true nature of war.

A clarification of our committment to acting non-violently was made, Gerry Condon (VFP USA) explained that  even though there are many pacifists within VFP it is not a pacifist organisation. Bruce Kent enlightened us with some stories of resistance from within the British Army that are not well known.

The public launch was well attended. Barry Ladendorf who served in Vietnam with the US Navy talked about the true costs of war. Jim Radford who was at D-Day and served in the Royal Navy spoke about his long history within the peace movement and also performed two songs.

Gerry Condon who refused to deploy to Vietnam after training as a Special Forces Medic spoke about the work of VFP and the plight of Bradley Manning. Mike Lyons who served as a medic on submarines in the Royal Navy spoke about being a conscientious objector and being jailed for refusing to serve in Afghanistan. Matthew Horne who served in Iraq with the Scots Guards spoke about his experiences at Occupy London. Scot Albrecht who served in the US Air Force during the cold war spoke about his work with refugees and his history of resistance to war. Danny Martin who served in with the Royal Signals in Iraq read us two of his poems, one of which is already published on the VFP UK website. John McClean sang us some very powerful songs. Rob Green a former Royal Navy Commander who served at Northwood HQ during the Falklands war spoke about how important it was for veterans to organise themselves for peace. Also present were Adnan Sarwar who served in Iraq with a bomb disposal unit and was also attached to the USMC and John Lyons who was conscripted into the British Army in 1946 and has a long history within the peace movement.

Thanks to Roland, Sue, Alan and Ross for preparing the food. Thanks to London Catholic Worker for hosting the event. Thanks to John McClean for his music. Thanks to Jason Gleeson for filming. Thanks to Barry, Gerry and Helen from VfP in the USA and thank you to the VfP UK members. (peace)
- Original article on IMC London:


Hide the following comment

Ben Griffin radio interview about the launch

19.04.2012 00:30

Ben Griffin served for 8 years in the Parachute Regiment and the SAS. Veterans For Peace committed to resisting war by non-violent means was launched on Easter Monday in London. Ben injuncted not to speak publicly but said what he wanted to about the criminal ‘Extraordinary Rendition’ programme before the High Court injunction was served on him. Jim Radford from Merchant Navy discussed & the Army Rumour Service forum ARRSE is where soldiers speak their minds. Are Afghanistan soldiers dying for a lost cause? Doubts about present conflicts among soldiers and officers. Campaigning for US soldier being prosecuted for the Wikileaks Bradley Manning

Royal British Legion to Ken Clarke: Drop “Monstrous” Secret Hearings Now
Bereaved Armed Forces families will benefit from challenges to Ken Clarke's "monstrous" plans to create secret inquests, The Royal British Legion said today.
"The Justice Secretary's arrogant and reckless plans to hide military inquests behind a veil of national security are a perversion of justice and must be stopped," the nation's leading Armed Forces charity said in a statement. "Bereaved Armed Forces families must not be cut out of inquests into their loved ones' deaths," it added.
"As the national custodian of Remembrance and the source of advice and comfort to bereaved military families, we applaud Nick Clegg and the Joint Committee on Human Rights. The rule of law must prevail over these monstrous plans that would undermine centuries of British justice.
"The nation's fallen heroes, and their families, deserve better."
Clarke had earlier accused the Legion of believing "conspiracy theories" about the proposed changes which would allow court hearings into military deaths to be held in secret.
"Evidently, the conspiracy theory is also believed by the Deputy Prime Minister, an influential cross-party committee of MPs and expert groups such as INQUEST, Liberty, and Reprieve," the Legion added. "It's time that Ken Clarke stopped hiding behind empty rhetoric and dropped these dangerous plans."

Ewen Cameron
- Homepage: