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Anti-war activists battle to get their voices heard in WW1 c

 
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Mirjam
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BerichtGeplaatst: 09 Sep 2013 11:07    Onderwerp: Anti-war activists battle to get their voices heard in WW1 c Reageer met quote

Quote:
Anti-war activists battle to get their voices heard in WW1 centenary events

Campaigners challenge 'glorious conflict' narrative and plan to highlight treatment of conscientious objectors
Anti-war activists, pacifists and others are challenging the narrative of the official programme marking the centenary of the first world war with an alternative range of activities, some of which have received government funds.

They include an event to remember executed conscientious objectors, which is being financed with £95,800 in lottery funding allocated to the pacifist organisation that distributes white poppies.

The "No Glory" campaign, backed by anti-war activists and high-profile supporters, such as the actors Jude Law and Alan Rickman and the poet laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, intend to hold a concert next year at the Barbican in London.

"What those of us involved in this are concerned about is that the war will be presented as something glorious and part of our national heritage, when it isn't really. It was a total disaster that was unnecessary and destroyed a generation," said Brian Eno, the composer and musician.

Eno said he was interested in creating something based on the testimonies of soldiers in the best-selling book, Forgotten Voices of the Great War, which was written by historian Max Arthur with the Imperial War Museum.

"They are simple transcripts of soldiers remembering what happened to them. If you ever want to be dissuaded from going to war then they are possibly the best texts for it," Eno said.

"I'd love to do something with them because I've always been fascinated by them and I think it serves exactly the purpose that I would like to see served by any centenary commemorations, which is to say: 'Don't let's go to war again'."

Roger Lloyd-Pack, known for his roles in The Vicar of Dibley and Only Fools and Horses, is another signatory to the No Glory campaign. He said he was concerned that the official centenary commemorations would be a continuation of the glorification of war.
"It has to be remembered in some way. That's for sure," he added. "But I would rather see what is such a large amount of money in straitened times being spent on helping soldiers who have been injured in the Iraq and Afghan wars, as well as on initiatives to promote peace."

The Peace Pledge Union (PPU) has been granted £95,800 from the Heritage Lottery Fund – something that took Britain's oldest pacifist group by surprise.

"They got in touch with us and invited us to apply, so we did," said Jan Melichar, a member of the PPU. "In a way, it was a surprise [to receive the funds], although on the other hand one suspects that because so much is being spent on pro-war things, someone thought it might be a good idea to find an organisation that is not so enthusiastic about it.

"We can't grumble too much because it enables us to do various things and employ someone to work on this. Our concern is that the centenary will attempt to send out a message that the war was somehow necessary."

The PPU is already focusing resources on raising awareness of the role of more than 6,000 conscientious objectors in the war through events, publications, interactive websites and outreach work in schools, including one that was the alma mater of one of the objectors who was executed in France.

In Bradford, the Peace Museum has designed what it describes as a new "alternative WW1 commemorative education project" called Choices, which will be supplemented by a multimedia exhibition.

The museum has been working with trainee teachers from Bradford College and has been developing teaching packs for schools as part of an initiative drawing on Home Office funding under the Prevent counter-extremism strategy.

Diane Hadwen, the museum's head, said: "The project looks at the choices people made between 1914 and 1919, and modern-day choices for children and young people in response to events including 9/11 and 7/7."

Hadwen said it asks how different the global war on terror is to the first world war. "It also looks at hidden histories, such as the black and ethnic minority experience, women who were involved in peace activities then, or confronting the English Defence League today."

David Cameron has likened the commemorations to the Diamond Jubilee celebrations and promised a "truly national commemoration". He has said that Armistice Day and the dates of significant battles would be covered. There will be a £5m educational programme for schoolchildren, including trips to the battlefields and support for an overhaul of the Imperial War Museum.

The government's advisory board for the commemoration includes the authors Pat Barker and Sebastian Faulks, MPs and former senior military figures.

But pressure has also been building from different sources for the commemorations to take on particular approaches. Hew Strachan, a prominent military historian who is on the advisory board, has warned that the commemorations "will be repetitive, sterile and possibly even boring" if the centenary turns into "Remembrance Sunday writ large".

The head of press at the German embassy in London has been quoted as saying that a "less declamatory tone", which did not dwell on who was responsible for the conflict, "would be easier" when it comes to the commemorations.

The programme will begin with events in Scotland, England and Belgium on 4 August 2014, the 100th anniversary of the declaration of war. The day will be marked with a service at Glasgow Cathedral for Commonwealth leaders, who will be in the city for the closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Games on the previous day.

In London a candlelit vigil – which the government hopes will be emulated in churches, by other faiths and by families across the land – will be held at Westminster Abbey, ending with the last candle being extinguished at 11pm, the moment war was declared.


http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/08/anti-war-activists-ww1-centenary
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BerichtGeplaatst: 09 Sep 2013 14:23    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Interessant onderwerp!

Hier de site van de PPU met meer informatie
Quote:
Amongst the many stories about the 1914-1918 war little can be found outside academies or specialised literature about the men and women who objected to that war or those who, at considerable cost, refused to be conscripted into the armed forces and spent many years in jail. Our project will focus on these people and how they responded to the challenge of a society apparently enthusiastic for war and later grieving at its consequences.


http://www.ppu.org.uk/nomorewar/
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BerichtGeplaatst: 12 Sep 2013 18:33    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

kritiek van the Guardian

Quote:


Who will win the first world war this time round?

It's no surprise that the centenary events are controversial – but in Britain, the anti-war side risks hitting the wrong note

No Glory campaigners, backed by Brian Eno, Alan Rickman and Carol Ann Duffy, are determined the centenary will not be just a celebration of war.


In the small pottery town of Fenton, Stoke-on-Trent, there's a mighty battle taking place to save the Great War memorial. Made from Minton tiles, the memorial to 498 men who lost their lives is now under threat of demolition, as the town hall, which houses it, has been put up for sale. Celebrity supporters including Stephen Fry and Ben Elton are piling in, echoing a national pride and refusal to forget the sacrifices made during the first world war. It would indeed be an act of callousness to let it go.

It's not just in Fenton that people are remembering: as the clock ticks towards 2014 the centenary events are gearing up, with an explosion of books and television documentaries coming out soon. But 100 years on there's a desire to challenge the official narrative too. On Monday the Guardian reported that the No Glory campaign, backed by an impressive array of artists and writers – from Brian Eno to Alan Rickman, and including the poet laureate, Carol Ann Duffy – are determined that the centenary will not be just a celebration of war. The Peace Pledge Union has even been given public money – well, lottery money – for the cause.

We are, famously or notoriously, a warrior nation. From the 18th-century continental wars to the imperial battles, the world conflicts, and the postcolonial fighting of our own times, the British have prided themselves on being first with the bayonet. Our royal family and many of our national occasions are tightly interwoven with militarism. Our bookshops have more books about military history than any other kind put together.

Yet we are changing. As this week's social attitudes study shows, Britain has become a more live-and-let-live society, much more liberal, and yet more cynical too. From the church to homosexuality to politicians, our views have changed hugely in 30 years. And now, perhaps, we are an anti-war nation too.

To an extent, we have always been one. The most famous and impressive cultural reactions to the first world war were the writings of the anti-war poets. The biggest non-party movements from the 1950s to the 1970s included CND; the biggest ever march in modern times was the Stop the War protest over Iraq. At the time, it seemed that no one listened. But over the years, the marchers' message permeated through. Today, in TV drama after TV drama, the traumatised veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan are used in ways which critique, rather than celebrate, those wars.

It isn't even a simple left and right issue. Some of the most excoriating criticisms of British generalship, even the case for fighting in 1914, come from military historians mostly associated with the Conservative side. Many Tory MPs, as well as Labour ones, refused to back military action in Syria in the Commons vote, and some of the most gung-ho voices for military action have come from Labour politicians and left-of-centre columnists.

Yet this is a moment when that long-established argument between militarism and pacifism seems to be coming to some kind of climax. Look at the inevitable contraction of British military ambition, after the cuts to the armed services; add in the possibility of the Trident nuclear fleet being decommissioned if Scotland votes for independence, and you have the first possible signs of Britain ceasing to be the warrior nation of old.

This would not mean that, after so long, we had somehow become an inward-looking nation. Britain still spends a lot on overseas aid, and even the Tory right has failed to win the argument against it. What it means is that, after Iraq and Afghanistan, we no longer believe that deploying violence against other countries necessarily makes the world a safer or happier place.

So this campaign about the meaning of the first world war doesn't arrive in a political vacuum. Far from it. This is as live an issue as there is. Getting the tone right is incredibly important. I for one don't want to see a commemoration of 1914-18 that in anyway appears to diminish or discredit the courage of those who died in that terrible carnage. I don't want a jeering or confrontational message to go out from the anti-war side. What needs to happen is to keep a relentless focus on the damage done both in Britain, where the best of a generation was squandered, and in Germany, where the foundations were laid for the rise of Nazism, just as Lenin got his chance in Russia.

These days, with the rise of personal history, a lot of the focus has been on the tragic individual stories – what we might call War Horse history. That's important, but we also have to keep an eye on the big picture, the terrible and global tear that the war inflicted on mankind.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/sep/11/who-will-win-first-world-war
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BerichtGeplaatst: 17 Sep 2013 9:47    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Nog meer kritiek

Quote:
Poppies? No, but we can fund a show about migrants

Former military leaders and politicians have attacked the funding body which rejected a scheme to planting poppies across the UK for the First World War centenary, after it emerged it was supporting “less deserving” projects raising awareness about conscientious objectors and theatre groups producing plays about the conflict.

The Heritage Lottery Fund rejected a bid for £92,900 from a branch of the Royal British Legion to expand its 2014 Real Poppy Campaign to distribute seeds to be sown across the country in time for the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the conflict.

The scheme had been highlighted by David Cameron as a fitting way to mark the centenary, in a speech he made encouraging other groups to apply for funding.

But the HLF, tasked with distributing much of the money, turned down the bid, blaming a “highly competitive funding round”.

Critics have attacked the decision, which was disclosed only a day after it emerged that the HLF, which is chaired by former BBC director Dame Jenny Abramsky, had awarded £95,800 to the Peace Pledge Union (PPU), to raise awareness of the role of conscientious objectors during the war. The HLF had approached the PPU and urged them to apply. Other recent grants related to the conflict include:

- £9,900 to record the experiences of German immigrants in Newham, east London.

- £59,500 to a theatre in Gloucestershire, to go towards a new play on the conflict. Another £6,900 is being spent to support a series of dramatic re-enactments in Devon.

- £86,900 to explore the impact of the war on Slough.

- £60,000 for project investigating how the war changed perceptions of disability.

Other recent HLF grants, unrelated to the conflict, have included £69,400 to produce an archive and exhibition about Polari, a language used in the gay community in the 1960s; £46,000 for a museum dedicated to “South Derbyshire’s production of sanitary ware, toilets and sewage pipes”; and £42,000 to create an exhibition, Defining Me: Musical Adventures in Manchester, about the impact that musicians such as Bob Dylan and the Sex Pistols have had on the city.

David Davies, the Conservative MP for Monmouth and a former soldier in the Territorial Army, said: “The HLF is throwing money on celebrating the role of those who refused to fight, but cannot reach into its pockets to find a little more to remember those who died. It’s absolutely disgraceful and many people will be in despair at the kind of thing that lottery money is allocated towards. These other projects are certainly less deserving.”

Julian Brazier MP, a member of the defence select committee and a former SAS reservist, added: “This shows an extraordinary sense of priorities. Some aspects of lottery funding are good, but the HLF seems to get it wrong, again and again.”

Col Richard Kemp, a former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, said: “The very idea of prioritising a celebration of the activities of pacifists over those who died is insane. And these other, rather bizarre sounding ideas should take second place.”

Lord Guthrie, a former chief of the defence staff, said: “It is quite a strange decision and a very unfortunate one.”

Phil Berry, chairman of the Greenhithe and Swanscombe branch and leader of the 2014 Real Poppy Campaign, said there had been “disgust” at the rejection.

He added: “We still haven’t got a clue why we have been turned down. There is plenty of surprise and disgust out there.”

All HLF grants must meet strict criteria to ensure they are sufficiently “diverse” and include an education element, but Mr Berry said he was confident the scheme – which has been rescued by the intervention of the Legion head office and B&Q – had “ticked these boxes”.

An HLF spokesman said: “Demand for our funds is high and we are unfortunately unable to support every application. We remain deeply committed to helping people to learn about and tell the stories of the First World War, and have already invested more than £28 million into projects marking the Centenary.”


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/history/world-war-one/10303346/Poppies-No-but-we-can-fund-a-show-about-migrants.html
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Tell them, because our fathers lied
-Rudyard Kipling-

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BerichtGeplaatst: 17 Sep 2013 14:45    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

En nog meer:
Quote:


Lotto cash goes on remembering First World War objectors, rather than soldiers
15 Sep 2013 00:00

Heritage Lottery wouldn't fund the planting of million of poppies, but is backing pacifist organisation the Peace Pledge Union
Have you ever wondered where that pound – soon to be two – you pay for a Lottery ticket goes?

Recent grants by the Heritage Lottery Fund include £69,400 to set up an archive about Polari, the language used by Britain’s gay community in the 50s and early 60s when homosexuality was still illegal and £42,000 for an exhibition showing the impact of punk rock on Manchester.

Yet as next year’s centenary of the outbreak of the First World War approaches, the HLF has turned down an application for £92,900 to fund the planting of millions of poppies across the UK.

The 2014 Real Poppy project – backed by the Prime Minister and the Prince of Wales – has only been saved by DIY chain B&Q stepping in with the money.

Initially it was hoped to hand out packets of poppy seeds, which would be planted in time to flower next summer, free to schoolchildren.

Now B&Q will sell seeds from its outlets with proceeds going to the Royal British Legion.

So why did the HLF turn down the original application by a Legion branch in Kent?

Officials blamed “a high level of demand for our funds, particularly for First World War projects.”

Well, there’s a surprise.

And here are some of the projects the fund ISploughing our money into…

Almost £10,000 to record the wartime experiences of German immigrants in East London.

More than £59,000 to a theatre in Gloucestershire to stage a new play about the conflict.

Close on £87,000 to explore the impact of the war on the Berkshire town of Slough.

(Not enough of an impact, according to the late Poet Laureate Sir John Betjeman, who wrote: "Come friendly bombs and fall on Slough! It isn’t fit for humans now.”)

Most controversially, the HLF is donating £95,800 – some three grand more than the Royal British Legion asked for – to the Peace Pledge Union, the pacifist organisation which flogs white poppies for Remembrance Day.

This remarkably generous grant is to “raise awareness of the role of conscientious objectors during the war”.

Incredibly, Lottery fund officials actually approached the Peace Pledge Union and encouraged them to make an application.

I wouldn’t deny the 16,000-odd “Conchies” who refused to bear arms were brave men and women, invariably ostracised, abused, often attacked and usually jailed for their beliefs.

But they weren’t half as brave as the flower of Britain’s youth who died or were horribly maimed in Flanders fields.



http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/lotto-cash-goes-remembering-first-2274944
_________________
Beware of half truths--yours may be the wrong half
Don't lose your temper--no one else wants it
the reverend Tubby Clayton

http://hvhwo2.wordpress.com/
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