The interwar years saw some considerable progress, with the War Resisters International and Peace Pledge Union being formed, and Peace News being established. The pacifist movement , remembering the slaughter of WW1, was strong and well supported. But WW2 presented a drastic choice: if Hitler did occupy
|Aldermaston 1963 (showing "Greece" banner)|
Many of the more militant were critical of the CND mainstream approach. However big the annual Easter March to, or from, Aldermaston would become, they argued that this display of people power could be ignored by government. So the Committee of !00 was formed which carried out direct
action - sit downs, occupations etc - and local groups and special sub groups like the Industrial Committee carried out these tasks. In truth the resolution had got through the Labour Party Conference but was reversed the following year. Invading the ‘post war’ Regional Seats of Government sounded better [RSGs – this is where Spies for Peace come in].
Active members of CND and Youth CND transformed local politics and revived many libertarian organisations as well as others. The
Jumping forward some years, the nuclear arming of submarines and the use of rockets generally, saw a re-birth in the 1980s. Many military bases were besieged not just by the women at Greenham. The total futility of government plans for protection at the outbreak of nuclear war were exposed. Protect and Survive was overwhelmed by Protest and Survive. New groups sprang up as protesters against the arms trade reflected the appalling consequences of third world societies with little resources,
killing off millions of civilians with tin pot wars. Anti-colonialism disintegrated into petty dictatorships.
Today many see the potential disaster of climate warming as the chief concern but the capitalist market is still as incompatible with world peace as a sustainable society. War and its catastrophes could end the world before the consequences of climate change come fully into effect.
So the struggle against both goes on.