THE Peace Pledge Union has launched its annual white poppy campaign, with the release of a statement in which it says: “When so many people in positions of power are distorting, belittling or dehumanising the suffering of others, it is vital that we remember everyone affected, as well as challenging the militarism and hypocrisy fuelling conflict right now.”
The full statement from the Peace Pledge Union:
The last three weeks have shown the world the devastation of war: the destruction in Gaza, where hundreds of children have been killed. The violence inflicted on Israeli and Palestinian civilians. The taking of hostages from Southern Israel. The bombing of Palestinian homes, hospitals and places of worship. The PPU has joined voices from across the peace movement in condemning all acts of violence, including the attacks by Hamas, the Israeli military response, as well as the decades long system of Israeli occupation and apartheid. We denounce all acts of war and join the call for an urgent ceasefire.
Now more than ever, we must stand up for peace and recognise the true human cost of war.
By wearing a white poppy, we remember all victims of war, both civilians and members of the armed forces, on all sides. When so many people in positions of power are distorting, belittling or dehumanising the suffering of others, it is vital that we remember everyone affected, as well as challenging the militarism and hypocrisy fuelling conflict right now.
As always, official remembrance events this year, led by the Royal British Legion, will commemorate British and allied military victims of war. These events have little to say about civilians – the majority of victims of war – and nothing about the urgent need to resist war and militarism now. Instead they are too often used to justify and celebrate military approaches to conflict.
Remembrance Day should be a time to commit to the ongoing struggle for peace. It should give real meaning to the words ‘never again’. It should include all victims of all wars, past and present – in Israel and Palestine, Ukraine, the South Caucasus, Yemen and elsewhere.
Please join us and wear a white poppy for peace.
White poppies have been worn in the run-up to Remembrance Day for ninety years. They were created in 1933 by members of the Women’s Co-operative Guild, many of whom had lost loved ones in the First World War. They are now distributed by the Peace Pledge Union (PPU).
White poppies stand for three things: remembrance of all victims of war, challenging militarism, and a commitment to peace. They differ from red poppies, designed to remember only British and allied armed forces personnel and to show “support for the armed forces” – according to the Royal British Legion, who produce them.
Money raised through white poppy sales goes towards promoting nonviolent approaches to conflict and producing educational materials.
White poppies can be bought online or at around 200 shops and other outlets around the UK. Most cities and large towns have at least one white poppy outlet.
The Peace Pledge Union stands with other groups and individuals calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. We are urging PPU members and supporters to join the demonstrations planned for the coming weeks across the UK. We stand with peace activists in both Israel and Palestine, and around the world, who are committed to peace and a nonviolent solution to the conflict.
The National Alternative Remembrance Ceremony in London will include a message from the Parents Circle – Families Forum (PCFF), a joint Israeli-Palestinian organisation of over 600 families, all of whom have lost an immediate family member to the conflict. Everyone is welcome to attend on Sunday 12 November at 12 midday, in Tavistock Square, London.
* If you would like to support the white poppy campaign, there are many ways to help, from distributing white poppies in your community, work place, shop, school or faith group, to attending one of the many remembrance ceremonies featuring white poppies around the UK each year. Information on ways to help here.
* More information on events happening around the UK in Bradford, Brighton, Edinburgh, Leeds, Oxford, Swindon, Wokingham and elsewhere here.
* Information on how to obtain a white poppy here.
* Source: Peace Pledge Union