May 15th – CO day

CO day banner cropped

It’s just two weeks away now; 15th May is the day we particularly remember Conscientious Objectors – those who refused to take up arms and kill their fellow human.

FoR is part of the First World War Peace Forum together with Pax Christi, Conscience, Network for Peace, WILPF, The Right to Refuse to Kill Group, PPU and QPSW.

The Forum has been collaborating to ensure a substantial counter-narrative to the commemorations the government is putting on.  It aims to tell the stories of the many people who did not support war in Europe.  In fact, these feelings of horror an wanting to do something about it is what starting FoR.

The event on 15th May is annual event when names are read out and flowers are laid on the Commemorative Stone in Tavistock Square, WC1 at 12pm.  This year there is a special focus on women who spoke out against war and its preparation, with talks from Mary Dobbing and representatives of the women who went to the Hague as peace delegates.  There will also be speeches on the plight of COs in the conflicts happening in the world today.

We hope people can join us for other events that day, as follows:

10.30am – Launch of Quaker online project ‘The White Feather Diaries’ – telling the stories of Quaker First World War COs – which will go live on 4 August 2014. Friends House, opposite Euston Station, NW1 2BJ

11.30am to 3pm there will be an exhibition in Friends House Library of rare artefacts and diaries belonging to imprisoned COs.

Media wishing to attend these Quaker events contact annev@quaker.org.uk – 0207 663 1048 or 07958 009703

4.30pm – launch of two books about the First World War conscientious objectors will take place in Friends House Library.

Comrades in Conscience: the story of an English Community’s Opposition to the Great War by Cyril Pearce (c.pearce@btinternet.com)

Objection Overruled: Conscription and Conscience in the First World War by David Boulton (Quaker History Society).

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